“What is surrealism but a second childhood with Freudian overtones,” asks wacky British director Ken Russell in his autobiography. Watching Dolphin Tale with other adults is both a surrealistic and Freudian experience. In the film, a little boy named Sawyer, gets seriously attached to a dolphin named Winter, who is practically human. (Or are humans practically dolphins? The movie doesn’t make it quite clear, only that DOLPHINS ARE JUST LIKE US, EXCEPT SMARTER AND BETTER.) The boy and his dolphin almost break up when Winter rejects the prosthetic tail made for him by Dr. Morgan Freeman, and Sawyer gets really emotional. Covering the Freudian angle is Ashley Judd, who plays Sawyer’s overprotective and undersexed mother who accidentally makes sexual euphemisms constantly. “It’s my job to get my kid turned on…” she blurts out vehemently to her kid’s summer school teacher. Kris Kristofferson plays a grandpa and is disgusting and awkward, and has never heard of a laundry machine. Apparently, all this stuff really happened, too. Some eleven-year old kids actually saved some dolphin, and this dolphin PLAYS HERSELF IN THE MOVIE. Surreal. Dolphin Tale is a ridiculous, overstuffed distraction the whole family can ignore. (113 min.)
Director: Charles Martin Smith
Writer: Charles Martin Smith and Karen Janszen
Cast: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr.