Its a cheap, made-for-TV movie and a pilot for a series which never got made. The film is a surrealist sci-fi Swiss Family Robinson.
I suspect the series never got taken up because the main characters are not sufficiently interesting for much more than a feature length film. They are:
Dr John Everman (Sam Behrens): a neuro-surgeon who would rather be working than spending time with his wife and children. He's our narrator as well. I think we are supposed to find him witty and sympathetic but actually he is selfish egotistical and annoying.
Dr Grace Everman (Susanna Thompson): a general practitioner and John's wife. She is same age as him, but good looking and as charming and instinctively good natured as he is charmless and selfish. Why she would put up with his behaviour is never explained.
Their diabetic son, who is unable to survive without insulin and whose condition is a running plot theme in the film. The problem is that there is no supply of insulin on this parallel dimension island where the family now is, and when the small amount in his kit expires, so will he. Sadly, I never felt the slightest tension or anxiety in connection with his stupidity-fueled misadventures, for example losing his insulin kit while swimming in a volcanic lake. There is nothing wrong with child actor, David Gallagher as Sam Everman; he just plays an unlikeable child correctly and quite well.
Sam's older sister, Annie: Lisa Jakub. Lisa Jakub was one of the better child actors of the 1990s and this was one of her last films before she turned 18 and quit acting, choosing in her own words to leave Hollywood, stop pretending to be other people, and just live a normal average life. Once she turned adult she preferred anonymity to fame. But she was a good actress and it is really her performance which breaths life into this otherwise very mediocre film.
Bizarrely, Annie's main role in the film is to befriend and swim with the dolphins, who turn out to be key allies of the Everman family. Aged 17, she is the first one to show wisdom and see good sides to their situation, even though she is also worried and scared for her baby brother, with whom she endlessly bickers and quarrels, but who is still very dear to her heart. When the dolphins invite her to swim, displaying to entice her into the water, the penny drops for her: they're on a tropical paradise island with spartan but clean and decent accommodation, plenty of food, some very good company among their neighbours, and whether it is heaven or hell is down to what they make of it. Annie is the first one who gets it, and who starts to both enjoy herself and to make herself beneficial to other people and look for new friends, including the dolphins. Survival, mental as well as physical, is about an attitude of mind, and Annie has the right attitude; she can find happiness in what she has instead of misery in what she has lost.
Annie adventures are by far the most entertaining part of the film. They include a rather shocking horror moment when the dolphins lead her to an obvious drug traffickers aeroplane crashed in the bottom of the lagoon and the smugglers are still aboard, and have evidently been there for long enough that the tropical fish have finished with them. She feels betrayed by her dolphin friends, but it turns out that there are medical supplies on the plane. The dolphins also rescue her in quite a tense scene when she is trapped in the plane.
As well as Lisa Jakub, the film has a 28 year Naomi Watts, before she hit the big time and with a rather unflattering hairstyle, but still very attractive and also, after Lisa Jakub, the standout actor in the cast. She is a documentary film maker who wanted to make a film about the Bermuda Triangle and got caught by it. She is very attracted to handsome young Mike, the grad school captain of the Everman's yacht; but she has a husband in Chicago and is determined to get back to him and not to betray their marriage. Her resilience and brave endurance in the face of this ghastly separation is nicely played by Ms Watts. The tiny village's "mayor" and father-figure, a downed USN pilot from WW2 now in his 70s but who still wears and maintains his service uniform and remains calmly optimistic and shows the leadership the little group needs without ever asserting unwarranted power or authority, is the other support act which deserves honorable mention; he is nicely played by Jerry Hardin.
The other strength of the film is the cinematography, which is rather good for a humble TV movie. The swimming and aquatic sequences around the island lagoon are really well done, great use of light and colour. They help to explain the character development of Lisa Jakub's character, and why despite the situation she finds things to love about her new home and reasons to be cheerful.
The weaknesses are a weak and badly written story and too many unlikeable characters. The strengths are the imaginative use of the location and a few engaging acting performances by the players who got the best roles, Lisa Jakub especially.
Review by a_clee from the Internet Movie Database.