Ingber points to the usage of 3D as not only in keeping with current trends in using 3D in family films, but also in enhancing the charm of Winter.

“You see that bottlenose in 3D, and it’s just funny,” he says of how Winter will look in some scenes in Dolphin Tale. “When you see Winter on her platform and all that’s sticking out is the bottlenose in 3D, you just smile because the bottlenose of a dolphin just brings out a smile because they look like they’re smiling.”

As to continuing in the vein of inspirational movie fare such as Alcon’s previous hit with 2009’s The Blind Side, Ingber agrees that Dolphin Tale is right in line with the film company's mission.

“We’re kind of a company that likes inspiring movies that move people and tell a nice kind of story. …We certainly learned that on The Blind Side. When we made The Blind Side, we felt that was a real personal, inspirational story. We have to be honest and say we had no idea how much it would be embraced, and our experience with The Blind Side just made us want to do more of those type of inspirational stories where people can get away from some of the other things they see in movies these days and just find an inspirational, happy family story that everybody can enjoy.”

Beyond entertainment value, though, Ingber also points to the underlying support of those with physical limitations, war veterans and animal rescue and rehabilitation that Alcon wants to champion through Dolphin Tale.

“When we heard that Winter inspires special needs children and military, what more did we need? And the fact that we want to support animal rescue and animal survival … so when you have the combinations of animal rescue and survival and the military with handicapped soldiers returning [from service] who have a connection with Winter and these special needs children … there’s plenty of reason to want to bring this story to the screen.”

Lest moviegoers think that Dolphin Tale is just for kids, Ingber assures that it is made with the entire movie-going family set in mind.

“I have two kids and four grandkids, and I [did] think of them when I actually started putting this family story together connected with Winter. You think about what would inspire them and what would they respond to. But we want this to be a movie that the whole family can see at one time—not just young kids. How many times do you go to movies that you do it for your kids’ sake and the adults are bored and can’t wait to get out of there? We want [Dolphin Tale] to be a movie that adults and families can see as a family unit.”

THE RELEASE

While just under five months out from its release date of September 23, 2011, Dolphin Tale is already beginning to build momentum, starting with the official launch of the film’s trailer in theaters earlier last month, when it ran as a preview ahead of another based-on-a-true-story and inspirational film that was released—Soul Surfer.

The similarities in story and message are surely not lost on viewers. Losing an arm in a shark attack didn’t stop teenage surfer Bethany Hamilton in Soul Surferwhich was adapted from her autobiographical book for the big screen. And losing a tail didn’t stop another young aquatic hero named Winter either.