|Dolphin Tale 2|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Charles Martin Smith|
|Produced by||Robert Engelman
Andrew A. Kosove
|Written by||Charles Martin Smith|
Harry Connick Jr.
|Music by||Rachel Portman|
|Edited by||Harvey Rosenstock|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$57.8 million|
Dolphin Tale 2 is a 2014 American family film written and directed by Charles Martin Smith as the sequel to his 2011 film Dolphin Tale. Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Kris Kristofferson, Morgan Freeman, Juliana Harkavy, Austin Stowell, Betsy Landin, and Austin Highsmith all reprise their roles from the first film, while Lee Karlinsky, Julia Jordan, Taylor Blackwell, and Bethany Hamilton join the cast. It was released on September 12, 2014 and tells the story of another dolphin at the hospital named "Hope". After Winter's elderly companion and surrogate mother, Panama, dies, Winter's future is in jeopardy, unless Sawyer, Clay, Hazel, and the rest of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium team can find a new companion for her. The film received positvie reviews from critics and had grossed $57.8 million worldwide.
Three years after saving Winter, Sawyer, now aged fourteen, gets a chance for a scholarship to the elite SEA Semester program, which involves three months at sea doing marine mammal research, after impressing his cousin Kyle's advisor Dr. Miguel Arroyo when champian surfer Bethany Hamilton swims with him and Winter. Sawyer is reluctant to go because he is concerned about leaving Winter.
Winter needs attention and shows signs of stress and loneliness, especially after her older companion, Panama, dies. George Hatton, a USDA inspector, insists that Winter must be matched with a new companion within 30 days or be transferred elsewhere. However, Winter's behavior has become unpredictable, even dangerous: when Sawyer tries to get her out of the tank to prepare to make her a new prosthetic tail, she becomes aggressive and knocks him into the water. Dr. Clay prohibits Sawyer from swimming with Winter. Winter spends weeks in isolation, and despite people not being allowed to visit her, Sawyer allows Susie, a new volunteer, and her grandfather to see her; Hazel becomes slightly jealous, because she has feelings for him.
Prior to these events, CMA rescues a severely sunburned beached dolphin, named Mandy after a little girl who finds her, which Sawyer, Clay, and Hazel hope will become Winter's companion. CMA begins to rehabilitate Mandy, contemplating releasing her soon. Clay, Sawyer, and Hazel test her readiness by giving Mandy three live fish, which she catches effortlessly, so they decide they must release her.
Sawyer and Hazel break the rules and swim with Winter, who appears to be feeling better. Clay finds them doing so and scolds them, but then states that it does not matter, because George issued an order that Winter be transferred to a marine park in Texas. Meanwhile, Sawyer wins the scholarship to attend the SEA Semester, so his mother Lorraine and friends arrange a party, which cheers him up a little; but he still cannot decide whether to go. Dr. McCarthy shows him an old watch which must be tapped to keep ticking, and so encourages Sawyer to "shake it up now and then" and try new things in life.
During the party, Clay hears that another female dolphin has been rescued; one so young that she has not yet learned how to hunt and cannot return to the wild. This offers new hope of companionship for Winter, so they name her "Hope". In addition, Sawyer and Hazel find and rescue a sea turtle from some fishing line. Rufus becomes obsessed with the sea turtle, named Mavis, following her everywhere, even watching her during a CT Scan at the hospital where Lorraine works. As Mavis is released, Rufus follows her out to sea.
George gives Clay an extension to keep Winter from being transferred, and CMA tries to introduce Hope as her new companion. Hope panics and circles the pool at high speed, and staff quickly separate the two dolphins. They realize that Hope had sensed that Winter had no tail and moved differently from other dolphins. Sawyer thinks that a new prosthetic tail might have better results.
In her second meeting with Hope, Winter wears the new tail designed by Dr. McCarthy. A huge crowd, including George, is present to watch, and eventually the two dolphins accept each other. Everyone rejoices that Winter can stay at CMA now that she has a companion. With his uncertainty about Winter resolved, Sawyer decides to go to the SEA Semester program, but reassures her that he will be back. Hazel says goodbye to him by releasing helium balloons and holding up a sign, and Sawyer sends her a text message saying, "You're the best", causing her to blush as she smiles to herself and Rufus returns to the aquarium.
Real-life footage shown at the end includes Mandy's actual release, Hope's rescue, a sea turtle named Mavis and her release, Winter wearing the new prosthetic tail, and amputees interacting with Winter.
Although they were filming on the site, Clearwater Marine Aquarium is open on weekends to the public. Cozi Zuehlsdorff tweeted on her Twitter account that she is excited that Bethany Hamilton has joined the "Dolphin Tale 2 family".
According to Clearwater Marine Aquarium CEO, David Yates, filming ended on January 22, 2014. It was released on September 12, 2014.
Dolphin Tale 2 received generally positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 67%, based on 79 reviews, with an average rating of 5.9/10; the consensus states: "Much like its predecessor, Dolphin Tale 2 offers animal antics and sweet, old-fashioned drama that the whole family can enjoy." On Metacritic, the film has a rating of 58 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
At a press conference speaking about the possibilities for a new Clearwater Marine Aquarium, David Yates, the CEO, revealed that discussions have begun towards the development of a third Dolphin Tale movie and a television series. A web series titled Rescue Clearwater premiered on February 1, 2016, on YouTube.