The first film ended with Winter, the dolphin with a prosthetic fin, being rehomed in a Florida aquarium. You’d be forgiven for thinking the story had already peaked. However, this sequel is an unexpectedly worthwhile follow-up. Depressed after the death of her dolphin companion, Winter becomes aggressive towards her devoted teenage friend Sawyer (Nathan Gamble). But there are more serious consequences since government regulations forbid dolphins from being kept in isolation. Aquarium boss Clay (Harry Connick Jr) must find Winter a new partner or close down the whole operation.
There’s enough drama here for grown-ups, while the friendly dolphin action will keep the little ones happy. Older kids will be drawn to the romance between Sawyer and the aquarium boss’s daughter (Cozi Zuehlsdorff). It’s all very watchable, despite some clunky dialogue and untaxing roles for Morgan Freeman (wise scientist) and Ashley Judd (smiley mum). The film is based on a true story, with the real-life Winter playing herself, and footage of the real Florida aquarium appearing during the end credits.