Ranger Porter Ricks is responsible for the animal and human life in Coral Key Park, Florida. Stories center on his 15-year-old son Sandy and 10-year-old Bud and, especially, on their pet dolphin Flipper.
Sandy Ricks is sent by his mom to Coral Key, a rustic island in the Florida keys, to spend the summer with his uncle Porter Ricks. Sandy dislikes everything about his new environment until ... See full summary »
So cute...but enough about Jessica Alba, let's talk dolphins.
This American-Australian co-production about the adventures of the dolphin who's faster than lightning (no one you'll see, I'm told, is smarter than he) is far from the worst way to while away an hour, although it lacks the original song and most of the characters except for Brian Wimmer in the first season (as the grown-up son of Porter Ricks). Then again, the version with Paul Hogan was based more directly on the source and look how well that turned out...
Because your average dolphin has an even more limited range of abilities than Champion the Wonder Horse - as opposed to Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, the Littlest Hobo etc - the scripts are often a stretch; the one where interns Holly and Dean discovered a group of teenagers living on an island after their plane crashed and building their own society was particularly contrived, although it wasn't the worst episode. The overuse of the FX shots of our finned hero diving in and out of the research facility around which the action revolves is also a bit grating, and the acting's not exactly Emmy-winning.
For all that, it's hardly unwatchable with lots of attractive Australian (and Floridan in the first few episodes) scenery and nice music - though the second season's music is better than the first. Definitely not one for cynics, but pleasant family fare, and you just have to go all warm and gooey inside at the sight of that sleek, cuddly, giggly, adorable creature. (As well as Jessica Alba, Flipper's pretty cute too.)
Note: The above only applies to the 1995-97 episodes, not the ones from 1998 onwards known as "Flipper: The New Adventures" - beware of anything with "The New" in its title. And while some would say this is a plus, there's no Jessica either :-(
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