Zoo Baby

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Zoo Baby Movie Poster Image
A lonely boy and a zoo animal share a mild adventure.
  • NR
  • 1960
  • 59 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Introduction to the coati mundi, its South American origin, diet, and behavior. A quaint look at life in a village in rural England, circa 1960.

Positive Messages

Dishonesty and secretiveness can lead to more lies and worse trouble; open communication and asking for help will get better results.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Though bright and sensitive, young Pip is withdrawn and angry as he tries to adjust to life far from his family. Then, in an effort to do what he believes is "the right thing," he finds himself more isolated and getting deeper and deeper into trouble. Ultimately, the story takes Pip to a better place where he learns the value of honesty and trust.  Adults, for the most part, are caring, but often oblivious and irresponsible. They, too, learn valuable lessons. Set in 1960s England, there is no ethnic diversity.

Violence & Scariness

A few mildly suspenseful moments: lions roar and menace Pip who is outside their cage; the boy and a small animal are in danger of falling from a trapeze.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Zoo Baby is a kid-friendly, black-and-white British movie made in 1960 that's very old-fashioned. Still Pip's efforts to adjust to a new home and family can be familiar and relatable. There's a bit of mild suspense when Pip and his treasured new friend encounter some noisy lions and an unyielding trapeze. Sensitive kids could worry along with Pip that he may be sent to boarding school or prison, but the unease is temporary, and there's a general feeling throughout that everything will turn out well.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybigmoviefan2020 November 25, 2020

Boring film

PG: some brief, mild peril with a scene of carnage
Adult Written bymovieraterandlo... July 12, 2020

Tense movie-relatively short movie

This movie sucked! It was damn bad! It had some tense peril in the movie-relatively short-scene. I think 5+ could watch this movie. PG: brief mild peril.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Pip has come from his beloved home in Nairobi to go to school and live with his childless, but caring aunt in England. It's a big change, and he's trying hard, but can't help but feel sad, angry, and out of place. A visit to the zoo finds Pip identifying and sympathizing with "Peggy," a South American coati mundi (a small mammal) who, like Pip, has been transplanted to England. When he hears people talking about "starving" an animal, Pip misunderstands and sets out to save Peggy. The rescue is easy; the aftermath is not. Pip's good intentions lead to lies, trouble, and a concerned, but furious aunt.

Is it any good?

ZOO BABY is a visit to a rarified theatrical past; the simple story, unsubtle performances, and larger-than-life incidents will seem quaint to today's kids.

But there are some very likable elements here: the adorable little animal, Pip's struggle to feel comfortable and loved in his new home, and, finally, the intrigue that's always appealing -- will Pip fool everyone else in the village and save the day? 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Pip's first lie snowballed into major trouble for him. Has that ever happened to you? Did you learn from the experience?

  • Some things, like wanting to be liked and have friends, have not changed since 1960 when this movie was made. Other than the obvious (like clothes, transportation), how and why is life different today?

  • Did you agree with Mary's decisions when she discovered Peggy in Pip's room? What should she have done to be more helpful?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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