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Zookeeper (2011)

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A group of zoo animals decide to break their code of silence in order to help their lovable zoo keeper find love -- without opting to leave his current job for something more illustrious.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Manny (as Nick Turturro)
Robin Bakay ...


A group of zoo animals decide to break their code of silence in order to help their lovable zoo keeper find love -- without opting to leave his current job for something more illustrious.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Welcome to his jungle. See more »


Comedy | Family | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some rude and suggestive humor, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

8 July 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El guardián del zoológico  »


Box Office


$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,065,617, 10 July 2011, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Shipped to theaters under the code name "The Combo". See more »


As Griffin cycles through a park he passes a man in a blue blazer sat on a bench. A little farther on a shot over his back sees him approaching another bench on which a man and woman are sat but a face on shot of him having passed the bench shows it's now occupied by the man in the blue blazer See more »


Griffin Keyes: Bern, I gotta do this on my own. I'll sit at another table.
Bernie the Gorilla: You won't even know I'm there. I've got unbelievable mingling skills.
Griffin Keyes: Bernie, you're a gorilla.
Bernie the Gorilla: WOW! I can't believe you just went there.
See more »


Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »


Yoga Music
Written and Performed by Ana Brett, Ravi Singh and Tom Carden
Courtesy of Raviana Productions
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User Reviews

A family comedy that doesn't work
4 September 2011 | by See all my reviews

If you are about to ask me what possessed me in seeing Zookeeper, my answer would be curiosity. At first, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to see Zookeeper. The cast in general didn't appeal to me, apart from Nick Nolte and Rosario Dawson, and the trailer in the cinema when I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 had me cringing.

When I eventually dragged myself to see Zookeeper I was overall very unimpressed. Is it the worst movie of the year? Not quite, that would be either Big Momma 3, River of Darkness or Spy Kids 4. But it is low on my "films I saw in 2011" list.

I know Zookeeper is a family movie, I get that. But in my book, just because it's a family movie, doesn't automatically mean it's a good movie. Just for the record, I love family movies, some of my favourites are family movies, such as Disney, Pixar, movies like The Wizard of Oz, The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, ET, Black Beauty and The Black Stallion. Zookeeper just isn't my idea of a good family movie that's all.

I love family movies that touch you and reach out to the child within you, and also ones that appeal to a wide audience. Of course Zookeeper isn't that type of movie, but family movies can also entertain. I admit I raised a smile once or twice, mainly because of Bernie the Gorilla, and the movie didn't make me cringe as much as its trailer did, but overall Zookeeper just didn't entertain me.

Firstly, the writing is pretty much a mess. Not only is the script poorly written and a vast majority of the gags predictable and cringe worthy, but to me the humour would go over the heads of most kids and adults would find it childish.

The storyline is also incredibly predictable, and while some of the final act felt rushed a lot of it because of the humour not working felt dull. Not only that, it is very unoriginal, not always a problem, but seriously just how many times have we had the Dr Doolittle/talking animals idea? I did like some of the scenery and the animals do look great. The editing however could've been much tighter. The music is forgettable and doesn't always fit with the mood, and the direction is plodding and unfocused.

I do wish there was better news about the acting, but sadly no. I am not a fan of Kevin James, though I wasn't going to let that spoil the movie experience. However because his character so clichéd and material so weak, James tries too hard and overdoes it, badly. Rosario Dawson is pretty much wasted in a thankless role.

The animals are in a way more interesting than the humans, they look fine and their material somewhat funnier. Voice work is more problematic, some do decently but some grate fast. Adam Sandler and Maya Rudolph are incredibly irritating, while Sylvester Stallone sounds bored. Cher tries her best but her character is not among the most interesting. The best, and the only one I really did like, was Nick Nolte as Bernie.

Overall, messy and doesn't work in my opinion. 2/10 Bethany Cox

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