The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer

In case you were wondering, as I was, what the Oscar-qualifying feature film, The Dolphin, Story of a Dreamer, is: look no further:

UP has nothing to fear. 20th Century Fox is currently releasing the film in South America. UPDATE: Reader Eric Graf informs us that The Dolphin will play at the Laemmle Claremont 5 starting December 11 – same theater and week as A Town Called Panic, per the Laemmle Theatres website.

(Thanks, Matthew Gaastra)


  • Sam Louvert

    The lead Dolphin sounds like Mona Marshall

  • http://venadoinstantaneo.blogspot.com diego c

    I’m in southamerica, and yes, they’re releasing their ugly posters and merchandising around. HOW CAN ANYBODY JUST CONCEIVE SOMETHING AS AWFUL AS THAT DAMN DOLPHIN!

    I know that Cloudy with a Chance of meatballs is said to be a nice movie, but its advertising graphics also were contaminating the environment.

  • Kelly

    A badly done video game?

  • Jay Taylor

    Is this for real?

  • Brendan

    Wow, that’s a real Best-Feature contender there.

  • lele

    Is this for real?
    :O

  • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

    with a little better art direction that wouldn’t be so bad… apart from the dialogue and music of course

  • Gary Pearson

    You will never steal my dreams! Nor will you steal 10 bucks of my money to see this ship wreck.

  • Spike

    Oh, looks like one of the eight films that won’t be submitted.

  • Fred Cline

    It’s the most extraordinary story ever told! Good job, marketing department!

  • Japanese Person

    F*CK YOU DOLPHIN!

  • Justin

    You guys are all crazy. This is hands down the best thing anyone has ever done anywhere, ever. Period.

  • Moezart

    I don’t think they had a marketing department. This looks so home-made, I’m convinced who ever made this movie also cut the trailer.

  • http://bwhitecartoons.blogspot.com Bill

    Has anyone made a “Finding Lame-O” joke yet?

    Then I won’t either.

  • http://www.puppetstudio.com Steve Sherman

    Watched it with the sound off. I have to say, the CGI water and backgrounds are really beautiful. Doesn’t seem so bad without the sound. Obviously, a “Finding Nemo” rip from what I can tell. No worse than a lot of other stuff I’ve seen lately.

  • Val

    I’ve been getting a little tired of dolphins (and whales) being toted as being “deep,” “intellectual,” or “pure.” I guess we can throw in “poorly rendered in CGI while speaking horrible dialogue with cheesy music playing” as well.

    • http://www.michaelmahy.be Michael

      You will retract that comment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuVgXJ55G6Y

      THEY ARE AMAZING. All movies should be made with dolphins :)

      But I agree. No more underwater 3D movies. This is the 5th.

  • http://www.animationapocalypse.blogspot.com Baron Lego

    It’s like “Finding Nemo” and “The Little Panda Fighter” had a baby. A horrible, horrible baby.

  • Scott

    Is this from the same people who made Shark Tale? Looks like it.

  • Rob T.

    Nothing I can say about the film itself that hasn’t already been said. I suspect the only reason 20th Century Fox submitted this (along with the new Chipmunks movie) was to benefit Fantastic Mr. Fox, which obviously has a better chance to be nominated as 1 out of 5 than just 1 out of 3.

  • http://www.switchbladecomic.com rorschach

    Actually, this makes Shark Tale look like Finding Nemo.

  • Mesterius

    Ha, they don’t trick me! This isn’t based on a book, it’s clearly a tribute to http://www.rawkins.com/games/do2/

  • Trevor

    :20 seconds in. Glad to see that creepy sun from that Sprite commercial is still able to find work.

  • http://dailygrail.com/blog/8389 red pill junkie

    Those people must think corals are made of bright-colored plastic. And that the oceans are filled with cristal-clear Evian.

  • http://brandonjamesscott.com Brandon James Scott

    How does something like this get made?

    No really, I want to know.

  • Gobo

    Sure, because CEOs at Fox know that those crazy South Americans love farting dolphins and don’t care about animation quality!

  • http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=052C631F61EE2838 Iain

    When it reaches into North America, I’d actually would like to see a whaling scene in this movie where the Japanese target the dolphins… That would never happen in this movie, but that’s what this movie deserves. Instead of an Oscar, how about a Japanese school kid’s lunch?

    “F*CK YOU, DOL-FIN!!!”

  • http://mattienotes.blogspot.com/ Mattieshoe

    “The Most extraordinary story ever told”

    THEY COULDN’T SAY IT IF IT WASN’T TRUE

  • http://ansemaru.livejournal.com Ansemaru

    This is truly the greatest story ever to be told.

