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Warner Home Video presents
Flipper's New Adventure (1964)

"Nobody's going to take you Flipper. Nobody!"
- Sandy Ricks (Luke Halpin)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: September 22, 2004

Stars: Luke Halpin, Pamela Franklin
Director: Leon Benson

MPAA Rating: G
Run Time: 01h:37m:36s
Release Date: August 24, 2004
UPC: 012569572522
Genre: family

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

After the success of 1963's Flipper, Luke Halpin returns in the role of Sandy Ricks for the following year's sequel and precursor to the TV series, in Flipper's New Adventure aka Flipper and the Pirates, written by TV producer Ivan Tors, based on the characters developed by Ricou Browning (who makes a cameo as Dr. Clark Burton) and Jack Cowden.

Sandy is living alone in the Florida Keys after his mother's death, while his father is away training to be a Park Ranger. However, their land is being expropriated to make way for a new causeway, meaning both the boy and his dolphin will need to find new homes. When Sandy learns that Flipper is slated to be shipped to an aquarium, he sets out on the high seas in a rowboat with his companion at his side, and after a few harrowing situations, finds himself on a remote island in the Bahamas, the perfect place to hide out from the rest of the world.

While his father searches desperately for his son, Sandy's sanctuary is disturbed when a trio of escaped convicts hijack a passing ship, abandoning the wife and two daughters, Gwen and Penny, of Sir Halsey Hopewell, at sea, and Sandy is forced to send Flipper to rescue them. The women are completely helpless, so Sandy sets out to aid them with the supplies they need, all the while trying to remain in hiding. When Penny finally discovers Sandy's efforts, the boy begins to teach her some of his survival skills, which Penny passes on to her mother and older sister as things she has "seen in a movie," being sworn to secrecy about Sandy's presence. With Flipper's assistance, her fish net is continually refilling, but conflict erupts when Sandy tells Flipper to extinguish the women's signal fire. Eventually things get set straight, and Sandy is called upon to rescue the family once again. Meanwhile, Sandy's dad continues to scour the coastline for signs of his son.

This second film is less serious than the first, with dramatic elements played down by comparison. Once again, the bond between boy and dolphin is paramount, and there is an ample amount of underwater footage. There is plenty of humor, however, much of it borders on the ridiculous, as the clueless mother and older daughter readily accept the appearance of urgently needed supplies, such as canned food and a can opener (note to castaways: do NOT eat food from cans that float!) or dead fish in their trap or flung up on shore. Continuity is also a mess in places, such as ignoring the existence of Sandy's letter to his father, or introducing a sea captain who simply disappears after a brief segment. Rather than reprise the theme song, this sequel adds a few new songs, which really date the picture due to their sappiness. Halpin has matured since the first film, and here there is a modest attempt at giving him a female counterpart, which Pamela Franklin handles aptly, but the writing doesn't expand their relationship into a romance of any kind. Suitable for its day, Flipper's New Adventure is pretty harmless family entertainment, and while stretching credibility, does manage to entertain.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Image quality is quite good overall, with nicely saturated color and solid black levels. Grain varies by scene, with stock or dolphin footage being coarser. There are some minor print defects, but nothing overly distracting.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Frenchyes

Audio Transfer Review: Mono audio is presented clearly, with no major defects to speak of. Dialogue is easy to discern, and frequency coverage is generally balanced with only minor excess sibilance.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 27 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring Flipper
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Extras consist soley of the film's theatrical trailer and a trailer for the original 1963 Flipper.

The Tom and Jerry cartoon advertised on the back cover is not present on the disc.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

Flipper's New Adventure carries on the franchise in a fun, if not credible, story. Lots of dolphin footage should keep the kids entertained.


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