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We Bought a Zoo (2011)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Family  |  23 December 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 103,498 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 195 user | 254 critic | 40 from

Set in Southern California, a father moves his young family to the countryside to renovate and re-open a struggling zoo.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter MacCready (as Angus MacFadyen)
Mr. Stevens (as JB Smoove)


Benjamin has lost his wife. In a bid to start his life over, he purchases a large house that has a zoo. This is welcome news for his daughter, but his son is not happy about it. The zoo is need of renovation and Benjamin sets about the work with the head keeper, Kelly, and the rest of the zoo staff. But, the zoo soon runs into financial trouble. The staff must get the zoo back to its former glory, pass a zoo inspection, and get it back open to the public. Written by Kad

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and some thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 December 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un zoológico en casa  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$9,450,000 (USA) (23 December 2011)


$75,621,915 (USA) (11 May 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Amy Adams, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Rachel McAdams were considered for the role of Kelly Foster. See more »


Kelly tells Rosie that tigers don't roar, they chuff. In actuality, tigers can roar; chuffing is their alternative to purring. See more »


[first lines]
Dylan Mee: My dad is a writer who specialized in adventure.
Benjamin Mee: This is Benjamin Mee. I am surrounded by hundreds, probably thousands of killer bees. If I wasn't wearing this suit, I would be dead in an instant.
Dylan Mee: He interviewed dangerous dictators.
Hugo Chavez: Take this message to that American cowboy. We already gave a 10 billion dollar oil credit to China. Swallow that, Mr. Danger!
Benjamin Mee: What's your favorite movie?
Hugo Chavez: Toy Story.
[to his staff]
Hugo Chavez: The first one or the second one?
Segundo: The second.
See more »


Referenced in Cameron's Book of Love (2014) See more »


Gathering Stories
Music by Jon Thor Birgisson (as Jónsi)
Lyrics by Jon Thor Birgisson (as Jónsi) and Cameron Crowe
Performed by Jon Thor Birgisson (as Jónsi)
Produced by Jon Thor Birgisson (as Jónsi) and Alex Somers
Courtesy of XL Recordings and Parlophone Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A wonderful family movie that is full of heart and appeals to all ages. A must see family movie. I easily say its an A.
31 March 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it." Benjamin Mee's (Damon) life is starting to crumble. His wife has died, his son is expelled from school and he quit his job. In hopes to start a new life they decide to move and find the perfect house. Then they realize that it's a zoo. I have to admit that I was a little skeptical going in because I thought that it would be a good movie but really cheesy. I really like Cameron Crowe though so I expected it to be good from that. I have to admit that this was one of the best family movies that I have seen in a long time. The movie had enormous heart, depth and tackled real world issues while still appealing to all ages. The writing and the acting were great and the movie absolutely won me over a half hour in. I highly recommend this one. Overall, this is a must see for families and is one to buy so you can watch over and over. I give it an A.

42 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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There is something seriously wrong with this film. sosvovenon
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Little girl was annoying! BGEditor11
as hot as Scarlett Johansson is arunsah
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