    …the graphics make me want to cry.

  • Sara H.

    Time to change my oscar predictions i guess :/

  • http://thedreamerskingdom.org TK

    That kind of rendering just made Battle for Terra look good all the sudden!

    I hope those dolphins get to meet Delgo and friends and live happily ever after… in discount bins.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    “How does something like this get made?”

    Like any other movie… someone liked the concept and had the resources to get it done. Probably a small crew, probably a small budget. They cut the corners they had to cut to get it done.

    The dismissiveness in the above comments is absurd pretension. As if anyone is disadvantaged because this movie got made. I think it’s encouraging that a low-budget effort can get picked up by a distributor.

    I’m sure they never expected it would be mentioned in the same rarefied company as Mo-Cap Christmas Carol or Battle for Terra.

    This looks better than some toy-based direct to DVD movies I’ve seen including one that had some famous American animator names in the credits.

  • http://www.hunteachother.com Max W.

    Money really can buy anything. Live the magic, and dream again.

  • http://mattienotes.blogspot.com/ Mattieshoe

    ‘The dismissiveness in the above comments is absurd pretension. As if anyone is disadvantaged because this movie got made. I think it’s encouraging that a low-budget effort can get picked up by a distributor.”

    Budget means next to nothing towards true quality in today’s market.

    Whether this movie was given 300,000 or 30,000,000 to be made, it would still be an abomination. Only with 30,000,000, it’d be an abomination with skin pores and a celebrity voice cast.

  • TheGunheart

    Now think of it this way: regardless of whether or not it’s good, it’s still one more movie being submitted for the Oscars, which means there will be a greater chance of five GOOD movies getting nominated.

  • Danny R. Santos

    This reminds me of those badly direct to Video/DVD movies mock up of some famous successfull movie in this case, called……NEMO!!!
    Why, Why…… (and I’m not being cynical about this)…. can’t they come with an original concept and stop relying on past successes to capitalize on a genre already used. Whe’re sick of it!!!

  • http://www.freewebs.com/jonpernisek Jon Pernisek

    When that damn song kicked in during the trailer’s final moments, I knew I was watching something special. It really, truly works if you just think of it as the most brilliant parody ever realized. That song, the constant references to dreams and independence and all that crap, and the farting, oh my sweet God, the farting. Put together it really makes for an amazing summation of how low our entertainment for kids can sink. Is there magic involved in the plot? Is the villain literally (LITERALLY) going to steal our hero’s dreams? I hope so. Because this movie needs magic, both of the supernatural and emotional varieties. I demand it!

  • Erin Siegel

    I’m getting flashbacks to Ecco. I kept expecting him to dive through time in a water cyclone and encounter future punk dolphins.

  • Ben

    LOL, I thought of Ecco when I saw this too. I was expecting some kind of giant crystal to show up or something. The quality of this doesn’t look quite as bad as, say, little panda fighter or any of those other knock-off movies. However, it’s nowhere near as good as even the crappy theatrical CGI films like Space Chimps, or Battle for Terra.

  • http://www.sbambaren.com Sergio F. Bambaren

    Hi to all,
    This is Sergio Bambaren, CEO of Dolphin Films, and Producer of The Dolphin – story of a dreamer.

    I won’t get into details or answer any mails I’ve read above. I can only tell you the facts.

    - It’s a movie made with a low budget, but with effort and passion, and has a beautiful message. The movie is based in a book written by me, translated into 47 languages and dialects and rapidly becoming a best/seller in the States. If you don’t believe me, please go, if you want, to http://www.sbambaren.com It’s a movie that is already recouping its negative costs only by having been screened theatrically in Latin America, and we are eternally thankful to 20th Century Fox, who trusted in our dream and picked the distribution first in LATAM, and having seen the financial results bought the rights for North America

    Recently at AFM 2009, almost all territories in the rest of the world bought the rights for the movie. Those are the facts. End of the story.

    We never went out to compete with Pixar or Dreamworks. We just had a dream, and a small one. We never thought we would get so far with our small dream, but we did. It cannot be denied.

    However, it really makes me sad to see so many people criticizing in such a destructive way something they still haven’t seen. Why don’t instead critizise in a positive way so we can improve in the future?
    But again, if you want to live your life by destroying instead of building, well, that’s your decission and your problem, not mine.

    Finally, just one comment regarding what Mr. Max W wrote. If you truly believe that money can buy anything, my friend, you don’t have a clue of what true happiness means. But again, I respect your thoughts.

    Hope you can find happiness in money, and buy all the toys you want to buy. And when you have nothing else to buy…..what?

