Dolphin Tale 2 Movie Poster Image

Dolphin Tale 2



Fans of the original will love this wholesome sequel.
Popular with kids
  • Review Date: September 12, 2014
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 107 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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.


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


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.

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.

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. 


Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:September 12, 2014
DVD release date:December 9, 2014
Cast:Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr., Nathan Gamble
Director:Charles Martin Smith
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Friendship, Ocean creatures, Wild animals
Run time:107 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some mild thematic elements

This review of Dolphin Tale 2 was written by

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


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Heartwarming tale is sweet, inspiring for kids and tweens.
  • Warmhearted remake of TV classic has some scary moments.
  • A wayward boy befriends a moody killer whale.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

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 I did have to explain several things - mostly why the characters were doing what they were doing, and explaining the one sad scene where a dolphin dies. And although there are few children (I mean under the age of 14) in the movie, both kids were interested. I liked it because at no point during the movie did I feel I had to worry about content, language, violence or adult situations. Totally kid-friendly, but complex enough that I enjoyed it too. The scenery was great and the dolphins adorable. Now, my husband would have scoffed at the movie for the many unrealistic scenes - like the dolphin swimming scenes which were clearly staged and the fact that the rescue center seemed to largely be run my a group of teenagers. To me this lent to the charm of the movie - and it's for sure why my daughter liked it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
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 for the characters. We had the pleasure of visiting Clearwater Marine Hospital recently. And while the main human characters are indeed made up, Winter & Hope are very much "real". And are both true sweethearts. :) Parents, have no fear, this movie is safe for the whole family. But some parts may be a little sad for the younger set.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byKMM5 September 28, 2014

Great kids movie!

It seems that recently everyone's trying to sneak something inappropriate into kids movies. This movie is not that way! There are positive messages, role models, and decision making skills are modeled. We really enjoyed this movie!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?