Cute, Family Friendly, But Not The Emotion I had “Hoped” for

Dolphin Tale 2

            The Dolphin, a creature that is so full of life and spunk that television cannot help, but make countless forms of entertainment about them. In 2011, one of those stories touched the hearts of millions in the form of Winter, the dolphin with a prosthetic tail. Such a story was inspirational, but mainly a cute animal movie that kids and animal enthusiasts loved. So what else could Hollywood do, but take the momentum and make another movie about the same dolphin. That’s right, this review is based on the latest story inspired by true events, Dolphin Tale 2. What wonders are in store for this movie? As always, continue on to find out.


Like any kids’ movie, Dolphin Tale start out fun and exciting to get the audience involved with the tale. Yet, like it’s predecessor, things take a turn for the worst to establish a point for the near two hours you are about to invest. Dolphin Tale 2 covers the emotional spectrum a little more completely than it’s predecessor, and tends to focus on the sadder aspects of life. I warn parents now that this movie has a few themes that might be a little too much younger age groups. The movie is quite depressing at points, with the characters a little more negative than I had expected.. Why such a depressing tale? It is to go with the theme of hope that things will work out with the perseverance and faith the characters have. The directors have decided to teach us valuable life lessons again; all in hopes of inspiring you to push past the dismay life may throw out at you. Despite all the depressing challenges though, parents can reassure themselves and their kids that everything will be better and the inevitable outcome the movie has.


With the ending so predictable, and a lot of depressing scenes in the movie, you may be asking if there is anything worthy about this movie. Truth is that amidst the chaotic, life lesson teaching moments, there are some comedic relief moments that will brighten up the movie. The pelican Rufus has a few funny moments, though has taken a back seat to the human characters in the film. Mavis the turtle, a new addition to the group, has a couple of cute scenes as well, though it’s nothing that will have you rolling on the floor in tears. It’s really Morgan Freeman who had me laughing the most, delivering his dialogue with that matter of fact approach that brought out the most humor. Like something out of Grumpy old men, Freeman’s lines seem part complaining and party insulting, but are actually laced with sarcasm that further brings out the humor, and in truth was the best actor of the bunch for me.


The rest of the human cast did decent job acting, with Nathan Gamble having the most screen time of the bunch. Gamble’s portrayal of Sawyer is balanced, but needs some fine-tuning at points where he seems almost bored of acting. Some of his emotionally heavy scenes lack the drive I wanted to see, and sometimes came out more whiney than sad. Harry Connick Jr. reprises his role as the doctor, and I think handled the maturing role well of his character balancing science with parenting. Connick didn’t overact too much during the part, though seeing the movie magic, serious; army drill sergeant command was hard not to laugh at points. The lovely Ashley Judd brings her talents back to the screen again, somehow playing the balanced roles as she always does. I loved her smile, her energy, and her logical sense in the film where everything felt so natural as you watched perform. Then there was Cozi Zuehlsdorff reprising her role as Hazel. In this movie Hazel was rather annoying for me, her character a little too needy, overbearing, and at times weak that had me rolling my eyes. I don’t know if it was the direction or the acting, but her lines came out a hybrid of what seemed happy and desperate. Then we she tried to take a serious, more mature role, she came out more like a stuck up brat. Hazel’s character overall just didn’t do it for me, but did help drive the story at parts and provide a little zest to the rest of the cast.


However, the cast members most of you are probably interested in are the dolphins Winter and Hope. Well Winter, like Sawyer, gets massive amounts of screen time, though in this installment her energy is a lot lower. Fans will get a number of scenes of the dolphin sulking under the board, with close ups of her eyes and missing tail. She is still just as cute as you remember her, but she lacks that playful edge many of us enjoyed. As for Hope, the cute little dolphin has the energy Winter is missing and her small size magnifies the joy she brings. However, she is only present near the last thirty minutes of the movie, and doesn’t have as much involvement with the cast as you might “hope” for. Her part felt rushed to me, and the big challenge they had to face was solved in a matter of minutes. The accomplishment surely makes her involvement in the movie worth it, but I was expecting more with the build-up from the trailers.


Overall Dolphin Tale 2 is a cute movie and does give off good vibes as the ending draws near. However, there are plenty of kid’s movies on the market to fill your time until it comes to home release. My recommendation is to skip this film for now and wait on the next Disney movie that might have a more engaging tale:


My scores are:


Drama Family: 7.5

Movie Overall: 6.0


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