    May your dreams come true, always.

    Best to all,
    Sergio F. Bambaren
    CEO Dolphin-Films

  • Danny R. Santos

    Sergio, In my outmost respect I commend you for stepping up, I’m one of your critics. And though I don’t know much about your company and the goals you seek to achive I hope the best for you, this much I know and I learned it through the masters, meaning Marc Davis, Chuck Jones, Nick Park, and every countles animator I had the privilage to meet.
    Walt Disney even encouraged it. One thing I learned about Animation is…. it has to do less about how beautiful and artistacly the film looks, but the inportance of the Story, Story, Story. You have to keep pushing the bounderies, I understand that this is your creation and based on books you have published, let me tell you it’s a tough crowd out there, they know their stuff. If an Idea is simular to an already excisting theme, people will notice, get discouraged and go the opposite way. I’m sure you have been successful at your venture and again I commend you for your efforts. I wish you the best of luck on your film, and if it does well can you try exploring different genra, something that has not been done before, more like the film I really want to see made into animation and that is….. “The Thieve of Always” by Clive Barker, I love the story, it’s so unique.

  • http://www.sbambaren.com Sergio F. Bambaren

    Hi Danny.

    Thanks for your kind response and good advice. The kind of comments and suggestions you make are what we need to hear to improve and get better the next time. It’s our first film, we have focused more on the story and the message of the movie, and tried our best with the animation taking into account our small budget.
    So again Danny, thanks for your kind suggestions. We do really appreciate them and we will take them into account for the next film.
    Thanks again!
    Sergio

  • Peter

    I’m thrilled to see that the Freaky Flickers people got to do a second film!

  • http://[email protected] Ruramuq

    I need to say something to clearify that the people behind this movie has received a lot of critics related not only to the quality of the movie or the Script/Story, but the way they have created a company to make money or get attention in a very deceitful way..

    this people has created a deep disapointed in so many, including me.

    The people behind this movie has made other movies already, like piratas del callao, dragones destino de fuego, etc, and they used the name Alpamayo, but they got so bad reputation that their site is not even online anymore.
    So they now have promoted themselves as a new team/company when in fact its even the same director as previous movies.
    Many people believes that this is the competition of the other company when in fact its the same people/team.
    How can they compete with themselves?

    They may try to deny this, but this is true, people whom I’ve lost all trust or respect on whatever they say to look good.
    even more considering so many years of the same lies.

    So again this is NOT their first film. they have received lots of support, but each time they promote their movies as best than Pixar, yes best than Pixar or the same quality, this is not a lie, neither a rant. They simply say contrary now. for convenience. They also repeat the same on each film, “low budget”.
    the promotion on tv and other media is ‘Completely out of reality’ here in Latin america.

    I gonna clarify that I was happy the first time I heard about a group of people was about to do animation films, that I was going to do anything to contact them(I have more than 15 years experience doing my best to do do animation). but when I saw what was happening and what was the true Intention.. I could not undestand how is that a director with no experience nor as a director, not as animator,, or a team with a very low level and no real experience, would jump into doing films instead of shorts or something more humble. But over these last years, any doubts have become undeniable. its clear: animation was never the goal here, not at all.
    .

  • http://checkeredgeekcartoons.blogspot.com Zach Cole

    I know this was yesterday, and Gobo already mentioned something about this, but if you want your film to have emotional impact, try not to put farting fish in it. Let Dreamworks do that.

    I think I get what the film might be about. I mean, I agree– if the world we’re living in is boring and unimaginative, and we have bigger dreams, it’s best to get out and achieve them. I appreciate the message, but it feels contrived.

    It’s just too bad that the film has low-budget CGI, farting fish, and trite soft rock music. Without those three things, the film might seem more watchable. Cheesy and contrived, yes, but more watchable.

  • Danny R. Santos

    If it’s all about the money and not the passion of making a film then they will never see that light of success, they will always be in the dark.

