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We Bought a Zoo (2011)

Matt Damon , Scarlett Johansson , Cameron Crowe  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (732 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Colin Ford
  • Directors: Cameron Crowe
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2012
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (732 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004LWZW9W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,481 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "We Bought a Zoo" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Though adapted from a memoir by a British journalist, We Bought a Zoo feels entirely like a Cameron Crowe film, with clear parallels to previous crowd-pleasers like Jerry Maguire. Crowe introduces Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon in a role that recalls his Contagion character) six months after the death of his wife. Since everything reminds him of her, the California columnist decides to make a change, starting with a new location. His realtor (Curb Your Enthusiasm's J.B. Smoove), brother (Sideways' Thomas Haden Church), and sullen teenage son (Colin Ford) try to talk him out of it, but Mee falls in love with a country manor that comes with a strange stipulation: the tenant must manage the zoo that accompanies the property. With his daughter's blessing, Mee takes the plunge. Fortunately, he inherits an experienced staff, including MacCready (Angus MacFadyen), Robin (Patrick Fugit), Lily (Elle Fanning), and Kelly (Scarlett Johansson, lovely as ever in her least glamorous role to date). Mee's road to reinvention offers few surprises, but Damon makes him a sympathetic figure who finds the same kind of support system among the park personnel that Fugit's Almost Famous writer found in the rock world, except Mee's relationships have more staying power. If his detractors--a skeptical employee and an unctuous inspector--feel like screenwriter constructs, Zoo represents a return to form for Crowe after a series of missteps, including Elizabethtown. Better yet, the real-life park that Mee acquired continues to lead by example as a humane habitat for endangered species. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

Oscarr Winner Matt Damon gives a heartfelt performance in this "delightful surprise" (Lou Lumenick, New York Post) that's based on a true story. When his teenage son gets into trouble, Benjamin Mee (Damon) gives up a lucrative newspaper job to move his family to the most unlikely of places: a zoo! With help from an eclectic staff, and with many misadventures along the way, Benjamin embarks on a fresh beginning to restore the dilapidated zoo to its former glory, while uniting his family. From the director of Jerry Maguire, We Bought a Zoo is a "wonderful, warm and witty" (Bill Bregoli, CBS Radio News) celebration of the human spirit.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
123 of 133 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Really, when are folks the most maudlin if not during the holiday season? When they're most likely to forgive one's abundance of sentimentality? WE BOUGHT A ZOO utilizes savvy product placement by coinciding its box office release with the month of December. Not that it mattered to me one bit when this film would've come out. Me, I'm a sucker for the sentimental stuff. The movie's title doesn't lie; you get the gist of the premise. Here's Cameron Crowe again, manipulating your emotions, coaxing a laugh, making you tear up. He's such a user.

It's based on a true story. Matt Damon, one of my favorite actors, plays journalist Benjamin Mee who nurses an adventurous streak. He has interviewed dangerous underworld figures in third world nations. He has flown into Category 4 storms. Benjamin profoundly believes that 20 seconds of insane courage can only alter your life for the better. But how much insane courage can one muster when the love of your life leaves you?

Benjamin Mee can't stand pity, even pity assignments at work. Six months after his wife's passing, Benjamin quits his career and - when a neighbor's party causes his seven-year-old girl Rosie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones) to remark: "Their happy's too loud." - he uproots the fam. Seeking a new residence, he and Rosie stumble upon what looks to be the ideal home in the country, even if it's nine miles from a Target store or pretty much from any other store. Except that a broken-down zoo is attached to the house. Buy one, buy the other. Benjamin Mee has always strived to give his kids an "authentic American experience," but his bump of common sense is interfering here. Ultimately, it's little Rosie's unbounded joy at the thought of having a zoo that decides things.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Heart-warming, moving, funny, and beautifully acted - We Bought A Zoo is a very enjoyable family movie that will both lift your spirits with its graceful humor, and make you reflect on life and family related issues thanks to the profound message it carries. It's a fantastic adaptation of Benjamin Mee's memoir, and one of the most delightful movies I've seen in recent months.

