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Dolphin Tale (Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / UltraViolet Digital Copy)

Dolphin Tale (Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / UltraViolet Digital Copy)
Studio: Warner Home Video
List Price: $44.95
Street Price: $17.99
Amazon.com: $30.99
Release Date: Dec 20, 2011
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Running Time: 0 minutes

4.1 Stars (out of 5)


A badly maimed juvenile dolphin is given a new tail, and a new life, through the efforts of the humans who save it in this true-life adventure saga. After losing its tail to a crab trap, the dolphin is doomed until a young boy spots its plight.


Nathan Gamble, Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, Austin Stowell, Austin Highsmith, Kurt Yaeger, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Ray McKinnon, Frances Sternhagen, Rus Blackwell, Marc Macaulay, Richard Libertini


Charles Martin Smith

Blu-ray Release Date:

December 20, 2011


English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese


Overall rating weighted as follows:

Audio 40%, Video 40%, Special Features 20%, Movie - its just our opinion so take it with a grain of salt

Audio 4.0 Stars (out of 5)

Dolby and DTS Demo Discs used as basis for comparison

● Subwoofer – 2.0 Stars

● Dialog – 5.0 Stars

● Surround Effects – 4.0 Stars

● Dynamic Range – 5.0 Stars

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1,

Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1

For a family drama, Dolphin Tale has a decent audio presentation. Rear channels are active in several scenes. The room is filled with sounds of chirping birds, crashing waves, splashing water, bubbles, heavy winds, and of course high pitched dolphin squeals. The subwoofer doesn’t get much action, but it can be heard in the musical score and thunder during a hurricane. The film is very dialog heavy, and not one line is lost to any splashing water or dolphin clicks. It’s interesting to note that the beginning of this film sounds better than its ending. The first half of the movie is more dynamic and open, and the second half seems to play it safe.

Video 4.8 Stars (out of 5)

Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray Edition used as basis for comparison

● Color Accuracy - 5.0 Stars

● Shadow detail – 4.5 Stars

● Clarity – 5.0 Stars

● Skin tones – 4.5 Stars

● Compression – 5.0 Stars

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC, Resolution: 1080p, Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1, Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

With its warm colors and great clarity this Blu-ray will look great in anyone’s living room. Colors are lush and vivid and help bring life to sparkling blue water, deep green grass, and shinny gray dolphin skin. Overall the film is a little on the dark side, and it tends to loose details in the shadows. It has crystal clarity and is able to bring out the fine points of wood textures, freckles, clothing stitching, and Morgan Freeman’s wild bristly white beard hairs. Skin tones were true, however in a few scenes the warm colors gave skin a reddish tint.

Bonus Features 3.0 Stars (out of 5)

● The Hutash Rainbow Bridge (HD, 2 minutes): An animated short.

● At Home with Winter (HD, 13 minutes): Behind-the-scenes with the cast and crew.

● Spotlight on a Scene (HD, 7 minutes): Director Charles Martin Smith and producer Andrew Kosove discuss the opening scene of the movie.

● Winter's Inspiration (HD, 18 minutes): The true story of Winter the dolphin that inspired this movie.

● Ormie and the Cookie Jar (HD, 4 minutes): Another animated short, this one has nothing to do with dolphins or the movie.

● Winter Meets Panama (HD, 2 minutes): A deleted scene.

● Gag Reel (HD, 3 minutes)

Movie – 3.0 Stars (out of 5)


Dolphin Tale is a solid family film that doesn’t get too sappy or try to hit you over the head with its message. When if first heard about this film, I thought it was going to be about protecting the dolphins and saving the ocean. Those issues are discussed, but I’m glad to say it’s not what the entire movie’s about. The film focuses on never giving up and the willingness to except your fate. The tone is lighthearted, and even though the story is touching, it doesn’t try extra hard to squeeze a few tears out of you.

This movie was released in 3D, and it’s easy to tell. There were a few scenes that didn’t belong in the film except to feature 3D effects. Unfortunately, this added several unwanted minutes and made the pace drag in the middle. It’s strange to think that this film was based on a true story. There were a few coincidences that seemed too perfect to be real. When the movie was over actual footage of the dolphin Winter was shown, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the coincidences were based on reality.

Posted by The HT Guys, March 8, 2012 7:31 AM

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About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.