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Dolphin Tale 2 Movie Review

Reviewed by on Sep 12, 2014
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld was invited to Clearwater, Florida where the film was shot to mingle with the cast and watch “Dolphin Tale 2” early. Check out our review!

By: Lynn Barker

At the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, things are changing bigtime. Popular dolphin Winter, she of the cool prosthetic tail, is mourning her poolmate Panama, human pals Hazel and Sawyer are teens facing new feelings and changes of their own and resident pelican Rufus is in love……with a turtle.

Hazel tries to control RufusHazel tries to control RufusCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Typical Day at Clearwater Aquarium

Dolphin Mandy is found beached on a sandbar and it is Sawyer (Nathan Gamble), his cousin Kyle (Austin Stowell) and head Coldwater Marine Aquarium trainer Phoebe (Austin Highsmith) to the rescue. Hazel Haskett (Cozi Zuehlsdorff) shoots video of the rescue. Sawyer speaks to a gathering of volunteers and Rufus the wayward pelican is busy chasing visitors and snatching their purses and stuffed toys.

Sawyer speaks to aquarium volunteersSawyer speaks to aquarium volunteersCourtesy of Warner Bros.

An Offer That Can’t be Refused?

Via Kyle, who is now going to Boston University, Sawyer is offered a study semester (three months) on a Caribbean wildlife cruise, the only high schooler invited! He is stoked but returns to the aquarium to find that Winter’s poolmate, elderly dolphin Panama has died. Winter is in mourning and not eating. Hazel and Sawyer mourn too. The aquarium “shows” involving Winter are cancelled. Winter needs a new poolmate. Perhaps new dolphin Mandy?

Sawyer and Clay Haskett worry about WinterSawyer and Clay Haskett worry about WinterCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Rufus in Love and a Dreaded Deadline

Pesky but beloved pelican Rufus finds a turtle caught in fishing line under the dock. She is rescued and taken to the vet. Meanwhile Dr. McCarthy (Morgan Freeman) has a new tail for Winter but she injures Sawyer when they try to take her out of the water. Sawyer wants to go on the cool ocean study trip but can’t leave Winter, especially when a USDA worker tells Hazel’s dad Clay (Harry Connick Jr.) that, unless a suitable poolmate can be found for Winter in 30 days, she will have to be relocated to another aquarium!

Hazel, Sawyer and staff try to heal turtle MavisHazel, Sawyer and staff try to heal turtle MavisCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Rescue, Rehabilitate, Release

Rescued dolphin Mandy has now recovered and, according to the aquarium’s credo, she must be released into the wild. Winter, with her vulnerable tail, can never be released. The hunt is on for a poolmate for Winter. As the time for the study cruise grows near, Sawyer realizes that he has to go when Dr. McCarthy tells him that sometimes, you have to shake life up to get it going. There is a bon voyage party for him. Word comes in that an orphaned baby dolphin needs rescue. Will the tiny dolphin, named Hope by Hazel, be saved and then, perhaps be Winter’s new poolmate before it is too late?

USDA officer (Charlie Martin Smith) tells Clay (Harry Connick Jr.) Winter must be movedUSDA officer (Charlie Martin Smith) tells Clay (Harry Connick Jr.) Winter must be movedCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Wrapping Up

After making Dolphin Tale, very few cast members or filmmakers thought there could be a story for a sequel when real life provided them one. Panama, Winter’s elderly poolmate did pass on and she needed a new poolmate (dolphins are terribly unhappy and unhealthy living alone). Little orphaned Hope was the answer and a story sequel was hatched.

Sawyer's mom (Ashley Judd) is thrilled about the semester at sea offerSawyer's mom (Ashley Judd) is thrilled about the semester at sea offerCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Dolphin Tale 2 is, perhaps better than the original film in that its themes hit home with all ages. The movie is about change and the shake ups that life deals us, especially as teenagers when just about everything in our lives is changing. Do you buck up and move on, taking on new challenges or stall and die? 

Dr. McCarthy (Morgan Freeman) arrives with Winter's improved tailDr. McCarthy (Morgan Freeman) arrives with Winter's improved tailCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Actors Nathan Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorff have morphed from tween to teen very nicely and fit their roles perfectly. The original cast is all back and the film flows smoothly from first to second storyline. Great job writer/director Charlie Martin Smith! Although silly and obvious at times, the comic relief duo Rufus the pelican and Mavis the rescued turtle provide sweet giggles and balance out the more tragic moments in the film.

Hope (left) with her buddy WinterHope (left) with her buddy WinterCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Stick around for the credits at the end of the film to see the real-life rescue of little Hope and view more handicapped kids and adults visiting and being inspired by brave Winter and her new pal Hope. We go 4 stars.

Dolphin Tale 2 Movie Rating: 4

Dolphin Tale 2 PosterDolphin Tale 2 PosterCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Dolphin Tale 2 is in theaters now!


Have Your Say

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