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We Bought a Zoo (2011)

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

Director:

Cameron Crowe

Writers:

Aline Brosh McKenna (screenplay), Cameron Crowe (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,799 ( 86)
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Damon ... Benjamin Mee
Scarlett Johansson ... Kelly Foster
Thomas Haden Church ... Duncan Mee
Colin Ford ... Dylan Mee
Maggie Elizabeth Jones ... Rosie Mee
Angus Macfadyen ... Peter MacCready (as Angus MacFadyen)
Elle Fanning ... Lily Miska
Patrick Fugit ... Robin Jones
John Michael Higgins ... Walter Ferris
Carla Gallo ... Rhonda Blair
J.B. Smoove ... Mr. Stevens (as JB Smoove)
Stephanie Szostak ... Katherine Mee
Michael Panes ... Principal
Kym Whitley ... Cashier
Todd Stanton ... San Diego Vet
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Storyline

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 in 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

Taglines:

Based on a true story. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

23 December 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un zoológico en casa See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,360,434, 25 December 2011

Gross USA:

$75,624,550

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$120,081,841
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the movie, the character, Rosie, refers to her dad, Benjamin Mee, as "more handsome" than the other dads because most of them don't have hair. The real Benjamin Mee is completely bald. See more »

Goofs

When Rosie is watching the peacocks hatch, it is actually chickens that are hatching, not peacocks. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Psych: The Break-Up (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

No Soy Del Valle
Written by William Holland and Nidia Gongora
Performed by Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno
Courtesy of Tru Thoughts Recordings
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful & Touching, Crowe does it again.
27 November 2011 | by wbhendrix-1See all my reviews

Cameron Crowe never fails to deliver hart warming drama-comedies that make you laugh, cry and keep you on the edge of your seat for duration of his films. For me personally, I never seem to agree with Crowe's casting taste (Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson never do much for me) but Cameron has a way with actors and a true vision for his story. He always seems to know exactly who can capture his characters and ultimately draw out your emotions that he's tugging at.

In We Bought a Zoo, there is a bit of a slow start and at one point I was worried Cameron had lowered his voice to appeal to a larger audience to please producers and critics alike (after his Critically-bombed but personal all time fav, Elizabethtown).

But let me tell you, pay your dues with the first half of this film because the second half will take you on a mesmerizing cinematic adventure you'll be heartbroken for more. Cameron ventures into a new family drama without compromising his voice, music taste or quality film making. And if you are still not a huge CC fan, the animals are sure to win you over. Their beautiful and natural moments on screen are as breath taking as they are tear-jerking.

Spend an amazing two hours with this film and there won't be a person in your household that won't agree that this film is one to remember. From a fan and living-room-critic, I give it two thumbs up :)


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