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We Bought a Zoo [DVD]

4.5 out of 5 stars 382 customer reviews

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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 (382 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008J2131Q
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,176 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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).


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

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What do you do when you lose your wife, whom you have loved with all your soul for over 14 years, and your life and that of your family is falling apart as a result? That is the question that journalist Benjamin Mee has to answer. His solution: relocate and buy a zoo, of course!

Based on a true story, this film recounts the experiences of the Mee family as they struggle to come to terms with life, death, loss and discovery, while trying to breathe new life into a run down zoo at risk of closure by the local authorities. We Bought a Zoo (DVD + Digital Copy) is a heartwarming comedy with many hilarious scenes. Although not listed in the cast credits on the film's website, Colin Ford and Maggie Elizabeth Jones who play Benjamin Mee's children are also worth mentioning for their fine acting - Maggie Elizabeth, who played Rosie, for instance, was adorable; by the end of the movie, I wanted to adopt her!
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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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Format: DVD
This is a genuinely heartwarming and charming little tale.

I watched it on a Saturday night, arm round the wife, bag of Maltesers in lap. I've got no complaints.

This film is not the greatest, and I suspect it wasn't trying to be, but it's a true story (it needed to be, I would not have believed it otherwise) and a thoroughly enjoyable romp.

Don't mislead yourself, this isn't life changing, nor is it going to blow your hair back, but it will make you smile, make you feel better and deliver a top quality evening's entertainment. You'll go to bed happy, nagged only by the guilt of stuffing your face with far too many Maltesers.

Seriously, if you like a well made true story that lifts your spirits, then here you go. It's about as good as it gets. Enjoy.
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