A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
- On DVD or streaming: December 7, 2010
- Cast: Michael Ferreri, Robbie Daymond
- Director: Eduardo Schuldt
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Ocean Creatures
- Run time: 88 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some mild scary action and brief rude humor
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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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.
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