Running Time: 124 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG
There are a lot of films filling up the theatres this holiday, and here is my personal pick for (almost) the whole family — Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo. While many folks may be leaning towards the epic-looking Spielberg film, War Horse, I think it might be a bit too intense for children. Instead, I strongly recommend We Bought a Zoo – which is based on a truly inspiring real-life story. Yes I’m a huge Cameron Crowe fan, ever since seeing Say Anything and of course Almost Famous. And like those movies, this film also had me fighting back tears. I guess I was not surprised that I loved it. Here’s why I think you will, too!
Will the kids like it?
Yes! A perfectly suited movie for ages 7-years and older. Tell me, what kid doesn’t want to grow up on a zoo? Parents and children will not just fall in love with the human actors, but the animal ones as well. In fact, the animals steal the show.
Are there sad parts?
Yes. The story does follow a family coping with the loss of the wife and mother, which can be heartbreaking to watch at times. Plus, there is an upsetting situation that involves the deterioration of the eldest tiger in the park.
For the parents:
Matt Damon powerfully portrays a recently widowed father named Benjamin Mee, who’s left to raise his rebellious teenage son and an adorable 7-year-old daughter on his own. Damon’s character is completely relatable and your heart goes out to him in almost every scene. Mee gives his family a fresh new start by buying a house that happens to share the property with a run-down, abandoned zoo. You really find yourself rooting for him, along with the amazing people and animals that come along with the zoo, in their quest to turn it back into the magical place it once was. And for music fans out there, let’s not forget Crowe’s reputation for great soundtracks. You will not be disappointed with classic tunes from Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty throughout the film.
Watch the trailer: