[[quoteright:290:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/We_Bought_a_Zoo_Poster_9934.jpg]]

A 2011 Cameron Crowe movie in which Creator/MattDamon [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin 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. TearJerker family moments and funny animal hijinks ensue.

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!!Tropes:

* ABoyAndHisX: In this case, a man and his entire zoo.
* ActorAllusion: Kelly's remark about her brief marriage could be a possible reference to her actress Scarlett Johanson's brief marriage to Ryan Reynolds.
* AnimalReactionShot: A couple with a staff member's capuchin.
* CheerfulChild / DaddysGirl: Rosie.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: A couple instances during the argument between Dylan and Benjamin.
* ContinuitySnarl: After seeing the zoo for the first time, Benjamin says that it is February. The calendar in the beginning looks like it could be the February 2011 calendar. House listings even have the date January 3, 2011, and a bank statement ends with the date November 2010. So it should be 2011, right? But then a sign says that [[spoiler: Spar, who dies by the end, died]] in 2010. A weather reporter even says that it is July 6, 2010. To make matters worse, the June and July calendars shown do not make sense unless it is 2007, the year in which the story on which this is based really took place.
* CulturalTranslation: 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.
* DefrostingIceKing: Dylan.
* HairofGoldHeartofGold: Lily.
* HilarityInZoos: Hell, it's Hilarity In Zoos: The Movie.
* TheInspectorIsComing: The zoo is looking at an inspection on opening day; the guy pops in early for a surprise inspection as well.
* LargeHam: Christopher [=McDonald=]'s role is in the Shatner category of Ham.
* MeaningfulEcho: "Why not?"
* MightyRoar: A bear does this right in Benjamin's face.
* MissingMom: The story begins after Katherine Mee's death. In real life, the zoo was actually bought before her death 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.
* ProductPlacement: The characters seem to have a strange fascination with Home Depot and Target.
* SeparatedAtBirthCasting: Colin Ford who plays Benjamin's son Dylan could actually pass for Matt Damon's real-life son if he wanted to.
* SingleTear: Benjamin does this during a flashback about his wife.
* SomethingElseAlsoRises: The way the zoo inspector deploys his tape measure is rather suggestive.
* TinyGuyHugeGirl: Lily and Dylan.
* TitleDrop: Rosie does this three times.
** So does Benjamin at the end.
* ViolentGlaswegian: Peter Macready, hilariously played by Angus Macfadyen.
--> You don't want me! I am full of scotch and bitterness and impure thoughts!
* WeNamedTheMonkeyJack: The second variation - Dylan Mee is named after a dog.
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