Dolphin Tale (2011)



Critic Consensus: Wisely dialing down the schmaltz, Dolphin Tale is earnest, sweet, and well-told, a rare family film that both kids and parents can enjoy.

Movie Info

Dolphin Tale is inspired by the amazing true story of a brave dolphin and the compassionate strangers who banded together to save her life. Swimming free, a young dolphin is caught in a crab trap, severely damaging her tail. She is rescued and transported to the Clearwater Marine Hospital, where she is named Winter. But her fight for survival has just begun. Without a tail, Winter's prognosis is dire. It will take the expertise of a dedicated marine biologist, the ingenuity of a brilliant … More

Rating: PG (for some mild thematic elements)
Genre: Drama, Kids & Family
Directed By:
Written By: Noam Dromi, Karen Janszen, Charles Martin Smith
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 20, 2011
Box Office: $72.3M
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


as Lorraine Nelson

as Sawyer Nelson

as Reed Haskett

as Hazel Haskett

as Dr. Cameron McCarthy

as Kyle Connellan

as Gloria Forrest

as Dr. Clay Haskett

as Brittany

as Max Connellan

as Alyce Connellan

as Donovan Peck

as Fisherman

as Mr. Doyle

as Sandra Sinclair

as Philip J. Hordern

as Coach Vansky

as Board Member Fitch

as Board Member Marx

as Board Member Christi...

as Virginia

as Little Girl in Wheel...

as Little Girl's Mother

as Veteran Tim

as Veteran Mike

as Prosthetic Consultan...

as Kyle's Friend

as Hordern Grandchild

as Winter

as Winter Trainer

as Panama Trainer

as Dolphin Trainer
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Dolphin Tale

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Critic Reviews for Dolphin Tale

All Critics (106) | Top Critics (30)

It just wants to make you leave the theater in a good mood. It certainly accomplishes that.

Full Review… | June 22, 2013

Dolphin Tale, an inspirational tale about a Little Dolphin Who Could, will swim into your heart despite some melodrama and predictability.

Full Review… | February 11, 2013
We Got This Covered

Middle-of-the-road milquetoast.

Full Review… | April 6, 2012

It's an earnest, sweet film that relies on the extraordinary true story of Winter, the rescued dolphin, and little on manipulative Hollywood tricks.

Full Review… | January 5, 2012

When I write the "Cookie Awards" in my annual Oscar-season column for the Quad-City Times, I always include this category: Most Embarrassing Crying Spell. There is no question which movie will 'win' the award. I bawled when I watched 'Dolphin Tale.'

Full Review… | December 22, 2011
KWQC-TV (Iowa)

In the hands of actor-turned-director Charles Martin Smith, this kid-centric drama provides a welcome family option with positive values and a minimum of frantic, noisy CGI. It's a tale told on a human (and animal) scale.

Full Review… | December 22, 2011
Groucho Reviews

Audience Reviews for Dolphin Tale

Inspired by the amazing true story of Winter

Good inspirational movie!I highly recommend this movie for any family, especially anyone with a disability. And as far as the barely believable and possibly sappy plot, sometime real life is like that and that is a good thing!

A lonely and friendless boy finds and untangles a hurt dolphin that is caught in a crab trap. He becomes very attached to the dolphin when the tail must be taken off to save the dolphin's life. The boy believes the dolphin would be able to swim normally if it was given a prosthetic tail.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer


This movie seemed a bit like this generations, 'Free Willy', I caught a lot of the same ideas and overall family friendly feel in it. Of course, this movie was inspired by a true story, so not sure what all was legit and what all was added drama but the overall conclusion was it was a decent-family friend feel with a great message to be told.

Dolphin Tale focuses on a rescued Dolphin befriended by a boy who discovers it wrapped up in a net on the beach. The boy, struggling with his own problems in life, finds solitude in his time with the Dolphin forming a bond between them that helps them both continue on and keep fighting the hardships of life thrust in their direction.

An attempt at a bionic tale (which obviously eventually works) is the core of the movie, the message, is the struggle for those with handicaps and over-coming odds in life no matter what they are. I thought the message for children especially, those with disabilities, who can find some type of encouragement and hope through this film was amazing and that's what won me over in a family-friendly film that typically wouldn't catch my mind or time.

It wasn't the greatest acting, wasn't the greatest movie, in fact as a movie by itself I am not sure it stands up to many others very well but the overall but the overall message and reality behind the story is what really stood out to me. It's a sloppy movie for a true movie critic, but, its inspiration and a feel good film, especially for children. So for that, it's not for all, but is for some...average on my rating scale...

Bobby Hobbs

Super Reviewer

Starring Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, and Morgan Freeman, "Dolphin Tale" is exactly what you would expect. It's a movie about a boy(Nathan Gamble) who befriends an injured dolphin. The dolphin loses it's tail, and the boy then sets off to get help to get the dolphin a prostetic tail. It's a cross between "Soul Surfer" and "Free Willy". Total family movie, that runs too long and is borderline boring in some parts, but overall it's decent. The performances are good, the dolphin is cool, and the effects are well done. The movie is obviously made for 3D, but I only watched it in 2D on Blu Ray, and it still looks beautiful. That being said, not a movie I will probably watch again, but still okay enough for one watch.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

Dolphin Tale Quotes

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– Submitted by Alyssa B (12 months ago)
– Submitted by Mark P (3 years ago)
– Submitted by John B (3 years ago)

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