No, we did not buy a zoo, but Scott and I did watch the movie We Bought a Zoo. The film is based on a novel which is actually based on a true story.
Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) is a Los Angeles newspaper columnist and adventure writer who, as a single father, faces the challenges of raising his two young children. Hoping that a fresh start and a new life will restore their family spirit, Mee quits his job and buys an old rural house outside the city with a unique bonus feature: a zoo named the Rosemoor Animal Park, where dozens of animals reside under the care of head zookeeper Kelly Foster (Scarlett Johansson) and her dedicated team. With no experience, limited time and a shoestring budget, Mee sets out with the support of his family and the local community to reopen the zoo. Now, Benjamin is no longer reporting an adventure story; he’s living it in his own backyard.
I didn't really know much about the film before watching it, and was pleasantly surprised. The film is really heartwarming and you almost instantly fall in love with Damon and his situation. While watching the film I Googled the actual Benjamin Mee and his story. The actual zoo, Dartmoor Zoological Park, is in the UK. The location was changed to LA and a few other details were changed, but for the most part it stays true to the story.
I think the most amazing aspect of this film is that it actually happened. If you look at the film that way it brings a whole new feeling to it. Knowing that there is a real Benjamin Mee that went through this entire process to create a fresh start for his family is nothing short of amazing.
All in all, I really enjoyed the film. We Bought a Zoo is available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download. The Blu-ray is loaded with over 2½ hours of special features including 20 deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, four behind-the-scenes featurettes, commentary with Director Cameron Crowe, star J.B. Smoove (The Sitter, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and Editor Mark Livolsi, and more. The film also features an English Family Friendly Audio Track that earned the Dove Seal of Approval. The Blu-ray and DVD will be available for an average retail price of $24.99 and $19.99 respectively.
Disclosure: I received a promotional copy of the film for review from Twentieth Century Fox. This is no way shaped my opinion, and the views expressed are my own.