Listed as “Inspired by” the true story of the 1988 whale-rescue and the 1989 follow-up book, “Big Miracle” doesn’t pretend to be a factual play-by-play of those events. It is a fictionalized account, obviously suggested by the leads being afflicted with the Everyone Is Funny virus. But don’t let its lack of hewing absolutely to every little fact keep you at home. They get the basics – and what’s important – right; and they don’t shy away from some of the less attractive parts of the story in order to do so.
The film is anchored by a great cast who seem to be invested in telling a good story, and enhanced by the use of actual footage when possible. Shooting in Alaska didn’t hurt either, as such scenic vastness and scope is difficult to reproduce in a studio. The film is relatively short, and moves along at a fair pace to keep the younger ones interested (although I’d wished more shots of the whales themselves were shown). The logistics of just how to help the whales could have been difficult top explain, but most of that is done visually, and through the use of newsreporting graphics.
It all culminates in a movie that is entertaining, enriching, and touching entertainment for the whole family. And stick around through the credits for some extra tidbits using both real and “enhanced” footage.
Overall Score for “Big Miracle” from Rich Bonaduce: A-
“Big Miracle” is rated PG for language.
Directed by: Ken Kwapis
Written by: Jack Amiel (screenplay), Michael Begler (screenplay), Thomas Rose (book “Freeing the Whales”)