Dolphin Tale is inspired by the amazing true story of a brave dolphin and the compassionate people who banded together to save her life. The characters in the story are Dr. Clay Haskett (Connick, Jr.), who runs the Clearwater Marine Hospital; Lorraine Nelson (Judd), a single mother; Sawyer (Gamble), who frees Winter from the trap and forms a unique connection with the dolphin; Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdoriff), Clay''s daughter, who befriends Sawyer; Clay's father Reed (Kristofferson); and Dr. Cameron McCarthy (Freeman), who takes on the seemingly impossible task of crafting a prosthetic tail for Winter. (Gary Reber)
Special features include the featurettes The Hutash Rainbow Bridge (HD 02:26), At Home With Winter (HD 13:22), Dolphin Tale: Spotlight On A Scene (HD 07:17), and Winter's Inspiration (HD 18:08); the original animated short Ormie And The Cookie Jar (HD 03:59); a deleted scene: "Winter Meets Panama" (HD 02:21); a gag reel (HD 02:49); and up-front previews.
The 1.78:1 1080p MVC 3-D picture was shot natively with Red One digital cameras and Paradise X 3D Rigs. The benefits of native 3-D production are evident in the perfectly natural sense of spatial depth and perspective and never appear exaggerated or deficient. The water-based sequences are amazingly realistic, which is seemingly remarkable given the incidence of split-second reflections and refractions. The color palette is strongly saturated with bold and vivid hues. Contrast is pushed but blacks remain deep and solid, and shadow delineation is generally revealing. Resolution is excellent, with finely rendered facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. Overall, this is a well-produced, virtually ghost-free, non-gimmicky natural 3-D visual experience. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is conventionally produced with a generally frontal focus. While dialogue-driven, the music score and the occasional special effects, as well as location atmospherics, provide subtle surround envelopment. Dialogue is always intelligible and at times nicely integrated spatially. Low-frequency energy is essentially limited to providing a natural foundation to the music score and occasional Dolphin tail flap. While not a spectacular soundtrack, the sonics are pleasing and nicely supportive. (Gary Reber)