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We Bought a Zoo [DVD]

306 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

We Bought a Zoo [DVD] + We Bought a Zoo (Film Tie-in): The amazing true story of a broken-down zoo, and the 200 animals that changed a family forever
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Product details

  • Actors: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Elle Fanning, Carla Gallo
  • Directors: Cameron Crowe
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 8 Oct. 2012
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (306 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008J2131Q
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,677 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Matt Damon stars in this feelgood family feature based on the memoir by Benjamin Mee. Newly widowed Benjamin (Damon) is finding life difficult trying to raise his two young children. Urged on by his father, Duncan (Thomas Haden Church), to start over, Benjamin decides to purchase a rundown zoo in the countryside in the hope that it will bring his family together again. Having to care for 47 species, and with his friends thinking he's mad, Benjamin sets out to restore the zoo to its former glory with the help of a small but loyal staff led by Kelly Foster (Scarlett Johansson).

From Amazon.co.uk

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 --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Pantheon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 Oct. 2012
Format: Blu-ray
I bought this film because I really liked Jerry Maguire and Vanilla Sky (also directed by Cameron Crowe), Matt Damon as an actor, and because the premise of a guy with no experience of caring for animals buying a zoo sounded interesting. Going in I fully expected to be manipulated by the screenwriter and composer and subsequently had some tissues nearby. Yes, there are moments of predictability in the film; but in all cases they work because they are moments where, as a viewer, you WANT the cliché moment or predictable outcome. I thought the entire cast did a great job with the material. There was only one bit of mis-casting in my opinion; and that was Elle Fanning as Lily. She was playing younger than she actually is but is never convincing in the role. The story itself is inspirational and definitely made our household talk about how wonderful it would be to find the job of your dreams - a job you could actually love. So few of us ever get to experience that.
For anyone who loves feel-good, uplifting movies this is a must own.
The picture and sound quality are superb and the disc is region free. There are also quite a few extras, including a very interesting featurette on the real family and their zoo in Dartmoor.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Red Rock Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 Aug. 2012
Format: DVD
Recently saw this family friendly movie and enjoyed it. If you have read Benjamin Mee's book WE BOUGHT A ZOO you may be disappointed at the "hollywood spin". Any similarity between the book and the movie basically ends with the title.

In the book Mee's father died and HIS MOTHER bought the Dartmoor Zoo (located in the UK not California) using funds received from the sale of her home in Surrey. Mee's wife Katherine was alive at the time of the purchase and moved to the zoo with their two children Milo age six (hardly the trouble teen, Dylan, as portrayed in the movie) and Ella age four (a seven year old named Rosie in the movie). His brother, portrayed in the movie by Thomas Hayden Church is not Mee's only sibling nor was he an unwilling participant in the venture, but a willing accomplice. Also, the Benjamin Mee in the book does not come across as the devoted, loving husband and father but as a rather selfish "I want what I want" personality who willingly uproots his family again and again to pursue his dreams.

Those are just a few of the more glaring differences between book and "true story" movie. These discrepancies do not detract from the movies overall appeal (particularly if you have not read the book). As I mentioned, the movie is as warm and gooey as a hot fudge sundae and provides a great viewing experience for the entire family. Particularly enchanting is Maggie Elizabeth Jones who plays little Rosie. She is truly a delight to watch as she attempts to assume the roll of woman of the house.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dad TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 May 2012
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By realovesbooks TOP 500 REVIEWERTOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 July 2012
Format: DVD
I thoroughly enjoyed this film it is great for all the family and I am sure the kids would love this as it is like a dream come true! Having said this it was just me and my partner that watched this and we were captivated from the very start. The film is both emotional because of the loss of a wife and mother but also very entertaining and funny as the family are thrown in the depend knowing nothing about animals and are now in charge of getting a run down zoo back up and running again. I am a big fan of Matt Damon and he plays a fantastic role in this film and it is also great to see Scarlett Johanson stripped back and playing a more natural role.My favourite had to be the little daugther though she was truly amazing a very talented little actor who I am sure will become a big star!

This is well worth picking up and is one of those films you will watch over and over again. This is my favourite DVD of the year so far xXx
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