Australian Council on Children and the Media

Dolphin Tale 2

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Short takes

Parental guidance recommended under 8 due to some upsetting scenes.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Dolphin Tale 2
  • a review of Dolphin Tale 2 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 7 October 2014.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Parental guidance recommended due to some upsetting scenes
Children aged 8 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Dolphin Tale 2
Classification: G
Length 108 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Dolphin Tale 2 continues the story of Winter, a young rescued dolphin who, with the aid of Dr Cameron McCarthy (Morgan Freeman), had a prosthetic tail attached after an injury left her fighting for her life. Winter’s companion dolphin at the aquarium now dies, leaving Winter entirely alone and isolated. In addition to the emotional trauma of this loss, the aquarium team have another problem to deal with. US regulations dictate that dolphins cannot be kept in captivity alone, and they are required to be paired with other animals of the same species due to their social nature.

The film follows the journey of the compassionate and determined Clearwater team in finding a companion for Winter to ensure she can stay at the marine resort. After a long fight, as Dr McCarthy redesigns multiple new, more realistic tails for Winter, a suitable partner who does not act aggressively toward Winter is found. As a result, the Clearwater team is able to keep Winter in captivity and maintain their friendship with a creature they have fought so hard to protect.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Relationships and friendship; loss and death; marine life; conflict

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is limited violence in this movie including:

  • After losing her companion, Winter becomes highly antisocial and even slightly violent towards other dolphins placed in captivity with her, as well as towards people (injuring Sawyer at one point).
  • There is a discussion about Bethany, a professional surfer, losing her arm in a shark attack.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Children in this age group may be upset by the scenes where Winter’s companion dolphin dies – she dies unexpectedly, there is a sad goodbye scene, and both Winter and the humans are very upset.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be upset by the death of Winter's companion.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There is mild flirtatious behaviour seen between Sawyer and Hazel.

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Use of substances

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

None of concern

In a nutshell

Dolphin Tale 2 is a heart-warming story about relationships, love, and triumph over obstacles. The film highlights the strength of relationships not only between humans, but also between different species of animals. It also shows the strength of the human spirit, the importance of persistence, and the determination of individuals when it comes to protecting and fighting for those that they love. The film additionally highlights the importance of not overlooking the strengths of people with disabilities, and the triumph of compassion and co-operation over individual disability.

Some scenes may be upsetting for under 8s, so the film is best suited to children 8 and over.

Parents may wish to discuss what the film shows us about:

  • The effects of keeping wild animals in captivity.
  • The issues involved in the rescue of animals.
  • Human disability, and how that may affect quality of life and interpersonal relationships.

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