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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on October 15, 2011
This is a truly BEAUTIFUL movie my husband and I went to see just this evening. It is based on the true story of a dolphin washed up on shore who lost its tail and almost lost its life. It is also about the love affair of a young boy and a sea animal he bonded with and would not give up on. I have never seen a movie that made me cry, made me laugh and made feel SO GOOD I went to see it all at the same time. The underwater photography in several parts of the movie is incredible. You FEEL like you are under the water with "Winter" the disabled dolphin and her young rescuer. The acting is superb, the characters believable and the story line sublime. I just can't get over how much I enjoyed this movie. I am a social worker by profession and a caring human being by nature and to see this incredible animal inspire young children and disabled veterans of war was one of the most moving experiences I have EVER had in my fifty-seven years of life. Go see it, purchase the DVD and enjoy for yourself. You will NOT regret it! It will stay with you for the rest of your life!
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A whale of a tale, but not a tale of a whale. Based on a true story, Dolphin Tale relates the story of real dolphin named Winter, and a young boy named Sawyer who rescues him when his tail gets caught in a lobster trap. It follows somewhat in the tradition of Flipper, and Free Willy.

As the movie begins Sawyer is a withdrawn 12 year old. As the movie progresses we understand why.

At a going away party for his cousin, a soldier and former swimming champion Kyle, Sawyer would rather be alone in the garage indulging a hobby than out swimming. His cousin encourages him to be more social.

When he rescues the dolphin he meets a young girl named Hazel. Ultimately, the encounter awakens in him a curiosity, and a purpose, and the dolphin and he form a special bond. He helps to heal the dolphin, and the dolphin helps to heal him, and you can see how he becomes more confident and outgoing. In his quest to help Winter, he encounters a prosthetic maker played by Morgan Freeman, and when the dolphin loses his tale finds ways to fashion a new prosthetic one. I must admit that I thought at times I was watching a special effects dolphin, but it turns out that it was the real dolphin, which added even more to the experience.

Along the way there are many adventures, and twists and turns, which bring heartwarming moments, and gripping and inspiring moments. When his cousin returns from war, he too is withdrawn. Kyle encourages him to be more social. Ultimately, anyone who comes in contact with Winter becomes inspired, and that includes the viewer, and a territorial pelican provides many moments of comic relief.

I consider this an outstanding movie, sure to be enjoyed by the whole family, not just for the children.

I particularly liked how whatever happened, the children were able to be proactive, and solve whatever problem came up. This included fundraising to save the dolphin, and quite creative and resourceful solutions. Undoubtedly, this will inspire many children to be the same way, and think and act for themselves. The real dolphin encouraged real people to overcome their perceived limitations.

The movie has a great cast of established stars including Ashley Judd, who was inpsired by the script, and really wanted to be part of it, Harry Connick Jr, and Kris Kristofferson. The movie belongs to the kids, with great central performances by Nathan Gamble as Sawyer and Cozy Z as Hazel.

So, ultimately whether it's a real tail, a prosthetic tail, or no tail, if you're like me, Winter's Tale will inspire you.

I think you will love it, and I hope this review was helpful.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 20, 2012
Sawyer (Nathan Gamble), a depressed and withdrawn 11-year old, helps rescue a dolphin who washed ashore after being injured in a crab trap. The dolphin is nursed back to health at a marine animal rescue hospital, but an infection results in the loss of her tail. Without a tail, she swims awkwardly, which could permanently damage her spine. Can she be saved in time?

Well, of course she can, as this family-friendly PG movie is based on a true story. (The part of the tailless dolphin is played by the real-life, "Winter." This is a wholesome movie with many stars, but I think the writer went overboard creating unnecessary characters, cutesy situations, and conflict.


The movie focuses on Sawyer, who has trouble with his teacher; Sawyer's beloved cousin, injured in an unnamed war, has a rehab doctor who fashions the dolphins new prosthetic tail; the animal hospital is in danger of being being bought out by a land developer. The problem is, none of that really happened and it all seems very contrived, predictable, and often dull. (I fell asleep in the middle.) I would have enjoyed a 30-minute documentary with the real people who saved the dolphin much more than this fictionalized movie which wastes the talents of Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, and Kris Kristofferson. I think it's too long for children and there should have been more scenes with Winter.

All in all, it's just an okay movie.
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on May 24, 2013
This is a wonderful movie for all ages though with real young children a parent should be present to explain certain senes. The movie is based on the real life of "Winter" a Dolphin who was found beached with a very injured tail that had to be amputed. The next hurdle was to see if they could fit her with a prostheses that would allow her to live her life as God had made her in the first place.

The movie is great and the story is amazing. I highly recomend this movie for all ages and I'm over 65 and love it.
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on July 1, 2013
Again, the delivery was very prompt and the jacket in excellent condition, well-kept. I enjoyed this movie so much watching humans almost living up to the potential with which God endowed them in trying desperately to improve the quality of life for this dolphin. I love seeing people at their 'best'. I love animals and nature. Thank you to for having this movie available when I could no longer find it on the shelf.
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on October 28, 2014
This movie is amazing and is for all ages - not just children. It is very positive and the ending is fabulous - I loved it! I won't say more because it will spoil it but this is totally worth it. I was especially affected by the scenes in the VA hospital and the trials with Winter but it sends the message loud and clear - don't ever give up. Persevere and you will get a far greater reward than you thought possible!
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on May 9, 2014
Totally enjoyed it. I would recommend it to any family. Gives opportunity to parents to teach and discuss important lessons to their children like perseverance, ingenuity, adaptability, etc. Based on a real story and it enhances love and respect for dolphins and creatures in general.
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on January 9, 2012
What a truly happy story you will absolutely adore this movie!!!! It is a true story! I recommend you definitely own this movie and pass it along to friends to watch this movie. It is an amazing story.
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on February 25, 2015
My grand daughters (2 & 3) love this movie but the pelican is "bad". Had to skip the pool party section and a couple others as there were no animals but the story didn't suffer. Great show.
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on February 14, 2012
It is a little sentimental in parts for me, but my two children aged 4 and 2 love this film. It is very much a =very good family movie and a very enjoyable film that can enjoyed several times.
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