Book and Movie review: We Bought A Zoo

Have you seen, read, or heard of We Bought A Zoo? Well, I have, and if you want to know more (and possibly read a few “spoilers”), or want to know my take on movies v. books, keep on reading this post!

First, I’ll start you where I started with We Bought A Zoo: the trailer.

Looks pretty great, right? I thought so too, so I went and saw it once it hit our dollar theater. It is a FANTASTIC movie. So good, in fact, I pre-ordered it as soon as I got home. The only thing was, it has a sad undertone for most of the movie. Why? Because it’s about a father who’s wife just tied of a terrible illness, and his struggle with his children to start over. The end, however, is happy. Knowing it was based on a true story, another thing I did when I got home was order the book – also fantastic.

As much as I loved the movie and the book, they seem almost like two different stories. Hollywood definitely changed it up, keeping just the basic undertone of reality.

Here’s what really happened:

First of all, the Mee’s are British, not American. The zoo is in England, not California.

Benjamin and Katherine Mee, and their children (who are much younger than depicted in the movie), were living a happy life when Katherine’s cancer was discovered. With the death of Benjamin’s father, he and his family, including his siblings and mother bought a zoo.

The rehabilitation process of the zoo is about the same as depicted in the movie, except Katherine dies part way through. In the movie,  she’s dead before the purchase of the zoo.

Also, from what I could tell, Benjamin doesn’t like Kelly, who in real life is just the keeper of the big cats, not the head zookeeper.

Fortunately the endings are the same, with the zoo opening and everything is happy.

I guess the movie isn’t too far from reality, but it certainly adds to the storyline. Either way, We Bought A Zoo is great entertainment.

BBC2 even did a four episode series on the zoo, but I can’t find them online anywhere.

On a completely different note, my sister is coming tomorrow! She chose to spend her Easter vacation with me, and I am so excited!

Have a wonderful Easter weekend, celebrating the reality of the season – Christ dying for our sins and rising again!

~Amber Joy

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