Created based on consensus in this thread.
It seems that in most media; especially most fiction; dolphins will be portrayed primarily as heroic creatures, partly because of their cuteness
, and partly because real-life stories of dolphins saving human lives make them a marketable species of hero.
Of course, in real life that isn't the whole
story; many dolphins are known to kill for fun,
and it's plausible that some of these might even be the same dolphins; being willing to Pet the Dog
doesn't rule out the possibility of kicking
a different one, after all.
That said, Deconstructions
of this are becoming increasingly popular, at least in non-fictional media.
For another creature often portrayed as heroic, see Heroic Dog
- The comics based on the Ecco the Dolphin game series make Ecco's noble nature clear in no uncertain terms; though his somewhat◊ dark◊ methods of fighting enemies may make him seem like a bit of an Anti-Hero.
- Porm, the dolphin who acted as a surrogate mother to Aquaman.
- Another example occurs in Jaws 3-D. Cindy and Sandy rescue Kay and Mike from a shark after attempting to keep them out of the Galleon.
- Fa and Be from Day Of The Dolphin.
- Dolphin Tale: Not so much "heroic" as "inspirational," but Winter's willingness to adapt to swimming without a tail is regarded by many humans both within the story and in the audience as an inspiration to handicapped humans.
- Venus Among the Fishes is about Coral and her brother Snapper who are sent on a journey to save their pod from orca attacks.
- In Journey of the Dolphin King House Rinaldo the leader dolphin of a band of dolphins and his goal is to help his dolphin pod find a new home.
- Dolphin's Dance is about a man reincaranated as a dolphin. One of the events in the story involves him saving a colege student who was in a surfing accident.
- The Tempests Roar is about a white dolphin named Apollo whose destiny is to save whalekind from destruction on this planet man calls Earth but whales know as Planet Ocean
- In The Roman Mysteries book The Dolphins of Laurentum, a dolphin rescues Lupus after he nearly drowns from staying underwater too long while diving. It is also strongly implied that the same dolphin discouraged Lupus from deliberatly leaving behind another diver who had been trapped by a giant octopus, though in fairness to Lupus he had a good reason for wanting the trapped person to die. The same scene is also in the Live-Action TV adaptation. The book also references several examples of the use of dolphins in Classical Mythology, including stories of shipwrecked sailors being rescued by dolphins.
- The cyber hacker dolphin from Johnny Mnemonic.
- Dolphin Way Rise of the Guardians has a dolphin protagonist who must break his civilizations rules to save his friends.
- Dolphins of Expedor is about Timothy Shore, a yellow, fourteen year old 'talking' dolphin, gets sucked into a whirlpool adventure to save his city 'Expedor' from certain destruction
- Dolphin Journey has a dolphin protagonist and hero that goes out on a journey to create a song that will keep other dolphins from being trapped in nets.
- Some editions of Dungeons & Dragons have depicted dolphins as sentient Good-aligned creatures with their own patron goddess.
- Ecco the Dolphin: Humans aren't even present, at least not in the Genesis games, but Ecco saves not only his family, but the world as a whole, from being consumed by Vortex aliens.
- Played straight with the empathic, pacifist Liir race from Sword of the Stars...until you attack them, at which point they'll declare you Suul'Ka and never stop killing you until your entire race is just a fading memory. Liir soldiers are called "Black Swimmers" and are never permitted to interact with civilian Liir, lest their murderous tendencies corrupt the entire species.
- Both animated Titanic movies have them: the first has talking dolphins that are trying to stop evil whalers, and the second has dolphins who don't talk, but help save people from the sinking ship.
- Dolphins who help stranded swimmers get to land or help.