Friday, October 19, 2012

Making Heads of Dolphin Tale

"Dolphin Tale" (2011/Rated PG) Peanut is definitely my daughter. Not that there was any doubt. We have matching big toes, after all. But more and more, her traits resemble mine. This will make her a very popular troublemaker once high school rolls around. Not sure if I'm totally prepared for that, but there's plenty of time.

For now, let's focus on one of those similarities. Namely, Peanut's ability to become completely obsessed with an irrelevant detail in a movie. One could argue I did that when I recently wrote about the Lion King sequel. (I don't think so.) Perhaps a better example: my major pet peeve is when actors are drinking from coffee cups that are clearly empty. Happens on Grey's Anatomy all of the time. (Yes,  it's still on. And yes, I watch it. Don't judge.) No one holds or drinks coffee like that. Your cup is clearly empty, and you're bad at faking it. Why not just fill it halfway with water to make it appear more realistic? I am so obsessed with this - and Grey's is by far the biggest culprit (it's based in coffee-mecca Seattle, yo) - that I will rewind the DVR three or four times and analyze it like I'm John Madden with a telestrator. (The video in that link is hilarious, by the way.)

While watching Dolphin Tale, Peanut did the same thing. The main character, the boy who bonds with the injured dolphin, rides his bicycle everywhere. But he does so without a helmet. And Peanut just can't get over it. Every time this kid appears on the screen with his bicycle and without his helmet, Peanut will inevitably sing in her best superior tone, "Daddy. He is not. Wearing. A helmet. That's. Dangerous:"

Peanut's obsession

She has a point. Every time you put your kid on a bike, you have to suit them up like a hockey goaltender. And this punk is freestyling around the streets of Tampa with no head protection? What kind of message is this? (Faux outrage.)

You're a long way from Shawshank, pal.
As for the movie itself, this is not a great piece of cinema by any means. Morgan Freeman, for instance, does not belong here. How did he end up in this movie? Did he lose a bet? It is, however, a very nice film with a cute and inspiring message about a troubled boy who finds his way by helping to rehab this dolphin. Bonus: It's not a Disney or a princess movie. Double bonus: it's based on a true story.

You can't help but root for this little dolphin, named Winter, to swim again. Perhaps the best part: real footage of the actual Winter during the closing credits. And we showed Peanut Winter's website afterwards too. This was the first time she realized that movies aren't all make-believe. And despite the absence of a bike helmet, it was a nice way to introduce her to a real story told in a heartwarming way.

I will also remember this movie as the one we watched when Peanut woke up obnoxiously early the morning after our backyard camping adventure. I wrote about that here.


  1. Nobody likes to watch The Walking Dead with me. I can't just let those irrelevant details go and that show is FULL of them.

    And my daughter...she has the same gripe about drinking out of mugs.

    Okie dokie...adding this movie to our To Watch List now...

    1. Dude, you and I should definitely talk Walking Dead the day after. My Director and I LOVE that show. As for Dolphin Tale: definitely worth watching.

  2. I love Gilmore Girls, but it always annoyed me when they'd order food, have a few bites, and then leave, usually without paying. She's a single mom who can afford to eat out all the time. I doubt it, even running an inn. Does she have a tab at Luke's so she can just walk out without paying?

    My show was cancelled years ago and it still bugs me...probably because I still watch reruns.

  3. Walking Dead! Yes! And where are the bicycles there, anyway???

  4. We were down in Florida earlier this year and my girls got a chance to go and see the real Winter. Saw where they filmed the movie, took a tour of the place, and still talk about it today.


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