Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.

From the dazzling coral reefs of the Bahamas to the wind-swept seas of Patagonia, go under the water’s surface for a romp with inquisitive Atlantic spotted dolphins, acrobatic dusky dolphins and the familiar bottlenose dolphin. Follow marine biologists, Dr. Kathleen Dudzinski, Dr. Bernd Würsig and Dr. Alejandro Acevedo-Gutierrez, as they research the communication of wild dolphins with innovative scientific methods. From rarely seen fish-herding behavior to a close-up look at complex communication activities, Dolphins offers a fascinating new perspective on the lives of dolphins and their remarkable intelligence.

Produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films in association with National Wildlife Federation.

Major funding provided by National Science Foundation and the Museum Film Network.

A Great Adventure Film

Narrated by Pierce Brosnan

Music by Sting

Release date: 2000

Runtime: 39 minutes

Format: filmed in 15 perforation/70 mm

For Educators

Download the Educator Guide.

Explore the Virtual Field Trip package.

Stream educational screenings through Kanopy

Where to Watch

Stream the full film on Movies for Families

Watch now on Amazon Prime

Buy the Dolphins Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon

Listen to the Dolphins CD soundtrack Featuring the music of Sting, on Pangaea Records

Learn More About the Making of the Film

Dolphins by Tim Cahill features two hundred stunning full-color photographs, including IMAX images, that complement a fascinating odyssey into the world of undersea mammals, which provides highlights of the work done by three leading scientists in the field of dolphin research.

Meeting Dolphins: My Adventures in the Sea By Dr. Kathleen Dudzinski describes her work studying dolphin communication and her invention of a listening device that allows researchers to tell which of a group of dolphins is vocalizing underwater.

Dolphins is an enchanting, huge-screen family movie that takes you underwater for 40 minutes of fun, frolic, and the rudiments of communications with these mammals with the permanent grins.”
– New York Daily News

“Produced by IMAX vet MacGillivray Freeman Films, maker of the phenomenally successful EverestDolphins seems modeled on its subject: it’s as playful and personable as it is big and beautiful.”
– Detroit Free Press

“…the perfect balance of spectacular images and solid science.”
– The Toronto Sun

“…a gloriously colorful and captivating sojourn among some of the world’s most intriguing creatures.”
– Cincinnati Enquirer

“Mesmerizing to look at…entertains and informs the whole family…”
– Dallas Morning News

Dolphins broke attendance records for the best single day and the largest Spring break attendance ever at this institution.”
– Museum of Science and Industry, Portland

  • Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject – Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, 2000
  • Nominated for an IDA Award for Best Documentary Short – International Documentary Association, 2000
  • Best Film of the Year for Lifelong Learning and Best Marketing Campaign of the Year by a Distributor – 2000 Giant Screen Theater Association Achievement Awards
  • Gold Camera Award – U.S. International Film and Video Festival
  • Silver WorldMedal – The New York Festivals
  • Grand Prix du Public – La Géode Film Festival, Paris
  • Special Gold Jury Award – 2000 Worldfest – Houston International Independent Film & Video Festival
  • Official Selection – 2008 Environmental Film Festival, Washington DC
  • Highest grossing documentary film (of any format—15/70 or 35mm) of 2000
Honors and Reviews

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