On the surface, it looks like that Dolphin Tale 2 was produced simply because of the commercial success of the first movie. ‘Dolphin Tale’ (2011) was the inspiring true story of Winter, an injured dolphin that was able to swim again thanks to a prosthetic tail. This made her the ‘star of the show’ at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, as she is the reason behind the (financial) success of the CMA. This is the theme of the second movie.
Dolphin Tale 2 takes us back to Dr. Clay Haskett’s Clearwater Marine Aquarium with the same team from the previous movie, all dedicated to the ‘Rescue. Rehab. Release’ cause. We have Sawyer (Nathan Gamble) and Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdorff), still friends, but the oncoming puberty may suggest that there may be something more. We also have Sawyer’s mother ‘Ashley Judd’ along with Morgan Freeman, the prosthetic limb designer. Even the pelican Rufus has a reprising role in the movie, much to the delight of the fans.
The most amazing thing about the Dolphin Tale movies is that the makers haven’t tried to add even the slightest hint of anthropomorphism. Animals are shown what they are: independent living beings that have their own way of dealing with emotions, and these are mostly incomprehensible to us superior mammals.
It is illegal to keep dolphins alone in a tank. However, as Winter’s ‘surrogate mother’ passes away, the CMA is pressurized by investors to find another companion for her. They don’t want her released, for she is earning the institute a lot of revenue.
The rescuers do find an injured baby dolphin. The question is, will Winter accept her? Will the CMA finally have to let her go? And will Sawyer be able to move on in life, leaving his marine friend behind?
These are the questions that the movie asks. We are taken into the articulate, yet complicated mechanism of marine rescue. And we are told that dolphins, no matter how loveable, are not our pets. They are wild animals, and have the right to be respected as such.
Photo courtesy: Dolphin Tale 2