Australian Council on Children and the Media

We Bought a Zoo

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What age is this for?

Age
0-5
5-6
7-8
8-13
13+

Classification

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What’s it about?

Benjamin Mee has 2 young children, 14 year old Dylan and 7 year old Rosie. Six months ago, Benjamin’s wife and the children’s Mum died which has left them struggling to cope. Benjamin tries very hard to help his children but Dylan is playing up at school and Rosie is also find life hard. When he sees a zoo for sale, Benjamin thinks this might be the opportunity to give his kids a new start and interest in life.

They are not prepared though for how hard it turns out to be, as the zoo is very run down and needs a lot of work to make it into a proper business.  The family find that learning how to look after the animals and seeing how much the zoo keepers care for them, helps to heal their own sadness.

What to look out for

This movie deals with a family coping with the death of a parent which younger kids might find too upsetting. There are also a few scary scenes mainly involving animals such as:

  •     Benjamin is chased by a small animal that lunges at him.
  •     Dylan kicks a snake that is in his way.
  •     A bear is shot with a tranquilizer gun after escaping.
  •    The lions, tigers and bears growl and bare their teeth.

Moral of the Story

The message of the story is that you have to find good things to do to keep you busy which will help to deal with the sad times in life.

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