Movie day …. True story: “Dolphin Tale”!!

~~September 19, 2014~~

I have always been a sucker for dolphins. There is something about those “ever-smiling” sentient beings that attracts me. I think I perceive their intelligence, their ability to embody so many beautiful feelings. 

I heard the story about “Winter” the dolphin who sustained major damage to her tail. I saw the first movie a while ago and it touched my heart in a significant way. So much so, that we took a road trip to Clearwater, Florida …. to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see her. 



Dolphin Tale is a 2011 family drama film directed by Charles Martin Smith (his first directed film since 2008) from a screenplay by Karen Janszen and Noam Dromi and a book of the same name. It stars Nathan Gamble,Harry Connick, Jr., Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson and Morgan Freeman.

The book and film are inspired by the true story of Winter, a bottlenose dolphin that was rescued in December 2005 off the Florida coast and taken in by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Winter lost her tail after becoming entangled with a rope attached to a crab trap and was fitted with a prosthetic one. A sequel, Dolphin Tale 2 was released on September 12, 2014.

And its been announced that a Dolphin Tale 3 is possible.



One day Sawyer is biking along the beach when a fisherman (Richard Libertini), calls for help after finding an injured bottlenose dolphin tangled in a crab trap. The two call for assistance, and rescue workers from the Clearwater Marine Hospital, run by Dr. Clay Haskett (Harry Connick Jr.), take the injured dolphin for treatment. Clay’s daughter Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdorff) names the dolphin Winter, as two prior dolphins, Summer and Autumn, were successfully returned to the ocean, and thinks that using seasons as names will continue the streak. Soon afterwards, Sawyer sneaks into the hospital and bumps into Hazel where she allows Sawyer to see Winter. Clay initially does not approve of the arrangement since Sawyer is not trained or experienced in marine animal care, but after noticing that Winter responds well whenever Sawyer is around, he is permitted to visit.

Soon Sawyer, who was enrolled in summer school due to his failing or nearly failing all his classes during the year, starts skipping classes daily to visit Winter. Sawyer’s mother Lorraine (Ashley Judd) finds out about Sawyer skipping classes, but after seeing that Sawyer’s interaction with Winter has improved his moods and well-being, something Sawyer had not shown since being abandoned by his father who disappeared five years earlier, she withdraws him from summer school and agrees to let him to volunteer at the hospital.

Unfortunately, Winter’s tail is damaged and must be amputated.


Winter learns to swim without a tail by developing a side-to-side motion, like a fish, but after an x-ray Clay notices that the unnatural motion is causing stress on her spine; if continued the motion will eventually kill her. Later that day, Sawyer returns home to hear the news that Kyle has been injured in an explosion and is coming home for treatment. Sawyer wants Kyle to meet Winter and excitedly anticipates seeing him at a welcome-back party thrown by his aunt and uncle (Kyle’s parents and Lorraine’s sister Alice), but is devastated to learn that Kyle has skipped the party, preferring to stay at the local Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Sawyer and Lorraine go to visit Kyle who is working with Dr. Cameron McCarthy (Morgan Freeman) in the facility’s prosthetic lab.

To Sawyer’s surprise, Kyle is embarrassed to see them and even asks them to leave, which infuriates Sawyer. Kyle takes him on a walk and talks to Sawyer about his leg. Sawyer then asks Dr. McCarthy about a prosthetic tail for Winter. He agrees to work on the project during his upcoming vacation, and convinces his prosthetic supplier (Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, which supplies Winter’s real-life tails) to supply the parts at no cost. Dr. McCarthy manufactures a “homemade” model tail while waiting for the real one to arrive; however, Winter rejects it and destroys it by banging it against the pool wall.

And the rest, is history …. 

“As it appears in …. “


~~Dolphin Tale (2011) Movie Trailer~~

~~Published on Jun 15, 2011~~

A story centered on the friendship between a boy and a dolphin whose tail was lost in a crab trap. A wonderful story for the entire family.


Dolphin Tale 2 is a 2014 American family drama film written and directed by Charles Martin Smith and sequel to his 2011 film Dolphin Tale. Harry Connick, Jr., Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Kris Kristofferson, Morgan Freeman, Juliana Harkavy, Austin Stowell and Austin Highsmith all reprise their roles from the first film while Lee Karlinsky, Julia Jordan, and Bethany Hamilton join the cast. The film was released on September 12, 2014 and tells the story of another dolphin at the hospital named “Hope“.



Winter has a friend at CMA named Panama. Like Winter, Panama cannot return to the ocean. Panama is deaf and is quite old for a dolphin. She is expected to be at least 40 years old. It is alluded to that Panama has some health issues and it appears by Winter’s erratic actions that she is concerned about her dolphin friend. Sawyer is approached by a professor from Boston about joining an elite Semester at Sea program for three months. Only one high school student per year is selected for this program. It comes with a full scholarship and his family is excited for him to have this opportunity. Sawyer is unsure whether he wants to go, as he is concerned about leaving Winter for an extended period of time.

When Sawyer returns to the aquarium, Panama has been found lying in the bottom of her tank dead. Her death happened very quickly, but does not come as a complete surprise because of her advanced age. All employees of CMA are very upset. However, the death is the hardest on Winter. Winter stops eating much and refuses to wear her prosthetic tail. Her health starts to deteriorate for these reasons and tests show she is under stress.


An inspector for the USDA comes to visit CMA and check on the animals. He gives Dr. Clay a violation for keeping Winter in isolation and because of her deteriorating health. He issues as requirement that Dr. Clay matches Winter with another female dolphin within 30 days. In the meantime, Winter continues to be very unhappy. When Sawyer attempts to get her out of the tank for a new cast of her tail, Winter becomes aggressive and knocks into Sawyer, injuring his wrist and giving him a bruise on his face. Dr. Clay orders that Sawyer has to take a break from swimming with Winter.

Everyone at CMA stakes their hopes on Winter being paired together with Mandy in order to satisfy the USDA and improve Winter’s health. However, Mandy has improved greatly and has a clean bill of health. Dr. Clay says Mandy can be returned to the ocean. Dr. Clay’s daughter Hazel is unhappy because she doesn’t want Winter to be transferred. She wants Mandy to stay with Winter for a short period of time to keep her from being transferred, even though she can return to the ocean.

Dr. Clay makes clear that the goal of CMA is “Rescue, Rehabilitate, Release“, thus they cannot morally keep Mandy when she could return to the ocean. He has to make the call to return Mandy to the ocean, even though it becomes clear that doing so will cause Winter to be transferred to a marine park in Texas. Mandy is returned to the ocean and Hazel steps up to take a key role in her return.

And the rest …. you have to go see the movie!! 

“As it appears in …. “


~~Dolphin Tale 2 Official Trailer~~

~~Published on Jun 14, 2014~~

Dolphin Tale 2 Official #2 Trailer starring Ashley Judd, Mae Whitman, Morgan Freeman and directed by Charles Martin Smith.

The sequel to the 2011 film based on a true story of a boy’s efforts to save an injured dolphin.





This slideshow requires JavaScript.


We ALL are ONE!!