Dolphin carries the show
THIS unassailably wholesome family picture is saved from going to goo by the oddness of the true story it has to share.
A dolphin named Winter lies wounded on a Florida beach after becoming terribly tangled in a crab trap. The only way the stricken marine mammal can be saved is via the surgical amputation of its tailfin. The loss of which, to a dolphin, makes life in the open water almost impossible.
Enter plucky 11- year- old loner Sawyer ( Nathan Gamble), who comes up with the brilliant idea that will save Winter from a life of captivity in an aquarium tank.
If humans can cheat the curse of immobility through the fitting of artificial limbs, why can’t the same principle be applied to dolphins?
And so, with the help of kindly prosthetics engineer Dr Cameron Mccarthy ( Morgan Freeman, pictured), Winter becomes the proud owner of a new moulded tailfin that returns him to his rightful place in the ocean.
If that ain’t already inspirational enough, Winter’s big comeback also lifts a young maimed soldier ( Austin Stowell) out of the doldrums and prevents a grimy real estate developer from closing the local MARC ( Marine Animal Rescue Centre).
There is no other way of putting it: Dolphin Tale is a nice little film for nature- loving primary schoolers that would probably play just as well as a television special.
Many of the performances have a tired, strangely stilted quality about them, as if every actor is working through their lines for the 100th time. No, make that every actor except one. For Winter the dolphin is played by the real Winter herself, and she relives both the nightmares and triumphs of her past with infectious enthusiasm and intelligence.