Kidzworld is On the Set of Dolphin Tale!

We’re visiting with Winter the dolphin and her actor friends on set in Florida!

Kidzworld went to sunny Clearwater, Florida to meet Winter, the remarkable dolphin who, as a baby, got her tail caught in a crab trap. Unable to swim and dying, she was brought to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium where workers worked diligently to keep her alive and nurse her back to health.

Images courtesy of Warner Bros/Alcon Entertainment

When Winter’s injured tail fell off, her medical team thought she was doomed until a man with a prosthetics company volunteered to make her a tail. There were several versions until the perfect tail was developed. Now Winter, who still resides at the aquarium, can swim and leap with the best of her pals. The research has also helped human patients who have lost limbs.

Alcon Entertainment and Warner Brothers decided to bring Winter’s tale to the screen and we’re at the aquarium to watch the action with director Charles Martin Smith and actors Morgan Freeman and Harry Connick Jr. We meet young actress Austin Highsmith who plays Phoebe, one of Winter’s trainers, and teen actors Nathan Gamble, who plays Sawyer, Ashley Judd’s son who discovers the injured dolphin in the movie, and newcomer Cozi Zuehlsdorff who plays Harry Connick’s daughter, interact in a tank with the real Winter and a really convincing animatronic version of her made by special effects wizards at KNB in L.A. They affectionately call her “Robo-Winter”.

Cutest thing ever? We see Winter in an adjoining tank, watching Harry and Nathan do a scene with her animatronic stand-in and she doesn’t like it! She is poking her little bottle nose as close as possible to the action, watching every minute and wiggling. “Hey, I’m the star! Why is that lookalike doing my scene?”

Later, on “land” at the edge of the tank, Morgan Freeman, playing the fellow who invents the “fake” tail, is showing the first version to Harry Connick who plays Clay, a Marine Biologist at the aquarium. Morgan’s character says he made the tail from “parts of an old Buick”. We think he’s kidding but the device is so weird-looking, we’re not sure!

Fascinated by Winter, we watch her interact with an older buddy dolphin named Panama and note that even without her tail prosthesis, she can wiggle through the water quite well. Leaping is out of the question but the prosthesis lets her accomplish even that.

Fun facts learned on set: Morgan Freeman is passionate about ocean conservation. Harry Connick jokes that Winter is a diva but not as much as Morgan Freeman. Nathan said that Winter “reads people’s auras” and Cozi says Winter’s skin feels “like a 3-D bookmark”.

Delighted with meeting Winter and watching the love and care going into the 3-D adventure, we buy a “Winter” t-shirt from the aquarium gift shop to support Winter’s care and look forward to seeing her “tale” in theaters this September. Keep checking back for on set interviews and more aquatic fun as we get closer to September.

By: Lynn Barker


readers voted!



bell36 wrote:

winter is so cute :)
commented: Sun Aug 03, 2014


makayla0805 wrote:

winter is sooo c ute it just needs rules lol :)
commented: Sun Sep 11, 2011

winter is so cute i am happy it was saved
commented: Tue Jul 26, 2011

there are 10 more comments

Please login or register to add comments

share with your friends

Twitter Facebook Myspace Digg

like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like!

latest videos


What Is A Baby Dolphin Called?

  • A kid.
  • A baby dolphin, duh!
  • A calf.
  • A colt.

related stories

Ride the Waves with THE DOLPHIN: STORY OF A DREAMER now available. Watch this Exclusive Clip!
OCEANS! Activity Sheets for Disneynature OCEANS!!
Imagine getting paid to work with one of the world’s most gentle and intelligent creatures. Dolph...

Entertainment in the forums

MoonlightEyes posted in Movies:
Beauty and the beast.
reply 2 minutes
-Karpov- posted in Movies:
2010: The Year We Make Contact
reply about 2 hours
Cadena posted in Movies:
Saw VI. :D
reply about 6 hours
team_mean posted in Movies:
that was a good movie
reply about 6 hours
AlphaT posted in Movies:
reply about 6 hours

play online games


A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...


Intriguing planets, weird and wonderful characters; challenge friends and find a...


When you go back to Candyland, you’ll wonder why you ever left in the first plac...


Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...


Shoot blobs with different properies to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be re...