Dolphin Tale 2 Parent Review
This film offers a strong environmental message and a charming story of friendship between the humans and the dolphins.
Winter and Hope are two real dolphins that live in the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida. Both have been rescued and rehabilitated at the facility but will never be able to return to the ocean. You can watch both animals on the aquarium’s webcam.
Their history is interesting. But it takes a few additional characters and some plumping up to make it the stuff of movies because although these two swimming mammals are central to the plot line, Dolphin Tale 2 really is a coming-of-age story.
Audiences met Winter in the first Dolphin Tale movie when she was rescued from a crab trap. Dr. Clay Haskett (Harry Connick Jr.) operates the facility that takes in injured sea animals. Working alongside him and the rest of the staff are his father (Kris Kristofferson), his daughter Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdorff), and her friend Sawyer (Nathan Gamble). Through some miraculous medical intervention on the part of Dr. Cameron McCarthy (Morgan Freeman), Winter was fitted with a prosthetic tail that allowed her to swim more naturally. And she became an ambassador of sorts for other amputees—everyone from children to former military personnel—who connected with the gregarious mammal.
Since her arrival, Winter has been paired with Panama another female dolphin. But when Panama dies of old age, Winter sinks into a depressed state. Since companionship is essential for the well-being of these social animals, Clay and the rest of the staff know they only have so long to find a new chum for the unhappy dophin. Otherwise she’ll be transferred to a different aquarium. Meanwhile, Sawyer, one of Winter’s main caregivers, has been invited to attend a highly regarded marine biology course held aboard a sailing ship. But with Winter still grieving the loss of Panama, he is hesitant to leave.
From a family perspective, Dolphin Tale 2 is about as friendly as you can get for older children. The only hint of sexual content is some mild jealousy that flares up when Hazel sees a pair of young volunteers flirting with Sawyer. Injured animals and the death of one dolphin may be the biggest worry. Sawyer also suffers facial cuts and bruises when Winter reacts violently to the death of her swimming companion.
While young kids will likely love the playful dolphins, they might be a little bored when the script heads to dry land and focuses on Sawyer’s schooling dilemma. Yet for those buying tickets for this aquatic drama, the film offers a strong environmental message and a charming story of friendship between the humans and the dolphins. Best of all, this movie may also inspire a whole new generation of viewers to consider a career in marine biology or at least a visit to their local aquarium..Directed by Charles Martin Smith. Starring Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble. Running time: 107 minutes. Theatrical release September 12, 2014. Updated May 21, 2016
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Dolphin Tale 2 here.
Dolphin Tale 2 Parents Guide
Why is Hazel jealous of the new female volunteers that are flirting with Sawyer? In what ways does Hazel prove she is a good friend to Sawyer?
What does it take to become a marine biologist? Is it important to have facilities where animals can be cared for and then returned to their natural habitats? What was the motto of the aquarium?
How is Winter an ambassador for the aquarium? Why do you think so many amputees are eager to meet Winter? How has her prosthetic tail contributed to other medical advancements for those who have lost a limb?