We Bought A Zoo 2011

Amazon Instant Video

(219) IMDb 7.1/10
Available in HDAvailable on Prime

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

Starring:
Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson
Runtime:
2 hours 3 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices

We Bought A Zoo

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Comedy
Director Cameron Crowe
Starring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson
Supporting actors Elle Fanning, Thomas Haden Church
Studio Twentieth Century Fox
BBFC rating Parental Guidance
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Pantheon TOP 500 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Zoe on 14 Nov 2013
Format: DVD
After the death of his wife and his son being excluded from school Benjamin Mee decides a fresh start is what the family needs. When he spots the perfect house for his family he insists he must buy it.. then he finds out it's a zoo!

I wanted to like this film more than I did but Hollywood ruined it for me. I knew it was based on a true story and about a zoo not too far from where I live but you come to realise how much Hollywood actually glosses over. It's easy to imagine how different a film this would have been had it been set in a similar setting to what the original story was based upon - soggy, muddy Dartmoor and not sunny flaming California! Another one of my gripes was that it was adapted for an American audience, WHY? Not everything needs to revolve around the Yanks!

Okay, rant over.

The film wasn't actually too bad, like I said it could have been better if it was executed differently. The acting was better than I was expecting. I found the little girl who played Benjamin's daughter Rosie simply adorable, she'll be a great actress one day.. There were a few predictable moments throughout the film and the ending was actually quite predictable. I think they should have chose a different actress to play Lily (Elle Fanning) I found it hard believing that she was acting as a 13 year old, I think she was supposed to be.

Saying all that, it was just a classic American film with the classic stroppy teenage kid and the adorable little girl who has the perfect timing for saying just the right things. It would have been nice if they had shown a bit more emotion about his wife's illness and passing, not super depressingly so. I was hoping for a film that was at least similar to the true story not some over-glossed, over-Americanised drivel!

If you watch this don't expect it to be super amazing it's watchable but don't feel too bad if you decide you need a coffee.. or something a bit stronger!
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4 of 4 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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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dad TOP 500 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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