Who wouldn’t want to see this movie after seeing that syrup-y sweet little curly headed girl on the preview yelling in her little chipmunk like voice, “We bought a ZOO!”? Probably only people with ice for hearts. But those are exactly the ones who should see this movie, b/c that ice would melt right up!
Decided to take the kids to see this on Christmas day and it didn’t disappoint on the “heartfelt movies to see on a holiday” scale.
The movie centers around an adventure-loving, just-lost-his-wife (for reasons they never quite get into), father of two kids (one a angry-ish teenager and aforementioned curly headed cutie-pie who is sweet as sugar) who decides one day that everything just reminds him to much of his dearly departed other half and he needs NEW NEW NEW. New ends up coming in the way of a new house out in the sticks that (surprise, surprise) ends up also being a Zoo. Who would have guessed? They really should make movie titles more non-descriptive and leave us a little more surprised.
Anywho…family of three ends up moving to the new house, meeting the zoo-staff (characters galore) and bonding with animals…and each other. Adventure arises, villains (by way of zoo-inspectors) arrive, and there is just a hint of some potential romance fluttering around. Enough to make the kids to go ewwwww anyway.
Matt Damon was great. He transitioned well from Bourne-action to believable-dad. Scarlett Johansson was also pretty decent. I am not typically a fan of hers, but she played the zoo-keeper as well as anyone else could have. Interesting appearance from Patrick Fugit, who it took a minute for me to recognize from Almost Famous. Don’t know that I have seen him in anything really since that (awesomely epic) movie, but when I remembered that WBAZ was directed by Cameron Crowe, it all made sense.
The animals don’t necessarily steal the show, but they are of course an integral part of the movie. I have this weird thing where I pretty much call any animal(s) I see “puppies”, and there were lots and lots of cute little, big, scary, roaring, friendly “puppies” to fall in love with during this 2 hours.
Overall, great show especially for parents, kids and animal lovers. (And anyone who might be looking for an easy way to melt their ice heart.)