It is based on a true story set on the Florida West Coast. In terms of story and character development, this film is an improvement over the original Dolphin Tale. It is far less gimmicky. Writer/ Director Charlie Martin Smith has crafted an entertaining story with truthful emotional transitions from grief to personal triumph for dolphin, bird, sea turtle and humans seeking salvation.
It is business as usual at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Boss Dr. Clay Haskett (Harry Connick Jr.) retains the mission statement of “Rescue, Rehab, Release.” With Winter (the amputee dolphin heroine from the first movie) being utilized as a major tourist attraction, Dr. Clay employs his daughter, Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdorff) and Sawyer (Nathan Gamble) as capable research assistants.
Being a social creature, Winter suffers from grief when her “roommate” dies. Marine Biologists agree that Winter needs the social interaction to survive. When college recruiters witness Sawyer’s attention to Winter’s medical needs, they award the Marine Biologist prodigy a full scholarship. As these two dramas play themselves out, one realizes that Dolphin Tale 2 is a universal drama about an individual’s rite of passage. Parents – this is a GOOD family film. It is better than what current box office totals have revealed.