  • http://www.sbambaren.com Sergio F. Bambaren

    This comment goes to Ruramaruq, and again, I feel so much negative energy in most of the comments, that I am a truly happy human being that won’t spend more time in reading so many false issues. Thanks to those who after my first comment realize that of course all constructive criticism is welcomed, because it help us improve with you feedback. But Ruramaruq, you really crossed the line.
    Dolphin Films is a company created 4 years ago and HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ALPAMAYO ENTERTAINMENT. Why do you lie? Our web site is http://www.dolphin-films.com.
    It seems that I am starting to understand why there are so many negative people in the world, spreading lies without knowing the true facts, and yet, still lying about something God knows why probably only exists in their mind. But again, as I said, your comments are not worth an answer. My prayers go for you, Ruramaruq. Hope one day you will find true happiness, the way I did.
    No hard feelings against anyone, but I guess you don’t understand that there are still decent people in the world that don’t lie, and as I said before, my material possesions are so few, and I feel so happy that I don’t need money to be happy. Happiness resides in the simple things in life, and the peace an tranquility that one can achieve through this wonderful journey called life, one day at a time.
    Wishing you all the best of the best, and thanks Jerry for letting me express openly through your wonderful Website. My apologies for not been able to transmit the message I was hoping to share.
    Sergio F. bambaren
    CEO
    DOLPHIN FILMS

  • http://ruramuq.blogspot.com/ Ruramuq

    That is the same team and the same director. This is not about giving a nice answer, I’m just tired of so many lies.
    At least people will get a constrast and realize that there are more that anything they say on public.

    At the end everyone is FREE to think as they wish, I’m not the person who writes a message about happiness and dreams to sound nice. I’m just trying to be honest. Because after all the movies and all the convenient messages in every media. I can’t be the one who has lied systematically over the years to get more sales. you think you can write something and look nice. Perhaps. But even if that is the case, at least people will have a different perspective.. Thats all I ask.

    I’ve wished for so many years things to be different about you.
    But the same story is repeated over and over.
    Everyone doing animation is saying to you the same. and you reject everyone and call them liers and negative critics.

    I’m not Lying, these people is indeed the same people from Alpamayo Entertainment. You even anounce on tv your school, the same school created by Alpamayo. And you say its a different thing.
    Be Honest, Whats the purpose of doing animation, if everything is cover with lies and pursue of success based on money or fake promotion.
    I don’t like that, and it doesn’t matter if you call me negative or whatever, people now have another point of view about the people behind these movies..

    ..

  • Joe average

    I am a nobody with kids, and to me this looks like a very entertaining movie for my children and probably myself. But who am I to judge until I actually see the movie. The trailer has got my interest and I will be in a theater with kids to see this movie. Then and only then will I be qualified to give my opinion, and only then!!!!!

  • Robbie D.

    I think that this film needs to be given a fair chance. I’ve seen “The Dolphin” in it’s entirety and it has a ton of heart and soul. It is based off of a children’s book that has immensely positive messages for it’s readers, and I beleive that message carries through in the film.

    To be fair, in my humble opinion, this trailer does not give

  • R. Dangerous

    - the movie what it deserves. It’s simply not a very good representation of the film itself, so I can understand some of the knee-jerk criticisms.

    I think everyone should reserve judgment until they actually go see the movie or catch it on netflix.. I’m pretty darn sure that if you watch this movie with an open heart, instead of an angry one, I believe you would be hard pressed to find yourself in a negative frame of mind. The Dolphin is very uplifting, and fantastic for children.

    Another thing that I think, is that all of the “internet movie-geeks”, those computer-chair-critics spending hours blogging about how the next Harry Potter movie is going to be the bane of cinematic existence, need to keep in mind is what this film ACTUALLY IS…. This is an INDEPENDENT FOREIGN movie. It was made in Peru through the passion and hard work of a small group of people that actually succeeded in creating a film that not only BEAT the big Hollywood blockbusters in the box office of their own market, but across all of South America AND received backing and acclaim by Fox and the US market. That feat, in and of itself, should be praised by the film community. Sure, it looks like it doesn’t have the production value of “Up”, but I don’t think it’s pretending to. That doesn’t steal from the fact that it is still an amazing accomplishment that should be embraced, and thankfully, IS being rewarded. I mean, it’s a full feature computer animated film from a non-hollywood market people! And a good one! Basically, I’m just saying, try and put a hold on all the hating. It makes me sad that as American movie goers we are so spoiled and jaded that we can’t even BEGIN to accept a film that we initially perceive as “inferior” because it doesn’t live up to our 150 million dollar standards. It’s just sad.

    I know that haters will always hate, and everyone is free to express their own opinions. Yet, how we express them affects everyone around us, and shapes who we are. Hippie philosophy or not, at least we should consider the karmatic repercussions of throwing such negative energy at such a charming and passionate movie.

