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

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

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.