Inspired by the true story of a dolphin who lost her tail after getting trapped in a tangle of rope (and featuring the dolphin as herself), Dolphin Tale follows a young boy named Sawyer, who is prepared to spend an agonizing summer stuck in summer school. After finding a young dolphin stranded on the beach, Sawyer is quick to form a bond with the creature and devotes himself to encouraging her to heal (with the help and expertise of a local marine hospital).
Meanwhile, Sawyer’s older cousin returns home from the army with serious injuries and unable to walk, emotionally devastated that he must give up his dreams of becoming an olympic swimmer. But Sawyer hopes that the dolphin might raise his cousin’s spirit, while his cousin’s doctor might be able to create a prosthetic tale for the dolphin.
While perhaps animals do not have the mental capacity to feel sorry for themselves or feel bitter about not achieving life goals, it is easy to find inspiration in their natural tenacity to continue on regardless, reminding us that even when one must adjust to traumatic life changes, life itself is still a meaningful gift to be cherished.
Especially fun for animal lovers, Dolphin Tale is appropriate for the whole family.