by George Wolf
The beautifully clear, almost neon blue water of Freeport, Bahamas provides an idyllic backdrop for the broadly-brushed and easily digested drama of Dolphin Island, an acceptable adventure for the 10 and-under set.
Since her parents died in a diving accident nine years ago, 14 year-old Annabelle (Tyler Jade Nixon) has lived with her fisherman grandfather Jonah (Peter Woodward). Annabelle loves to help Jonah on the boat, stroll through the docks saying hello to everyone by name, a la Mr. Rogers, and swim with her dolphin bestie, Mitzy.
Trouble comes in the form of Robert Carbunkle, Esq. (Bob Bledsoe), an unscrupulous lawyer representing Annabelle’s maternal grandparents – a rich New York couple who think Annabelle would be better off with them.
As Carbunkle starts manufacturing dirt about Annabelle’s living situation, she and Jonah will need help from a social worker (Dionne Lea), her handsome son (Aaron Burrows), and one incredible dolphin (Mitzy) to save the day and keep Annabelle at home on the island she loves.
Director/co-writer Mike Disa – a veteran of kids’ tv and video – steers the nicely diverse cast through a surface level drama that’s sanitized for family protection. In this world, even a 14-year-old is too young to understand serious illness and someone is always ready to explain things we can clearly see happening for ourselves.
But who doesn’t love dolphins and Caribbean locales?
If your young ones do, Dolphin Island will entertain them for 90 minutes while you daydream about visiting Mitzy’s home in person.
Dolphin Island is streaming now: https://dolphinislandmovie.com/watch-now/