Pinball the Dolphin


July 5, 2022

Flipper the Dolphin (Flipper) is an American television series in 88 25-minute episodes, created by Ricou Browning and Jack Cowden, and broadcast between September 19, 1964 and April 15, 1967 on NBC. In France, the series was broadcast for the first time on November 13, 1966 on the Second Channel of the ORTF. It was rebroadcast in 1975 on TF1 in the program Les Visiteurs du Wednesday, in 1989 on FR3 in Samdynamite, from 1991 to 1992 on M6, in 1996 on La Cinquième, and in 2009 on France 5 in the program Midi les Zouzous .


The adventures of the Ricks family: the father, Porter, manager of the Coral Key water park in Florida and his two sons, Sandy and Bud. But the real hero of the series is Flipper, a bottlenose dolphin tamed by Bud, who comes to the aid of swimmers in difficulty or shipwrecked people.


Brian Kelly (VF: Bernard Woringer then Hubert Noël): Porter Ricks Luke Halpin (VF: Bernard Pisani): Sandy Ricks Tommy Norden (VF: Pascal Bressy): Bud Ricks Pinball: five female dolphins were used for the shots Andy DevineHap Gorman Ulla Strömstedt as Ulla Norstrand Denise Nickerson: TinaNote: info on the French version was provided by comedian Pascal Bressy.

Data sheet

Original Title: Pinball English title: Flipper the dolphin Producer: NBC Directors: Ricou Browning, Stanley Z. Cherry, Joseph Gannon, Brian Kelly Screenwriters: Maria Little, Jack Cowden, Ricou Browning, James Buxbaum, Peter L. Dixon, Monroe Manning, Laird Koenig Music: Henry Vars, Ruby Raksin, Samuel Matlovsky Producer: Ivan Tors, James Buxbaum Production companies: MGM Television Country of origin: United States English language Number of episodes: 88 (3 seasons) Duration: 25 minutes First broadcast dates: United States: September 19, 1964 France: November 13, 1966

Pinball Role

Flipper was first played by two female dolphins named Susie and Kathy. Three other females named Patty, Scotty and Squirt occasionally took part in the filming. Female dolphins were chosen because they are less aggressive than males and their skin — unlike the skin of male dolphins — is generally free of scars and other marks from altercations with other dolphins. These five dolphins performed all of Pinball's comedian tasks except the famous reverse, a trick they were unable to perform completely. A male dolphin named Clown was added for the reverse scenes. Flipper's famous "voice" was actually the doctored song of a kingfisher. The Dolphins have had two trainers, Robert Corbin and Ric O'Barry (who also plays understudy for Luke Halpin). Ric O'Barry—who would later become a maritime activist—explains in his books, as well as on the Earth Day Special presented by Oprah Winfrey, that when production on the Flipper series ended, he saw the dolphin Kathy voluntarily end his life: “She was really depressed… You have to understand that dolphins and whales do not breathe unconsciously like us. Every breath they take is a conscious effort. They can end their life anytime. She swam into my arms and looked me straight in the eye, took a deep breath and didn't take another. I let her go, and she sank face down to the bottom of the tank. »

The different generics

There are three different credits to the series. Composed by Henry Vars with lyrics by William "By" Dunham, the opening credits are entirely instrumental. For the second season, lyrics are added, sung by Frankie Randall in the first five episodes. The third and last credits