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"FLIPPER"
(1996) (Elijah Wood, Paul Hogan) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Minor Moderate Moderate Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Moderate None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor Moderate Minor Minor Mild


QUICK TAKE:
An unhappy teen sent to live with his uncle in the Florida Keys befriends a friendly dolphin and regains his own happiness.
PLOT:
Sandy Ricks (ELIJAH WOOD) is sent to live with his uncle Porter (PAUL HOGAN) on tropical Coral Key while his parents are getting a divorce. Sandy isn't happy about any of this, especially that he's out in the middle of nowhere with his less than conventional uncle. However, he soon finds friendship with a friendly dolphin he names Flipper, and with a young girl, Kim (JESSICA WESSON), whom he's smitten with. Flipper is in constant danger from Dirk Moran (JONATHAN BANKS), a local sports fisherman and overall jerk, and Sandy and company must work to protect Flipper and expose Moran for his illegal dumping of toxic materials.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
They're too young to remember the TV series, but Elijah Wood is becoming a teen heart throb and Paul Hogan will alway be remembered for "Crocodile Dundee," so there will be some draw there. In addition, the "Free Willy"-like story will have the kids wanting to see this one.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For some mild language and menacing action.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ELIJAH WOOD plays a teenager with a bad attitude who comes around after befriending Flipper and learning some lessons from his Uncle.
  • PAUL HOGAN plays the salty old uncle who's full of lessons to teach his nephew.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Porter feeds beer to a pelican.
  • Guests on Dirk's boat drink beer and act rowdy.
  • Sandy tells his mother on the phone (making fun of Porter) that they're drinking all the time.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Sandy gets sea sick and throws up over the side of the boat.
  • A shark chomps down on a seagull and blood flows through the water.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Dirk Moran has a bad attitude toward people and dolphins alike.
  • Sandy doesn't like his uncle or the idea that he has to stay with him for the summer.
  • Sandy kicks a discarded soda can out into the water (and Flipper tosses it right back at him).
  • Sandy "sneaks out" without Porter's permission to take a ferry back to the mainland to see a rock concert.
  • Dirk has no respect for the environment. In one scene he throws trash into the water, and in another he dumps toxic waste into the ocean.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Dirk shoots a dolphin many times with his rifle for spite and this may (and should) be upsetting to kids.
  • A hammerhead shark, "Scar," swims by and gobbles up a seagull while Flipper hides in safety.
  • A bad thunderstorm precedes the arrival of a hurricane and Sandy and Porter run for cover.
  • Sandy and Kim frantically try to get out of the way of Dirk's approaching boat which comes close to running them over.
  • Flipper returns and is near death. This may be upsetting to little kids.
  • Sandy's little rubber raft is run over by Dirk's boat, and Sandy jumps out of the way just in time.
  • The hammerhead shark comes after Sandy who scrambles about on the remains of his rubber raft, and then tries to swim for safety as the shark closes in on him.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifle: Used to shoot (fired many times) and kill a dolphin.
  • Knife: Used by Porter to cut the line leading to the net that has snared Flipper.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Porter uses a blow torch to "toast" their bread. Kids might try the same if a torch is accessible.
  • Sandy smoking cigars (see "Smoking").
  • Phrases: "Butt-faced wombat," "Slime ball," and "Screwed up."
  • A line was muttered that might have been "Eat me, butthead."
  • A geeky kid shocks himself while working with some electrical wiring.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • There are a few scenes with moderately dramatic and tense music.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 3 damns, 1 ass, 1 hell, 1 crap, and 3 uses of "Jesus" or "Geez" and 1 use of "God" used as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • When his uncle isn't looking, Sandy thumbs through an old Playboy magazine (but we don't see any of the pictures).
  • Sandy tells his mother on the phone (and making fun of Porter) that Porter knows lots of "loose" women.
  • SMOKING
  • Porter often has a cigar in his mouth.
  • Sandy, thinking he's a big shot with the kids, has an unlit cigar in his mouth.
  • To teach Sandy a lesson, Porter makes Sandy smoke a cigar every time he does, so in one sequence, there is a lot of cigar smoking between them. Sandy gets sick, begs Porter not to have to smoke anymore, and thus learns his lesson.
  • Sandy tells his mother on the phone (and making fun of Porter) that they've been smoking a lot.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • There's some minor talk about Sandy's parents getting a divorce which sets the story in motion.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Violence toward animals.
  • Divorce and what happens to where the kids live during and after it.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Dirk shoots a dolphin many times until it's dead.
  • Dirk raises a pole to hit Sandy when Flipper zips by and knocks Dirk into the ocean.
  • Porter helps Dirk up and then punches him in the face, sending him back into the water.



  • Reviewed May 17, 1996

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