BIRMINGHAM (WWJ) – Dolphin Tale is one “feel good” movie. It’s inspired by the amazing true story of a young dolphin named Winter who gets caught in a crab trap – severely damaging her tail – and the loving and dedicated people who banded together to save her life.

Starring Nathan Gamble in the role of Sawyer Nelson – the young boy who frees Winter from the trap – Dolphin Tale also centers around Sawyer, who is really shy and doesn’t have any friends. He’s also failing in school. It’s Sawyer’s relationship with Winter that turns his life around. After seeing Winter caught in the trap, Sawyer summons up the courage to approach her and cuts the ropes binding her mouth and tail. From that moment on, the two have a unique bond.

Also central to the story are Harry Connick, Jr., who stars as Dr. Clay Haskett, who runs the Clearwater Marine Hospital where Winter is taken to begin her fight for survival; Ashley Judd as single mom Lorraine Nelson, Sawyer’s mother; Cozi Zuehlsdorff as Hazel, Clay’s daughter, who befriends Sawyer; Kris Kristofferson as Clay’s father, Reed; and Oscar ® winner Morgan Freeman as Dr. Cameron McCarthy, who takes on the seemingly impossible task of crafting a prosthetic tail for Winter.

The filmmakers describe landing Freeman as a “casting coup.” Producer Broderick Johnson says, “Morgan is one of the greats of cinema and a personal hero. We’re all huge fans of his, so it was extraordinary to have him in the movie.”

As for Freeman, he says he was thrilled to be a part or the project because of the script and the chance to work, once again, with Ashley Judd. “I’ve loved Ashley from the first time we worked together; she is one of the precious people in my life. I also thought it was a lovely story and a nice part.”

A lovely story indeed. And one that just might lead you to shed a tear or two, but also find you cheering at the end.

Dolphin Tale is rated PG so it’s family friendly, and it’s definitely a film the entire family will enjoy. And, after seeing the movie, you just might be inspired to visit Winter at her home at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

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Check out the trailer below and I’ll see you at the movies!

Follow Terri on Twitter @TerriJLee


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