Critics: 'Dolphin Tale' a 'Life-Affirming' Film

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The family film "Dolphin Tale" is generating a lot of buzz this weekend, with critics calling the movie a "life-affirming story.
The PG-rated film tells the story of a young dolphin that gets tangled in a crab trap, severely damaging her tail. 

She is rescued and transported to the Clearwater Marine Hospital, where they name her Winter.  The dolphin loses her tail, putting her life is in jeopardy. 

It takes the expertise of a dedicated marine biologist, the ingenuity of a brilliant prosthetics doctor, and the unwavering devotion of a young boy to bring about a miracle.  

The film stars Harry Connick, Jr., Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd.

Connick portrays Dr. Clay Haskett, the dedicated biologist who runs the marine hospital.  

When asked why he wanted to be a part of "Dolphin Tale" Connick replied, "I just thought it was a great story, first and foremost."

"I read the script ant thought it was really exciting," he said. "There were so many positive messages and the cast was amazing.  The people that work with Winter are heroic people."   

Charles Martin smith directed the film. 

"The first thing that I did when I got involved was come here, come to Clearwater and meet Winter," Martin said.

"When I saw her… I saw not only what a wonderful animal she is and what personality she's got and how much fun she is, but I saw the way she inspires people around her," he told CBN News. "And I thought 'I've got to make this movie.'"
Freeman plays Dr. McCarthy, the prosthetics doctor who develops the new technology that saves Winter's life. 

"It's a good, uplifting, inspirational story," Freeman said of the film. 

The film's two youngest actors - 12-year-olds Cozi Zuehlsdorff and Nathan Gamble - explained the role their faith plays in their acting career.  

"There's a lot of times where there are curve balls thrown at you," Zuehlsdorff told CBN News. "You don't know if things are going to happen. Or like the morning of you're finding out that you're doing a really tough scene or something like that."

"And I think that I need to trust God a lot during that," she said. "And I learned so much about how He can help and give you peace."

Gamble appeared to share Zuehlsdorff's sentiments.
"There's sort of a message that I've been taught by Winter and by God is that there are going to be a lot of curve balls in your life that you've just got to see through it and know that God is putting you in the right place.  He is only doing that for the best for you," he explained.

Published Sept. 23, 2011.

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Dolphin Tale

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Gorman Woodfin

Gorman Woodfin

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