7.1/10
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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.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1,522 ( 1,341)
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Peter MacCready (as Angus MacFadyen)
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Walter Ferris
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Rhonda Blair
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Mr. Stevens (as JB Smoove)
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Principal
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Cashier
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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:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

23 December 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un zoológico en casa  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,450,000, 25 December 2011, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$75,624,550

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$120,081,841
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene towards the end of the film showing red kites flying against a blue sky with Sigur Ros' Hoppipolla playing was taken from Heima (2007) during the performance of Hoppipolla. See more »

Goofs

Walter Ferris worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but his government vehicle's license plates were State of California Exempt plates. His vehicle should have had U.S. government license plates rather than a state government's license plates. 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.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Conan: Christmas Eve Not Christmas Steve (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Airline to Heaven
Written by Woody Guthrie, Jay Bennett and Jeff Tweedy (as Jeffrey Tweedy)
Performed by Wilco
Courtesy of Reprise Records
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
In praise of earnestness
26 December 2011 | by See all my reviews

I am grateful that in this cynical world, there are still artists who are courageous enough not to run from earnestness, but to embrace it. Cameron Crowe has done just that with WE BOUGHT A ZOO. This is a beautiful movie, full of life - truthfully acted, beautifully shot and lovingly directed. I expected to cry (which I did, many times) but I didn't know that it would also be so funny with levity coming just when you need it. Matt Damon was brilliant as the heartbroken but hopeful father. And my only gripe about Thomas Haden Church is that there wasn't more of him! The kids were all brilliant -- not an ounce of self-consciousness to their acting, which is rare when it comes to child actors. And the final scene alone is worth the price of admission. Anyone willing to open his or her heart will fall in love with this movie like I did. Kudos to all involved.


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