Cinema’s most famous dolphin first flapped his flippers in this sweet family drama. It’s simple stuff – young Sandy (Halpin) lives with his family (dad’s a fisherman) in the Florida Keys and spends his days after school diving off the coast. On one such day he finds a dolphin wounded by a harpoon, so with the help of his mum he nurses it back to health and calls it Flipper.
Unfortunately, Dad (Connors) then deems it time to release Flipper back into the ocean, but don’t worry, a boy and his dolphin aren’t parted for long, and when trouble brews, Flipper is soon back to rescue Sandy.
A spin-off TV series followed, in which Flipper, like Lassie, seemed to rescue a different person in peril every week. There is also a remake from 1996 with Elijah Wood as Sandy and Aussie comedian Paul Hogan as his uncle. Filmed in the Bahamas, it looks gorgeous but has a slightly ridiculous plot involving a bad guy dumping hazardous waste in the ocean.
Is Flipper suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...