Disney to Give Feature Treatment to ‘Dolphin Boy,’ Doc About “Devastating Havoc” of Human Violence

By  · Published on December 12th, 2012

And now for something entirely different. Variety reports (via ComingSoon) that Walt Disney Pictures have picked up the film rights to Dani Menkin and Yonatan Nir’s 2011 documentary Dolphin Boy in order to turn it into a narrative feature. Dolphin Boy, you say, that sounds charming! A boy and his dolphins! Swimming free! Free Willy with dolphins, nature’s smartest aquatic creature! Aww!

Wrong. The synopsis for the original film doesn’t shy away from tossing out terms that we might necessarily associate with the House of Mouse – terms like “violent attack,” “before hospitalization in a mental institution,” “devastating havoc that human violence can wreak upon the human soul,” and more! I’m devastated just reading about this film. If you’re into having your soul pulled out through your throat, the doc’s full synopsis reads as such:

Morad – a teenager from an Arab village in the north of Israel disconnects himself from humans following a violent attack that he experienced. As a last resort before hospitalization in a Mental Institution, he is taken by his devoted father to be treated with Dolphins in Eilat. Morad starts speaking again after months of silence, but he erases his past and refuses to go home to his awaiting mother. This documentary about the devastating havoc that human violence can wreak upon the human soul, and about the healing powers of nature and of love, was filmed over the course of the past four years.

Not wrenching enough for you? Check out the trailer for the Dolphin Boy doc after the break, and bring the tissues.

Justin Zackham (The Bucket List) will pen the screenplay. There’s still no word on director or possible casting.