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-Dolphin Tale

by Dr. D ~

*Now Available on DVD

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Review by Dana Chaffin

Dolphin Tale is now available on DVD at most movie retail stores (such as Best Buy, Target, and Wal-Mart) and at www.dolphintalemovie.com.

This film is based on the inspiring true story of Winter the dolphin and her amazing human rescuers from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA). Winter is an incredible little dolphin that never gave up even after losing her family and eventually her tail. She is an inspiration to those with disabilities and encourages everyone she meets. The entire family will love this movie for the amazing story, the outstanding cast, and the adorable animals.

Dolphin Tale is a very entertaining movie for the whole family to enjoy. It follows the true story of Winter, played by Winter, at the time of her rescue she was a 2 to 3 month old dolphin, that was rescued from being entangled in a crab trap. A fisherman spotted the dolphin and with the help of a boy, Sawyer played by Nathan Gamble (Marley & Me, The Dark Knight), passing by who calls for help. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) rescue team lead by Dr. Haskett played by Harry Connick, Jr. (Hope Floats, Will and Grace) takes the injured dolphin and cares for her at their Clearwater, Florida facility. Her tail had been wrapped so tight in the ropes and the damage was too severe that her tail would eventually be amputated. But that did not stop her, once strong enough she taught herself a different way to swim. The connection between Winter and Sawyer was special and both of them needed each other. Dr. Haskett’s young daughter, Hazel played by Cozi Zuehlsdorff, was quite a help to the CMA team and the recovery of Winter. She and Sawyer became good friends while going through the ups and downs of Winter’s ordeal. Sawyer’s mother, played by Ashley Judd (Simon Birch, A time to kill), saw the difference in him and finally approved of him skipping out of summer school to help with the dolphin. The team discovers that Winter’s new way of swimming is causing life threatening damage to her spine and they must find a way to correct it or she will die. That is when Sawyer finds a prosthetics Dr. from a nearby VA hospital, played by Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption, The Bucket List), to manufacture a prosthetic tail, which had never been done before. After several failed attempts would they have to give up? While this bunch of heroes are fighting to keep Winter alive the CMA is in dire financial stress and will be closing and the property sold if something does not happen fast. So can they save Winter and the CMA in time? You will have to watch the movie to find out, but I can tell you it will have you crying, laughing, and cheering for the team and Winter, the little dolphin that could!

In the movie Winter is the celebrity, but there are many other amazing stars at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA). Right now the facility is home to sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, otters and more. The CMA’s mission is to restore and preserve marine environment through education, research, and the rescue, rehabilitations and release of marine life. All of the animals at the facility got there because of an injury or illness. It is their goal to help each animal recover and release it back into the wild, but unfortunately not all of the animals are able to return so they become permanent residents and help with educating visitors. There is a 24 hour emergency stranding phone hotline and when a call is received, no matter what time, a dedicated team of staff and volunteers respond. Educational programs and summer camps are available for visitors at the Clearwater, Florida site, but there is also CMA L.I.V.E. a virtual educational program to reach classrooms all around the world. Part of the research program is a sea turtle nesting program to help sea turtle hatchlings make it safely to the water and ensure their survival. Since 2005 over 60,000 hatchlings have been released into the Gulf of Mexico. All of these programs are provided by CMA staff and their caring volunteers. To find out how YOU can help CMA &/or get involved visit their website www.seewinter.com or contact kmartin@cmaquarium.org for details.

Dolphin Tale is an inspirational and entertaining movie for any age. The entire family can get together for an awesome family night movie, but even the adults and teens will enjoy. It will leave viewers with a positive message of hope that anything is possible. Winter’s story is not over and she will continue to touch many more lives around the world.

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