Parents' Guide to

Dolphin Tale

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Heartwarming tale is sweet, inspiring for kids and tweens.

Movie PG 2011 113 minutes
Dolphin Tale Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 39 parent reviews

age 4+

Our favorite movie

This is wholesome and a true story. My 3 yo loves in and so do her parents!
age 5+

great story, very sad but heartwarming and great for ages 5 and older

I loved this movie as a child, I cried when Kyle the main characters cousin got his leg blown off in a war, winter is seen in a crab trap, the girl (hazel) her mom died when she was 7 years old, but other wise it is a really good movie I wouldn't recommend it for ages 4 and up because it might be upsetting to them

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (39 ):
Kids say (93 ):

This film is a reminder of why movies that feature non-talking animals are so much more entertaining than the gimmicky comedies centering on talking pets. Winter, who is in fact "played by" Winter, is hard to resist, as are the two adorable up-and-comers who play the lead kids. The friendship between Hazel and Sawyer is refreshingly free of preteen romance or cooties; it's completely focused on their kindred interest in Winter and the other rescued animals. All of the supporting actors are on top form -- broody Connick, who treats audiences to an impromptu sax solo; the always kind and wise Freeman; and Ashley Judd, who plays Sawyer's hardworking single mother. Kris Kristofferson also pops up as Connick's sage, sea-loving father.

Thanks to its sweet young stars, seasoned veterans, and compelling storyline, Dolphin Tale is, in the tradition of The Black Stallion and Secretariat, the sort of animal-themed film that's about the genuine love and friendship that can exist between animals and humans. By the time the credits roll and you see documentary footage of Winter's real crew of rescuers, you'll feel just as genuinely touched by the story of a remarkable dolphin who's a true survivor. Winter's an inspiration to both the able-bodied and people with disabilities, who make pilgrimages to see the dolphin swim with her prosthetic tail.

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