Australian Council on Children and the Media

Dolphin Tale

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What age is this for?

Age
0-5
5-6
7-8
8-13
13+

Classification

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What’s it about?

This is a true story about a dolphin called Winter who gets washed up on a beach, caught up and trapped in ropes. She’s found by a young boy called Sawyer who’s riding past on his bike to school when he hears a fisherman’s cries for help. He goes down to the beach and while they wait for help to come, Sawyer tries to cut through the ropes and talks gently to the dolphin.  Winter is taken to a Marine Aquarium where Sawyer is not allowed in at first.

Winter isn’t doing very well and won’t feed from a bottle but when she hears Sawyer’s voice she responds to this and so the keepers let him in. Winter lets Sawyer feed her and she starts her recovery. Unfortunately, her tail which was badly damaged has to be amputated and for a while it looks like she won’t pull through. With great care and determination by Sawyer, Winter does recover with an artificial tail and becomes quite an inspiration to many people.

What to look out for

There are some scenes in this movie that younger kids might find upsetting such as:

  • Winter is shown tangled up in ropes and with blood on her mouth and tail.
  • Hazel (the daughter of the marine park owner) is very distressed and is seen in tears when she learns that Winter has to have her tail amputated
  • At the end of the movie there is real life footage showing many disabled children and adults with artificial limbs, who come to visit Winter at the marine park.

Moral of the Story

The message of the story is that having something wrong with you doesn’t have to stop you reaching your dreams.

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