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Charles Martin Smith

'Dolphin Tale': Is it in the tank for family viewers?

Handout art on 'Dolphin Tale'

Dolphins are so cute that many kids wish they could have them as pets. These marine cuties are too big for the home aquarium, so kids will have to content themselves with watching pint-sized characters nurse an injured dolphin back to health in "Dolphin Tale."

This family-oriented movie is so squarely pitched at very young viewers that their adult guardians may find themselves losing count of how many thuddingly obvious life lessons are imparted along the way. It's such a sweet-natured example of cinematic therapy that older viewers are likely to get over any reservations about its thematic obviousness and end up liking it too.

Although it's based on...