Bernie the Dolphin 2

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Bernie the Dolphin 2 Movie Poster Image
Family-friendly sequel has lovable dolphins and mild peril.
  • G
  • 2019
  • 99 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

See dolphins at their most delightful, learn facts about the ocean mammals and about dangers to the ecosystem.

Positive Messages

 Communication, respect for one another, respect for nature, forgiveness, possibility of redemption, courage, and determination. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Idyllic family: loving, dependable, concerned for the welfare of others, capable of forgiveness, devoted to earth's creatures, courageous. One villain proves that with support, acknowledgement, and opportunity, redemption is possible. Adult females are capable, independent, and spirited. Minimal ethnic diversity.

Violence & Scariness

Some mild suspense: girls missing, humans need rescuing, but never in real danger. Kids hit man with paddle to escape from him. Villain wants to capture wild dolphin.

Sexy Stuff

Loving behavior between a mom and dad.


Marineland of Florida is featured throughout.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bernie the Dolphin 2 is a sequel to 2018's Bernie the Dolphin, a live-action movie about two Florida kids and their connection to Bernie, a wild dolphin. The story picks up one year after the original, upon Bernie's return to the Florida shores. Old villains return, as well. Other than some suspense -- two teen girls briefly missing, a scuffle involving a paddle, and some concern for the welfare of the two kids and the dolphin at the hands of bad guys -- the film is okay for most kids. Marineland of Florida is the setting for the film, and gets the benefit of strong promotion. The movie includes some messages about the value of forgiveness and the possibility of redemption. Though the film will have more resonance for audiences who've seen the first, especially with regard to the backstory of the movie's villains, it's an adventure that can stand on its own.

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What's the story?

Bernie, the Ryan family's favorite dolphin, returns to Florida in BERNIE THE DOLPHIN 2. Young Holly Ryan (Lola Sultan) and her brother, Kevin (Logan Allen), are overjoyed when Bernie returns a year after their first adventure together. And it's no secret that Bernie remembers them, too. At Marineland of Florida, managed by dad Bob Ryan (Patrick Muldoon), Kevin is still tracking and filming Bernie's travels through waters, and Holly, now a Junior Dolphin Trainer at the marine mammal park, welcome a new dolphin. Unfortunately, the Ryan family isn't at all overjoyed by the return of Winston Mills (Kevin Sorbo), a corrupt villain who's been released from prison and assigned to a work release program at Marineland. While Abby (Dahlia Legault) encourages forgiveness and second chances, her kids and her husband want no part of the man they cannot trust. Indeed, their misgivings may prove true when Winston is approached by another old enemy bent on revenge against Bernie and the Ryan family.

Is it any good?

Dolphins at their most delightful and an idyllic, loving family return in a predictable sequel with few surprises but some positive messages about forgiveness and second chances. Production values are fine. Most of the performances are competent; however, the roles as written are one-dimensional and give the actors little nuance or subtlety to play -- an element that's valuable even in movies made for young audiences. Still, young animal lovers will still find much to enjoy in Bernie the Dolphin 2.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about movie sequels like Bernie the Dolphin 2. If you saw the original Bernie film, did this one meet your expectations? Why or why not? What are the advantages of marketing a film that features the same characters and/or continues a story told in an earlier movie?

  • Find out about the history of movies that feature animals. Do you know that in the early days there were no regulations for filmmakers? How and why have there been important changes in animal welfare on movie sets? 

  • The Ryans are a solid family. What are some of the many skills it takes to make a family work well (i.e., communication, respect)? Why do you think each member of the family has an important role to play in the family's well-being?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

Themes & Topics

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