Flipper

"Very Good"

Flipper Review


Sit your kids down in front of Flipper, and they may not know what hit them. This Kennedy-era classic has everything today's overstimulated rugrats never get to see anymore: real kids, real parents, and real animals having exciting adventures in a beautiful and interesting setting.

The story couldn't be simpler: Boy meets dolphin, boy loses dolphin, boy gets dolphin back. Twelve-year-old Sandy Ricks (Luke Halpin) lives with his fisherman father (Chuck Connors) and housewife mother (Kathleen McGuire) in a tumbledown oceanside cabin in the Florida keys. A water rat since birth, Sandy is always taking off on afternoon skin dives that are beautifully photographed by the same underwater experts responsible for Lloyd Bridges' Sea Hunt TV show. One day Sandy comes across a dolphin that's been injured by a harpoon. With the help of his parents, Sandy nurses the animal back to health and names him Flipper. Despite Dad's warnings not to get too attached, Sandy and Flipper become best friends and spend long sunny days swimming together and putting on cute shows for the local kids.

But then the inevitable: Dad demands that Sandy return Flipper to the wild, and who's gonna argue with Chuck Connors when he gets that stern look on his face? Sandy is crushed, and even his incipient pre-adolescent romance with a cutie from down the beach (Connie Scott) isn't much solace.

It takes a truly scary hurricane to bring boy and dolphin together again. Like Lassie before him, Flipper is a born hero, always showing up just in time to save the day. Everything works out just fine, and a chorus of children's voices rises to tell us "They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning, no one you see, is smarter than he."

For a children's movie released when Disney's family-friendly film factory was cranking out sugary Hayley Mills movies every six months, Flipper is refreshingly earthy. The Ricks aren't starving, but they sure ain't rich, and the beach kids have a touch of Little Rascals scruffiness about them. Halpin is a natural, and he would grow up to be a teen idol as Flipper came around again in a sequel. Later, the busy dolphin was asked to perform weekly heroics in a TV version in which the mother was killed off, a smart alecky brother was added, and Connors was replaced by a less terrifying father.

Forty years on, Flipper still has what it takes to entertain today's jaded kids -- at least the younger ones -- as successfully as it entertained their parents. It's a sunny windswept antidote to endless helpings of frantic Japanimation.

One other thing: skip the 1996 remake starring a young and wide-eyed Elijah Wood. It stinks like low tide.

And faster than a shotgun.



Flipper

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 17th May 1996

Distributed by: MCA Universal Home Video

Production compaines: Ivan Tors Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 32%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 13

IMDB: 5.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: James B. Clark

Producer:

Starring: as Porter Ricks, as Sandy Ricks, as Kim Parker, Jane Rose as Hettie White, Joe Higgins as Mr. L.C. Parett, Robertson White as Mr. Abrams, George Applewhite as Sheriff Rogers, Kathleen Maguire as Martha Ricks

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.