A Film Review
BY KIMBERLY BENNETT
In Sept. 2011, Alcon Entertainment released the family-favorite motion picture, Dolphin Tale, and received approximately 72.2 million dollars as a gross income by Jan. 2012. As the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) award-winning film captured the hearts of many mammal-lovers across the United States, Dolphin Tale has enthused people to travel to Clearwater, Fla. in order to see Winter, the main character (and attraction) of both motion picture and Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The awe-inspiring tale of Winter the dolphin and young Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble), directed by Charles Martin Smith, tells the story of a beautiful relationship between a lonely boy and a tailless dolphin.
While Dolphin Tale is more about Winter learning to wear a prosthetic tail and focuses on the development of Sawyer Nelson’s relationship with her, Dolphin Tale 2 continues a few years later and proves that the story of Winter is not over yet. Also based on true events, Dolphin Tale 2, released Sept. 12, 2014, is just as, if not more, inspiring and well-portrayed as its predecessor. Dolphin Tale may have centered more on Winter and her budding relationship with Sawyer, but the sequel is far more concentrated on Winter’s ability to connect with another female dolphin.
Because dolphins travel and swim in groups, they are not supposed to be isolated for any prolonged length of time. It is in a dolphin’s nature to swim with other dolphins; the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has strict regulations in which dolphins must swim in an aquarium with at least one other same-sex dolphin so lonely Bottlenoses do not fall into a state of depression.
Since Winter’s 40-year-old female swimming partner dies of unknown causes, it is important for Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s director, Dr. Clay Haskett (Harry Connick Jr.) to find another female dolphin to swim with Winter in order to keep Winter in the aquarium. While one of the board members, Phillip J. Hordern (Tom Nowicki) pressured Dr. Haskett into having Mandy – the only other female dolphin in captivity at Clearwater Marine Aquarium – swim with Winter, he decides against it, not wanting to keep a now-healthy, wild dolphin captive. And thus, Dr. Haskett makes the decision to free Mandy against the board’s wishes.
Without Mandy, the aquarium faces the possibility of losing Winter to another facility, and hope is the last resource the members of the aquarium have in order to keep Winter from leaving. But the question is, how will they find her?
Curious to know what happens to Winter? See Dolphin Tale 2 in theaters today.
Dolphin Tale 2 is directed and written by Charles Martin Smith. Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman and Kriss Kristopherson also star.