HOLLYWOOD—When you think about an inspirational, family-fun film nothing can compare to “Dolphin Tale.” It is a movie that forces you to leave the theater in a better mood than when you first arrived. In Hollywood, when a film earns loads of money, a sequel has to be a given, so we have “Dolphin Tale 2.”
What makes this film such an enjoyable movie going experience is the connection the story makes with the viewer in regards to nature and the animal kingdom. While many animals may not look or behave like we do, we can emotionally connect to them just as powerful as a human being itself.
This time around the audience continues its journey with Winter, the dolphin who was rescued by Sawyer (Nathan Gamble) who is now an employee at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. At the facility, Winter has bonded with Panama, a dolphin older in age, suffering from deafness and having a few issues. This places our protagonist in an odd spot, as Sawyer has been offered the chance of a lifetime to join the Semester at Sea program.
The story progresses with Sawyer, Dr. Clay (Harry Connick Jr.), Lorraine (Ashley Judd) and Dr. Cameron McCarthy (Morgan Freeman) who are concerned with Winter as her behavior has gone from bad to worse because of Panama’s situation.
The movie really examines a tale of ethics and morals when it comes to animals and people. Is it safe to keep an animal in captivity to better the situation of another animal that is emotionally unstable or aggressive? When we are faced with life-changing opportunities how do we weigh the pros and cons of the situation at hand? These are all issues that Sawyer encounters, but he has assistance from his co-workers and family to support him along the way.
The tone of “Dolphin Tale 2” brings a smile to the face of the spectator as you further bond with the characters, but more importantly the animals. Does it hurt not seeing the first movie before seeing its sequel? To a degree yes, but I would argue the film does a reasonable job of informing the audience of the bond between Sawyer and Winter; these two are more than friends, he care’s for her as if she was his child. Animals have that sort of power over human beings; we’d be willing to go to certain depths and place things on the backburner to ensure their wellbeing is taken care of.
“Dolphin Tale 2” showcases the powerful bond between a human and an animal, but in its overall essence it shows how a crisis can bring people together in a time of need.