  • Juliana Marquez

    Hi everybody. I’m Peruvian and I study communications in a university in Lima. I’m surprised to see how heated this debate about a “little” Peruvian movie has become, but, let me tell you, I’m not surprised. And I’m saying this because as a student I follow some blogs, and it’s not the first time that this funny character, Ruramuq, expresses his hatred against the people who try to create an animation industry in Peru. And he criticizes and calls “garbage” a movie that has been the biggest Peruvian movie in the last ten years in Peru, and the biggest Peruvian movie ever to be released outside its country. Wow. That doesn’t mean the movie’s good, but people here loved this movie, even though they say the worst enemy to a Peruvian is another Peruvian (hear that, Ruramuq? Can you relate to that?). Of course there are people who didn’t like the movie, but I think 90% of the people who saw this movie liked it. If they hadn’t, it would be very difficult to explain its huge numbers in the Peruvian -and Latin American- box office.
    And as a student I can’t really understand why so many people dismiss this movie without having seen it. I recommend you to see it, and I’m sure some of you will be pleasantly surprised and will change your minds.

  • http://www.coreyholtzberg.com Corey Holtzberg

    Hi!

    My name is Corey Holtzberg and i did the voices of Maitre, the octopus, and Mr. Bite, the shark, for the English version of the film.

    Today i decided to go on line and check in the movie.. and was just amazed when i came across this site. WOW! I’m almost speechless. I have been a voice talent and producer for almost 20 years. I do mostly commercial work for clients all over the world. While i love doing commercials, it has been my DREAM of mine, since childhood, to be a voice of an animated character in a movie. Not only did Sergio Bambaren, owner of Dolphin films, give me the opportunity, he chose me to do 2 of the voices.

    Sergio had a vision, a dream and a budget. In my opinion we did some amazing work with the resources we had. If you actually knew how this was put together you’d be amazed. As a producer i thought it is was absolutely incredible what technology allowed us to do!

    To me, this project wasn’t about BIG MONEY, HOLLYWOOD and AWARDS for animation. It was about an INCREDIBLE group of AMAZING and CREATIVE people coming together to turn someone’s dream into a reality. If any of you knew what kind of positive, wonderful, honest and professional people we had an opportunity to work with, you’d all be applying for jobs at Dolphin Films. I pray i get to work with them again.

    To read all of these attacks is really saddening. Why must everything have to be the BEST? Why can’t something be great without spending enormous amounts of money? Does everything have to win an award? What happened to the SIMPLE, GOOD THINGS IN LIFE? Like making a dream come true for someone?

    I urge all of you negative people out there…….please think about a dream you might have within you. Then chase it! If you can take that dream and turn it into something good in this life…….please share it with us. We won’t rain on you.

    • Kimberly

      My family just found this website. We watched this movie yesterday and wanted to see if there was anything being said about this film online. We were not surprised to find it’s overall quality being debated. The reason…we thought it was awful. We have young children and they thought it was horrible and asked to stop it before the movie’s end. I insisted we finish it to give it a chance. It wasn’t the low quality animation so much as the character profiles and story line. However the topper for us was the lack luster voices and in particular the voice of the octopus and shark. We immediately knew they were the same person. The voice wasn’t believable in either role. It was like someone talking from a script with absolutely no tone inflection or emotion whatsoever. It was honestly painful to listen to.

      We admire those who step outside the ordinary and try to do something original, but this missed the mark completely. I’m sure my young daughter would love this in book form. It reminded us of Rainbow Fish, but I cannot imagine in my wildest dreams sitting through 60+ minutes of Rainbow Fish especially if the animation was questionable and the voices were monotone and uninteresting.

      I’m glad your dream to be the voice of an animated character came true, but I’m sorry to say, I don’t believe you were likely the best one for those parts. If young children comment on a film like this made for children and they find the voices and music irritating to listen to, then something is clearly not working here.

      In addition, although the messages were upbeat and positive in nature, they were repeated over and over in a condesending tone to the point of nausea. It was almost like it was done to irritate rather than to send a positive message about life. The potential for greatness was there, but sadly this fell short for my family.

  • BookWormNZ

    I just wanted to add my two cents worth in here…… I truly love the books written by Sergio Bambaren. I got very hooked onto the books after I read The Dolphin – it is the most amazingly motivating and “pick me up” and cheer you up when down kinda book and I in all honesty believe that people need to give the movie a chance…. A movie that stems from a book that is sooooo well written and moving can in no way be as bad as some people have said it is. I mean have any of those people really watched the whole movie??? Since I’m from NZ I have to wait for ages before things come out around out here…. But really DON’T KNOCK IT TILL YOU’VE TRIED IT PEOPLE…..for those that seem to think that they are and can do better how about you go out there in the world do better and I will believe you. The Dolphin was a beautiful book and people need to give the movie a chance – go and judge for yourself who knows maybe you will find something worth your time and money in it. Well done to those who persued their dreams, I hope that your dreams come true……. :) :)