We Bought a Zoo

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

A 2011 Cameron Crowe movie in which Matt Damon buys a zoo. Loosely based on the memoir of Benjamin Mee, a widower and his two kids buy 18 acres of property that used to be a fully functioning zoo. He inspires the remaining staff of the zoo, as well as his kids, to put it back together to have it approved by an inspector so it can once again attract customers. Tear Jerker family moments and funny animal hijinks ensue.

Tropes used in We Bought a Zoo include:

  • A Boy and His X: In this case, a man and his entire zoo.
  • Animal Reaction Shot: A couple with a staff member's capuchin.
  • Comically Missing the Point: A couple instances during the argument between Dylan and Benjamin.
  • Cultural Translation: The real Benjamin Mee and his family are British, and the real Zoo is in Dartmoor, Devon in the UK but he was on board with most of the film.
  • Hilarity in Zoos: Hell, it's Hilarity In Zoos: The Movie.
  • The Inspector Is Coming
  • Meaningful Echo: "Why not?"
  • Mighty Roar: A bear does this right in Benjamin's face.
  • Missing Mom: The story begins after Katherine Mee's death. In real life, the zoo was actually bought before she died and she died during the renovations, the studio thought this was too sad and the real Benjamin Mee has said that the portrayal of grief is still accurate to what he went through.
  • Single Tear: Benjamin does this during a flashback about his wife.
  • Something Else Also Rises: The way the zoo inspector deploys his tape measure is rather suggestive.
  • Title Drop: Rosie does this three times.
    • So does Benjamin at the end.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Peter Macready, hilariously played by Angus Macfadyen.

You don't want me! I am full of scotch and bitterness and impure thoughts!