Colin Ford, who plays the troubled son, was absolutely fantastic in his role. Sympathetic and real, he really brought his character to life with his convincing acting. And so did Matt Damon. Now, I'm not a huge fan of Matt Damon, but I must admit that he really fit into this role perfectly. You could tell that he enjoyed himself and that definitely elevated his performance. Scarlett Johansson surprised me. To be honest, I did not think of Johansson when picturing Kelly Foster while reading the book. I imagined someone taller, tougher and more obviously kick-ars. And yet when I saw Johansson on the screen I knew she was the one! She wasn't her usual girly self, she appeared stronger and fiercer than ever, and I really loved that about her. She turned out to be the perfect girl for the role.

It's not very often that I prefer the movie adaptation over the book its based on, but that's exactly what happened with We Bought a Zoo. I enjoyed the book a lot, but I loved the movie even more. Maybe it's thanks to the fabulous cast and their expressiveness, maybe I loved the animals, or the soundtrack and the uplifting atmosphere it created. Or maybe it's a little bit of everything and how it all came together, exploring the complexity of life, family relationships, grief and love. I don't know. All I know is that I really loved this movie. It moved me. I feel that I learned something important while watching it. It was a magical and enriching experience and I'll definitely recommend watching We Bought A Zoo to all my friends.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My family Loved This Movie! April 6, 2012
Format:DVD
This may have been last years only real movie. You'd never know that from the title because its far from a campy kids movie. Matt Damon has never been better, and Scarlet until now has never been a favorite. It's not often that the entire family can enjoy a movie together. My 11 year old son said that he loved it so much that it's tied for #1 with The Goonies, and that's saying something coming from an 11 year old boy. The entire family agreed that laughing, and occasionally shedding a tear in the same movie is a good thing. I wish there were more movies like We Bought a Zoo. Actually, I just wish there were more Cameron Crowe movies.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The feel-good movie of 2011! February 7, 2012
Format:DVD
The sound of the plot sounds like a complete kids movie (and the audience of the showing I attended would prove that claim), but there is more to this film than meets the eye. Director Cameron Crowe (one of my favorites) co-writes a wonderful screenplay full of engaging, fun characters, based on the true life story of Benjamin Mee, a man who decided to purchase a run-down zoo, fix it up, and re-open it. Matt Damon, Colin Ford (who they did a wonderful job as casting as Damon's son as he looks just like a younger version of Damon), and Elle Fanning are the stars of this film, and while the animals and kids may seem like the focus, it is the relationships and life issues that take center stage. The film has that particular heartwarming magic that is infused in nearly all of Crowe's films, which is so appealing to me; it also features one of the best music scores of the year by Jonsi (of Sigur Ros). I don't know if this is exactly for kids 'cause there are lots of grown-up, dramatic moments (and they might get bored), but it's a film I'd see over and over.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice family movie choice
Cute movie, kids liked it. Storyline interesting & worth renting. Softer side of Matt Damon & we watched it on Family Movie Night.
Published 2 days ago by Tracey N. Morse
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
I just love the story and it is base in a real life story.Great actor Matt Damon is fantastic in this character. I enjoy it very much and will see it again soon.
Published 10 days ago by Mariana
5.0 out of 5 stars Great family Movie.
Matt Damon really does excel himself in this movie, easy to watch, great for young and old. A must get movie.
Published 11 days ago by Micki
5.0 out of 5 stars movie
Love this movie. I am an animal person so I enjoyed this family movie very much.
My granddaughter enjoyed it as well.
Published 12 days ago by KBF
4.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie
This is a nice Family Movie...and there is only one part that is sad with the animals. It made me want to buy a zoo!
Published 15 days ago by Val Jardine
5.0 out of 5 stars Aaww
Sooo cute movie, I loved it the first time that I watched it, everyone would've loved a dad like Matt Damon in this movie, it's a very heartwarming story.
Published 15 days ago by A.H.
4.0 out of 5 stars I am a zookeeper....
As a seasoned zookeeper I really do love this movie. There are a few parts that make me cringe and go "that would never actually happen! Read more
Published 15 days ago by Sharah Burton
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Family Movie
I saw the end of this on tv. Had to see the movie, A great family movie, Since its based on a true story I love it even more.
Great feel good movie. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Everette Sudduth
3.0 out of 5 stars Good acting, weak story
I don't usually like Matt Damon in movies but he was really good in this one. I liked the teenage son, the twinkly little girl, and the zookeepers. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you want to buy a zoo
Lovely family film about a man who takes his children overseas to buy and run a decrepit zoo
All the usual fish out of water/ ineptitude/persons against you scenerio. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Annette Radocaj
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