Common Sense Media says

Family film tackles grief with humor and deep empathy.

Users say

(out of 193 reviews)
age 11+
Review this title!
Kid, 10 years old January 4, 2012

Great Movie

I loved it! Its a very good movie which is toward love and friendshiip for the animals. The death of the mother was very sad. But it showed that you have to get over it ;] 5 Stars.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much swearing
Parent Written byRobbyWBoy16 January 4, 2012

We bought a Zoo

true zoo story turns out to be a true good story with some humor.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byusernamebox January 3, 2012

We Bought a Zoo - Laughed and Cried and got my Money's Worth.

This movie is hilarious. My Dad and I always joke, "We bought a zoo, based on real morons who accidently bought a zoo. Yes, there is some language, but it's pretty low-level, and who really cares about consumerism in movies? I laughed so hard, and I cried when the tiger died and there is a heart-breaking ending; but no spoilers for the end. Go see it! The only bad thing were the ads, PG movies get alot of PG ads in cinemas, so there could be some bad things in the there. Also, a tiger dies and a Mother has already died.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Adult Written byroxy11 January 3, 2012

I am in the middle of disagreeing and agreeing.

I agree it does have bad language but the thing that the only problem is when they said that the easter bunny isnt real. Kids that come to see that could still believe in the E.B sooo I thought that the part when he said that was the worst. Besides that... THE MOVIE WAS AMAZING!!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written bypinkdolphin5 January 3, 2012

Great movie!

The movie is rated PG 13 when I went to see it. So stop complaining. It's PG 13. Yes, a 7 year old using d!#% in a sentence is what do you oldies use? "humiliating." or whatever. Grow up. It's PG 13. Therefore, it is your fault for taking your kids to see it. And it's based on Benjamin Mee's story anyway. Please grow up. *This was not meant to cause any disagreements. I am mearly stating my opinion.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Adult Written bysarahkay89 January 3, 2012

Good for families with teens+.

Overall a really sweet movie. Touching plot and moving characters. However, I wouldn't call this a "family with young kids movie". The plot was deeper than would probably keep a young child's interest and the language was shockingly harsh / frequent for PG. Though most of the language usage was excusable in context of heated arguments, etc, it NEVER seems appropriate to have a 7 year old call someone a d**k. That was shocking.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Parent Written byjgjohns January 3, 2012

Language is a problem

I took my kids, ages 6 and 8, to this movie thinking it was going to be a family-oriented movie with animals as the central focus. We all enjoyed it but the language is inappropriate for a PG movie as are the "dark" images drawn by the older son and the Easter Bunny comment...well, it hasn't sparked any questions from my kids, but that surprises me. I'm sure my kids have heard most of these words on the playground...but my 3rd grader did ask me what a "d--k" is...and I told her. It should have been rated PG-13. We've taken our kids to plenty of PG movies and this is the first time I've ever felt the need to review one of them.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written byPilothunter January 2, 2012

Watch with older kids

I agree with other reviewers. We were slightly deceived by the title and previews. Took an 11 year old and a 9 year old. Thought it was a movie about buying a zoo, when the main message is about dealing with the loss of a loved one. Way heavier of a subject matter than one is led to believe from the title. in fact, it made my wife cry several times. Good movie, just not for the little ones.
Teen, 13 years old Written byKlyons14 January 2, 2012

Don't Let This Movie Deceive You

From the trailers on children's networks you would have thought this movie would be aimed around families, think again. This movie isn't necessarily i inappropriate, its just a little risque. The language just crosses the line a little bit too far for younger audiences. It's not worthy of a pg-13 rating, but its most likely not for your 6 or 7 year old.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bydancingtunnell January 2, 2012

Misleading Commercials

There are way to many cruel words said in the movie, and it was very sad. When I went to see it I was expecting a happy movie, instead it was a movie about a man and his family dealing with the loss of his wife/mom. The commercials were very misleading.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old January 2, 2012

Well Done Movie

The title "We Bought A Zoo" makes the implication that the movie is cute and lighthearted. In some ways, yes, however the death of the mother is a very heavy subject. (My mom cryed!) I thought most of the langauge was fine for a PG movie, however the use of D*%k by a seven year old pushes the boundaries. I thought this was a very well done movie, the little girl was adorable, and the story was well put together. This movie is fine for most kids 9 and up.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byleftbehindcrazed8 January 1, 2012

Not Your Typical PG Movie

I am so surprised at this! We were about to go see this with my seven year old sister...so glad we didn't! I mean, you can usually go see a PG movie with a seven year old...not this one!!! If it were PG-13, I might give it a higher rating, but this is just so sad. What if parents take to see their little kids this because of the rating?? Please, check it out before seeing.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old January 1, 2012

parents be warned!!!

