Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dolphin Tale 2 continues the sweet, simple and inspiring story for all ages



Movie Title:    Dolphin Tale 2
PG, 1 hour 47 minutes

Grade: A-

In a Nutshell:   Admit it…the first time you went to Sea World, you wanted to be a marine biologist.  I think every kid has that fantasy at least once, right?  I know I did.  

A few years ago, I checked off one of the MANY items on my Bucket List: to swim with dolphins.  It was as AWESOME as I had imagined it would be.   You’d have to look really good in a wet suit to work at a marine center like that.  Have you ever tried one on?  EESH.  Be prepared for  lowered self-esteem.

If you didn’t see the first Dolphin Tale , you’ll be able to catch up with the story quickly enough.  You’ll probably want to see the first one after you see this one. The most compelling thing about this story is that it’s really true.  It’s such an inspiring story, told in an honest, sweet, and simple way that all ages will be touched.

The audience I joined was filled with young families who clapped at the end of the movie and even wiped away a tear or two.  To learn more about the true story behind both movies, go to www.seewinter.com

Uplifting theme: 
  • Young Sawyer, played by Nathan Gamble, says “We don’t know if dolphins feel the same emotions as we do: fear, sadness, joy, but it sure seems like it.”
  • Sawyer learns by experience and shares at the end of the movie “Because one door closes and another opens, life is full of possibilities.”
  • When trying to decide what to do, Sawyer tells others “I don’t want to look back on this and say we didn’t try.”  That’s great advice for all of us. 

Things I liked:
  • The fact that the story is true is what makes it so heart-warming.  While the closing credits ran after the movie ended, the audience was treated to videos of disabled veterans and handicapped children visiting the dolphin center in real life.  The impact that Winter (the disabled dolphin) has had on so many people is so touching.  Winter’s story is one of hope and perseverance and true love.
  • It seems like a lot of family movies lately are animated.  It’s refreshing to have a live-action family flick that is wholesome and appropriate for all ages.
  • The movie incorporated Bethany Hamilton, the surfer girl from Kauai who survived a shark attack when she was just 13 years old.  You can learn more about her true story in the movie Soul Surfer .  She’s not the most amazing actress, but she’s certainly an inspiring role model.  She also appeared in a Cosimin ad in the rolling stock before the movie began.
  • The pelican was adorable.  How did they train the cute creatures in this movie?!
  • The sea turtle was even more adorable.  I checked off another item on my Bucket List a few years ago when I got to put rescued baby turtles into the ocean.  Kinda weird that it was on my Bucket List, eh?  Singing with drunk Irishmen in a pub is also on my list.
  • I thought it was cute that they frequently showed the camera angle from the dolphins’ perspective during the movie.
  • Someone needs to write a book featuring all of the wise things Morgan Freeman has ever said in movies over the years.  He is great at playing the sidekick sage.
  • I like watching kids taking responsibility because they want to, not just because they have to.
  • I respected the decision the center had to make about whether or not to keep one of the rescued dolphins to be a friend for Winter.  Their motto was "Rescue, Rehab, and Release."  It's tough to fall in love with a creature and then have to say good-bye.
Things I didn’t like:
  • The beautiful ocean views reminded me that I live in the middle of the desert in Las Vegas.  Sheesh.  I used to live in gorgeous San Diego near the beach and loved every day I was there.  Hopefully life will take me back there some day.
  • I wish Harry Connick Junior could have figured out a way for his character to sing in the movie.
  • The movie runs a little slow and it isn’t any big surprise how it’s going to end, but it’s still an enjoyable, gentle journey.  No, it’s not a big action movie with special effects; it’s just a continuation of how the amazing true story continues to inspire. 

Interesting lines:
  • Dr. Clay Haskett (Harry Connick Jr.) says “You can’t just throw two dolphins in the water together!”  Um….why not? I thought that was a pretty silly thing to say, considering that’s how they live in the ocean.
  • A disabled vet visited the center to see Winter and asked “How come she’s not wearing her rig?”  Sawyer, who was giving him the tour, explained “She’s been kinda down lately.”  The wise grandpa responds “We all get that.”
  • “Sometimes you just have to make a decision.” – Lorraine (played by the beautiful Ashley Judd)
  • “Sometimes things have to be shaken up before they move ahead.” – Dr. McCarthy

Funny lines:
  • “That’s chicks talking trash through the fence.”  - Dr. McCarthy as he listened to the two female dolphins calling to each other

Tips for parents:   This is an extremely safe movie for all ages.  (aaaah)  The movie features a cool adventure program for high school students called “Sea Semester.”  If you’d like to know more, check out www.seasemester.com  and www.sea.edu  
There is a side story of young love, but it doesn’t show anything inappropriate and is very innocent.

If you missed the first part of the story, you can catch it now:
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