dolphintale2The Tale of a Tail
Dolphin Tale 2
Stars: Winter the Dolphin, Hope the Dolphin, Harry Connick, Jr., Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble, Kris Kristofferson, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Morgan Freeman, Denisea Wilson and Bethany Hamilton
Director/Scriptwriter: Charles Martin Smith
Composer: Rachel Portman
Cinematography: Daryn Okada
Rating: PG for themed material including animals in jeopardy and emotional moments
Running Length: 107 Minutes
The southern sea coast is supposed to be the sunniest part of the U.S., but as we saw in “Dolphin Tale,” hurricanes can cause havoc for humans and sea mammals. Now, the story of Winter, the dolphin-without-a-tail, continues at the Clearwater Aquarium and there are other problems besides storms in “Dolphin Tale 2.”  The cast returns with Harry Connick, Jr. as Dr. Haskett, his daughter, Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdorf), Sawyer (Nathan Gamble, the boy who first found Winter), his Mom (Ashley Judd), Sawyer’s cousin, Kyle (Austin Stowell) and your friendly neighborhood professor, Dr. McCarthy (Morgan Freeman in yet another role of dispensing advice.) 
As Winter’s story continues, we find that the government (USDA)  has an edict about dolphins in captivity and there should always  be two of them (companionship.) Winter has a friend named Panama. We also have a chance to meet Bethany Hamilton, the famed surfer who lost an arm. There is a tragic time and Winter ends up alone and depressed (dolphins are intelligent), even hiding in her pool and not eating. When people try to coax her to feed, she becomes aggressive and the government steps in. Find her a friend in 30 days or Winter goes to another facility. What to do?
Along with this story, are the ones about humans. Sawyer is trying to decide whether to stay at the facility or go to college, Hazel wants attention from her Dad and Sawyer, and the time arrives for Winter’s transfer. Last minute? Here comes a baby dolphin for rehab and you can read between the lines here. There are also scenes of Winter getting a new, artificial tail as she grows and matures, and the problems involved with this new part of helping injured animals. Winter is the center of attention for un-injured humans and injured humans. The end of the film tells what continues at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
There are humorous moments in “Dolphin Tale 2,” mostly provided by a pelican. It is always a joke to splash humans with water. Treating aquatic mammals is a special gift and what to do with them when they are wounded is a test of abilities. Winter’s wound in “Dolphin Tale” was caused by being caught in a lobster trap. As such, “Dolphin Tale 2” makes a point about what dangers sea mammals face in the wild. The story goes from scene to scene either in or by the pool where dolphins try to interact to humans and their problems trying to interact with each other. Human acting is average and Morgan Freeman says the same thing from movie to movie (reference “Transcendence” or “Lucy.”) Photography is fine and so is the soundtrack by none other than Rachel Portman.
Because of certain parts of the story, this film is better for children over age 6.
All of this poses a question, though and that is about Noah and the Ark…….Russell Crowe didn't answer this one, but where were the dolphins and whales?  Just asking…..
Copyright 2014 Marie Asner
For more film reviews of water sports read the following:
Soul Surfer (Bethany Hamilton)
(the upcoming story of Ian McCormack)
"The Perfect Wave"  (DVD release and review 9/16/14)