Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks

The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer Movie Poster Image
Scary, confusing tale of a dolphin following his dream.
  • PG
  • 2010
  • 88 minutes

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Intended to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

As the voice of the sea says, "Never let fears stand in the way of your dreams." But the film is so poorly constructed that this message doesn't come through clearly.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Daniel Alexander Dolphin is ostracized by his peers for daring to leave his dolphin pod to pursue his calling, and he leaves anyway, facing many difficulties along the way. But he isn't deterred.

Violence & Scariness

The evil fish -- Lucius -- is scary and chases Daniel ruthlessly. In fact, most of the fish, sharks, dolphins, manta rays, and whales, will make kids uncomfortable with their sheer ugliness: razor-sharp teeth, terrifying voices, angular movements.

Sexy Stuff
Language

Early in the film, a baby dolphin makes "fart bubbles," says they are his friends and that sometimes they help him to breathe, and then he swallows the bubbles. Later, Daniel claims a place he is visiting smells like "jellyfish poop."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer is a very disappointing CGI animated story of a young dolphin called by the sea to pursue his dreams. For very young/sensitive viewers, the mean, sharp-toothed "bad fish" who chase after the hero fish is nightmare fodder. And for children in general, the bizarre fart jokes early in the film may be immature even for them. For parents, the unpleasant characters, the trite exploration of "a hero's journey to make his dream come true," and the subpar animation will leave them at best bored and at worst angry that their kids' time was wasted watching this.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bythe educational tree August 29, 2012

Best Movie Ever!

I think that this movie was very educational. It's story line was very well planned and thought out, and all the actors deserve a Oscar. Very good movie!
Parent of a 12 and 16 year old Written byK_Green May 27, 2014

Awesome Messages!!!

This movie is a great one to watch as a family! It is christian based and really sends the message that you should follow your dreams no matter who you are. It... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 24, 2012

Messages.... :)

Well, the message is follow your dreams! :) My sister loves this movie.

What's the story?

In THE DOLPHIN: STORY OF A DREAMER, Daniel Alexander Dolphin (voiced by Robbie Daymond) is part of a pod in which the other dolphins have stopped dreaming, opting instead to do nothing but fish. But Daniel wants to surf, so when he hears the call from the Voice of the Sea, he leaves his pod in pursuit of the sun to find his true calling in life. Along the way, he finds a sidekick named Carl (also Daymond), and together they encounter dangerous predators and must elude and fight them before realizing their dream and purpose in the sea.

Is it any good?

You have to hope that the Sergio Bambaren book upon which this movie is based is much better; while subpar animation would get a pass if the story made up for it, it doesn't. There are plenty of children's films about characters pursuing their dreams that handle the subject matter in ways that are more entertaining and don't feature completely bizarre, nonsensical "jokes" about baby dolphins swallowing their own fart bubbles. The few characters that aren't annoying (i.e. Daniel's sidekick Carl) look and act in ways that will horrify most children under the age of 8. Ultimately, The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer will likely confuse, anger, and annoy both parents and children.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about dreams. Why is it important to never stop believing in your dreams? Is there ever a time when you should reevaluate your dreams? What are your dreams?

  • What are the many obstacles that stand in Daniel's way as he pursues his dream? What other hero stories can you think of? What are the similarities and differences in those stories to Daniel's?

  • How do you judge a movie's quality? Is it a gut reaction, or are there specific aspects that you can calculate?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love animal stories

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