Dolphin Tale 2

Movie review by
Yvonne Condes, Common Sense Media
Dolphin Tale 2 Movie Poster Image
Fans of the original will love this wholesome sequel.
  • PG
  • 2014
  • 107 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 10 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

Kids will learn what it's like to rescue marine animals and work in a rescue hospital, as well as what dolphins need to stay alive. 

Positive messages

The entire staff of Clearwater Marine Hospital puts the marine animals' well-being before themselves. Family (including animal family) comes first, and -- except for a few outbursts -- everyone has a lot of respect for one another and their ideas. Bethany Hamilton and Winter show that having a disability doesn't have to define you. 

Positive role models & representations

Sawyer is a responsible and dedicated volunteer at the Clearwater Marine Hospital. His hard work pays off when he’s offered a scholarship to attend a semester on an animal research boat, but his loyalty to Winter makes him hesitant to pursue the opportunity. Dr. Haskett does the right thing when faced with a heartbreaking decision that could put Winter’s life at risk and result in his daughter hating him. Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her left arm after a shark attack, swims with the dolphins in an inspiring scene. Sawyer and Hazel are slightly defiant to their parents at times, but it's because they're fighting for what they believe in. As in the first movie, Sawyer doesn't wear his bike helmet.

Violence & scariness

Winter has a hard time dealing with his dolphin companion's poor health (and eventual sad death) and lashes out (literally) at Sawyer, injuring him. A rescued sea turtle has an MRI; a fisherman's hook is removed from him. The crazy pelican continues to chase people throughout the movie. A couple of tense dolphin rescues. 

Sexy stuff

Flirting between Sawyer and Hazel.

Language

Sawyer calls Hazel "pushy," and that's about it.

Consumerism

The movie is filmed at the real Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which is mentioned as a place to visit.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

There's a party, but it doesn't appear that anyone is drinking alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dolphin Tale 2 continues the story of Winter (introduced in 2011's Dolphin Tale), the beloved rescue dolphin that uses a prosthetic tale to swim. The story is family friendly and uplifting overall, but some scenes might be mildly upsetting to younger viewers. For example, Winter becomes antisocial -- and even violent -- after her surrogate mother dies. There are also a few tense rescue scenes and some touching goodbyes, but that's about it, other than some mild flirting between teens Sawyer and Hazel. The sequel isn’t quite as compelling as the original, but it’s just as wholesome and inspiring.

User Reviews

Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written byMeredithR September 14, 2014

A wholesome winner that appeals to all!

I took my 5 year old son and 7 year old daughter this weekend and both loved it. Actually, I loved it too! My 5 year old sat through the entire movie, although... Continue reading
Adult Written byamom1st September 16, 2014

A movie for the whole family? Whatever is Hollywood thinking?!

Finally, a movie that the whole family can enjoy. While the truly pessimistic won't enjoy this heartwarming tale, the rest of us will laugh, cry and cheer... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old February 5, 2015

Good movie--liked the first one better

This is a very good movie, but honestly it was a little boring and I liked the first one better. It was a very good movie, though! It had just enough excitement... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old January 3, 2015

An Awesome Sequel

This movie was great and it was so cool because it is a true story. This is a great movie for kids to see that love animals. Although to be emotional because I... Continue reading

What's the story?

Following the events depicted in Dolphin Tale, DOLPHIN TALE 2 continues the story of Winter, a rescued dolphin with a prosthetic tale. Winter is devastated by the loss of her surrogate mother, leaving the staff at Clearwater Marine Hospital -- headed by Dr. Clay Haskett (Harry Connick Jr) -- in a race against time (and against an evil USDA employee) to find her a companion. Meanwhile, Sawyer (Nathan Gamble), the boy who originally found Winter and nursed her to health, must decide whether to accept a once-in-lifetime opportunity or stay in Florida to help Winter.

Is it any good?

The plot of Dolphin Tale 2 isn't much of a stretch beyond the original. This time, instead of trying to get Winter a prosthetic fin, the incredibly nice staff of the Clearwater Marine Hospital are trying to find her a companion. Everyone is as sweet and earnest as in the original, with just one goal in mind: to help the marine animals.

Fans of the first movie will enjoy watching Sawyer become an opinionated teen alongside friend/love interest Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdorff). Connick Jr. is back as Hazel’s dad, along with Ashley Judd as Sawyer's mom, who has very little to do other than look concerned. There are some daring rescues (and a release back into the wild) that will keep parents interested. And for kids, there's a bit of teen angst thrown in -- Sawyer is now in high school, and when he's offered the chance to spend a semester at sea doing marine research, he has to decide whether or not to take it because Winter, his dolphin buddy, isn't well. ​While the story isn't quite as good as the original, it's still an upbeat, inspirational family movie. 

 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Dolphin Tale 2's messages. How do they compare to the original? Is Winter's story as compelling as it was in the first film?

  • Sawyer is offered an amazing opportunity but is hesitant to leave Winter when she needs him most. What would you do in that situation?

  • What did you think of the scene in which Bethany Hamilton, the pro surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack, swims with Winter, the dolphin who lost her tale and swims with a prosthetic? Were you inspired by them?

  • Dr. Haskett had a terrible decision to make: set a rehabilitated dolphin free, or keep it so Winter could stay at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Do you think he made the right decision? 

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love animals

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate