I was so tired the other night and I wanted to watch something that didn't require too much effort or thinking on my part (as that would just put me to sleep!) and I came across this. It looked like it had a Free Willy vibe which is one of my favourite childhood films so I thought I would give it a go.
Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble) is a shy and introvert child, who reverts further inside of himself when his cousin (and possibly only friend) joins the Army and leaves to serve in Afghanistan. That is until he finds Winter, the dolphin who is caught in a crab trap on the beach. After visiting her at the marine hospital to check she is OK, he forms a bond and proceeds to skip summer school to visit Winter and help her recover after losing her tail.
This is a typical family movie, with the usual fixtures. The bond with the injured animal, the young love interest, the mom who just doesn't understand and the alternative parental figure who does. Add in Morgan Freeman as Dr Cameron McCarthy with his witty comments and sharp humour, steals every scene and it makes for pretty enjoyable watching. However, I was surprised to find out it wasn't as predictable as I was expecting. More than once, I assumed one thing was going to happen and they went a different way completely.
Boy its been years since I saw Free Willy. If I'm honest Dolphin Tale isn't really my kind of thing but it sounds like a great family movie. Funnily enough, I'd never heard of this film till I saw Jenna's review, and in the same day I heard that a sequel is coming out later this year!
The special effects used for Winter's tail (or lack of tail!) is done really well and Sawyer is really good in his role as Winter's best friend. It is very reminiscent of Jesse and Willy's bond in Free Willy.
All in all, this is a fun family film and doesn't take much effort to watch or enjoy.