Curious Case of Dolphin Bay, The

image for Curious Case of Dolphin Bay, The

Short takes

Not suitable under 6; not recommended under 8; parental guidance to 10 (scary scenes, lack of interest for younger viewers)

classification logo

This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Curious Case of Dolphin Bay, The
  • a review of Curious Case of Dolphin Bay, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 27 September 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not suitable due to scary scenes and lack of interest.
Children aged 6–7 Not recommended due to scary scenes and lack of interest.
Children aged 8–10 Parental guidance recommended due to scary scenes and lack of interest.
Children over the age of 10 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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Curious Case of Dolphin Bay, The
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: General
Length: 86 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Fifteen-year-old Quinn (Izabela Rose) has been missing her best friend Daniella (Ella Proberts), who left the US with her father, marine biologist Charlie, (Rowan Chapman) to manage a dolphin research centre in Queensland, Australia. When Quinn gets the opportunity to go and stay with Daniella and Charlie, she is incredibly excited, particularly as she is also very interested in the reef and its biodiversity. When Quinn arrives, however, she finds she is one of four interns who will be taking a course in the ecology of Dolphin Bay. Quinn is disappointed to find that Daniella has a new best friend, Jennifer (Allegra Teo), who, along with Teddy (Jayden McGinlay), make up the other two interns.

Quinn feels rejected by Daniella and so makes friends with Teddy, a son of a British diplomat, who runs a YouTube channel called Ted Head. Teddy confides in Quinn that he isn’t really there to learn about the reef but instead is looking for long lost family treasure. His ancestor’s ship sank off the coast of Dolphin Bay many years ago and Teddy wants to be the one to find the treasure.


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.

Ghosts; Supernatural.

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 little violence in this movie, including:

  • A man locks Quinn and Teddy in the bottom of a boat.
  • Daniella pushes a character into the ocean.

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.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Teddy is frightened by a large lizard inside a cave.
  • Several scenes have thunder and lightning cracking.

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.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • While the teenagers sit outside in the dark around a campfire, a man tells a story about the ghost of an Everly Fallow, who died 50 years ago. It is said Fallow’s ghost can be seen on a full moon.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Quinn and Teddy are both woken by noises they hear in the night. They go to investigate. Scary music plays and, when a door opens suddenly, they all scream.
  • Teddy and Quinn use a Ouija board to contact the spirits.
  • Quinn and Teddy think they see the ghost of Fallow one night.
  • Teddy’s phone, which he lost in the cave, suddenly reappears outside his bedroom door.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Mild flirtation between Daniella, Jennifer and two boys they arrange to meet.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Bloody.

In a nutshell

The Curious Case of Dolphin Bay is an adventure mystery movie, mainly aimed at older children and tweens. There is some stunning cinematography showing the pristine, clear waters of South East Queensland, both above and under the water. This is a family movie and while there is little violence, there are a few scary scenes. Also, the main actors are teenagers and this is the age group who are most likely to enjoy this movie. It is, therefore, not recommended for children under 8 and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 8 to 10.

The main messages from this movie are to face up to your fears and to try and see things from another perspective.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Adventure
  • Kindness
  • Forgiveness.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • It isn’t clear whether Daniella and Jennifer knew the boys before they arranged to meet them on their phones. It appears that Daniella might have known one of them, however, it might be an opportunity to discuss how to stay safe online and not to meet up with people you don’t know.