This movie was sort of confusing because some parts of it were really sweet but some parts were just innapropriate. I went to see it with my friend and I was just really glad that my little sister did not come because of all the swearing and other stuff. If your kid believes in the easter bunny, DO NOT SEE THIS!! They totally twisted a cute kid movie into something too old.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written byMartin123987 December 31, 2011

...

It is great for those who want to see some cleavage.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byXguitarzX December 31, 2011

language was surprising

i just recently saw this video with my family and was a little surprised it was rated pg. the language was a way too much(in my opinion) for a pg movie. words like "bulls**t" and "a**" were used even by the 14 year old son. the word "d**k" was also used by the 7 year old daughter towards an adult. the son also draws very graphic and disturbing pictures throughout the movie such as pictures of decapitations. though the language is a big problem, overall, there is at least a good message.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Parent Written bymyfamluvsmovies December 31, 2011

Not for under 13 yrs old.

We really liked the movie, but I kept cringing at the language and was unhappy with the reference about the easter bunny. Also, the images of the boy's sketches were scary for the kids and caused my 8yr older to hide her eyes.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Parent Written byThe Creative Genius December 31, 2011

YOU HAD OTHER OPTIONS, JERKS! H - heck, A - jerk, D - jerk, S - crap, D - darn it

The commercials for this movie make it clear that the family buys a zoo. Everyone knows that young children go to the zoo, moreso than teenagers. Why on earth did they need to put such horrible language in this movie? If I could write this review and use all of the horrible language that was in the movie, this review would definitely get noticed. I have sent an email to multiple people with young children and told them WHY they should not see it. I gave them a list of curse words used. It is pretty clear that parents do want their children's vocabulary to increase, but not with profanity that starts with A, H, D, D, S, etc. I am also pretty sure that parents don't want to explain to their YOUNG children about the Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. Though a tear jerker, this movie could have been GREAT. The only thing missing was the F bomb. If I knew the people that were actually responsible for making the final call on what foul language needed to be in this film, I would love to write a letter filled with all of those words and mail it directly to their young children or grand children. For the story itself, which had me in tears from beginning to end, you really did a disservice to it by adding in all of the unnecessary foul language. I feel so badly for the father and the children ... and anyone else like me who didn't know what was coming. Thank goodness I now know about this website!!!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byRand0mScreenName December 30, 2011

Helped me with my greiving about my dad.

My Dad died 6 months ago and almost everything in the movie related to my life. I really connect with Dylan. im 14 and everything (besides the zoo) is extremely accurate. It was even spot on when his son says "you never even taught me how to shave." (My circumstances being a little different with my dad dieing he never had the chance to show me)Yeah there are some language parts but kids about 8 and up should know not to say those words. But my main point is that this movie is a great way to bring up greiving because this movie nails it and i know it will make this period alot eaiser for me.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written byRobynneHood December 30, 2011

Great morals and characters but some sketchy language

I loved this movie. I thought that the relationships were very well handled, Scarlett's character was a very good role model for young girls, and I loved the relationship between Elle Fanning and the teenage son. I'll admit, the language was pretty surprising to me. It looked like the kind of movie that would be squeaky clean, but it was more realistic. It did have a handful of curse words, the worst in my opinion being the little girl calling a man a d**k (because she was so young). But it doesn't warrant these reviews that it's "not for kids". I brought my two younger sisters with me, one being seven and the other eleven. The eleven year old was fine, but I think the language made my seven year old sister uncomfortable. So know your kids--if they're eleven or twelve, it'll be perfectly fine for them, and same for a mature 8, 9, or 10 year old. The lessons far outweigh the language for me, and I feel like the language itself shouldn't be a dealbreaker.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Parent Written bystuntab December 30, 2011

BOOOO!

Please do not go to see this film. Not appropriate for children. I am so sorry that my I took my kids to see this. The language is absolutely unacceptable!! On a side note...it was boring!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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