Winter: The Dolphin That Can

95 min. Dist. by Clearwater Marine Aquarium. 2015. $9.95. SKU 696859269110.
Gr 5–8—Winter, a dolphin, was rescued from a crab trap as a baby. She managed to survive but ended up having the end of her tail amputated. In the care of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter learned how to adapt to life with a prosthetic tail developed by the Hanger Clinic. The prosthetic manufacturer has developed many tails for Winter over the years, and in doing so, it has invented new technology used by humans. Winter works with humans who have a range of disabilities, interacting and engaging with them and providing therapy in her own way. Children who are adapting to prostheses, soldiers who have been injured in war, and those with autism have been inspired by the interactions. Additionally, the documentary covers the rescue of another young dolphin, Hope. Winter's story is inspirational, emotional, and important, and the content here is of great worth. However, there are some drawbacks. Important to note is the graphic footage of Winter's injury and the amputation of her tail, which may be intense for sensitive viewers. A low budget may be responsible for the cheesy elements, which include photo slide shows and repeated footage. Overall, the piece is too long and may benefit from being broken down into separate chapters.
VERDICT The material is noteworthy, but educators may want to pick and choose what parts to show a classroom.

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