Fun family fare. What’s not to like as there’s a cute young boy, a dolphin and plenty of beautiful scenery? Sure it is cheesy at times, but is a perfect film to sit down and watch with the young ones without worrying about anything controversial happening. Though maybe the bad guy is a little frightening at times for the real young ones.
The Ricks are getting a divorce. Mrs. Ricks decides that a change of scenery would be a good idea for her son. Sandy Ricks (Elijah Wood – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring) is sent by his mother to spend the summer with his Uncle Porter (Paul Hogan – Crocodile Dundee, Almost an Angel) in the Florida keys. Less than thrilled about being sent away for the summer, Sandy is not exactly a joy to be around. He is bored out of his mind. Everything about Coral Key annoys Sandy that is until he makes a new friend out of a playful dolphin named Flipper. Magically the dolphin brings the boy and his uncle closer together and provides Sandy with enough entertainment and companionship to make his summer vacation just melt away.
Yes, it is cheesy, but films like this always are. Get over it and enjoy it for what it is. The script is not the best part of the film – the dolphin is. It is a simple story (one that we have seen before in films like Free Willy) that features a cute animal. There are several magical underwater moments involving the dolphin. Young people will love the human/dolphin interaction and don’t need much more than this to make it an enjoyable film for them.