Z - Zoo (We Bought A Zoo)

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Released back in 2011 and based on a real life family, We Bought A Zoo follows the story of Benjamin Mee who after his Wife passes away, decides to make a fresh start, by quitting his job and uprooting his children to an 18-acre property containing the Rosemoor Wildlife Park (aka Zoo). Although the Zoo got closed down several years previously, Rosemoor still homes many animals, all cared for by Kelly Foster and her small team of staff. Benjamin opens his heart and checkbook to the Zoo, although he hasn't the faintest idea about how to care for animals; Kelly and her team slowly teach him and his children how to run a zoo as they renovate and reopen it to the public.

Rosie, Benjamin's 7-year-old daughter is happy about the move from the city to the Zoo, quickly adjusting to life at the park. and enjoying caring for all the animals, her enthusiasm is an adorable trait of the character. However, Benjamin's teenage son, Dylan, is less enthusiastic, struggling with moving away from his friends he retreats into his artwork which has become more dark and gruesome since his Mother's death. Dylan's grumpy mood and bad attitude is prominent throughout the film; making his Dad more stressed and eventually hurting his new friend, Lily's (Kelly 13-year-old Cousin) feelings. I think this character is quite relatable, representing how teenagers struggle with adapting to big changes in their lives, such as family deaths or moving house; they retreat more into themselves and their hobbies as they struggle to talk and open up about how they feel, they feel the need to hole it up inside rather than burdening their loved ones with their feelings - Dylan's character portrays a major theme in this movie.

The parent-child relationship between Benjamin and Dylan is also very relatable to the target audience for this film (which is families). Their relationship shows how not knowing how to communicate with their children can be a big problem for a lot of parents, as they don't know how to get their children to open up and talk to them about their feelings. Eventually these two characters resolve their problems by bonding over Dylan's friendship with Lily.

Although this film is nearly 5 years old, I still absolutely love it, how the characters work through and solve all their problems throughout the film, makes the film very family orientated. The fact the plot revolves around a family death makes it very relatable - it shows how different people and families deal with their loss in different ways, and after re-opening the park it's very obvious how Benjamin made the right choice in moving his family away from the city, as although he face a lot of troubles along the way, him and his kids are happy and they have a new family too - the small group of staff and the animals.

If you haven't already I would hugely recommend watching We Bought A Zoo, the plot isn't action based but the constant issues the family face on their way to re-opening the Rosemoor Wildlife Park, makes the movie interesting as you're constantly wondering how each probably is resolved and you become quite attached to ensuring the family have a happy ending that you can't help but continue watching the film.

"Sometimes you just need 20 seconds of insane, embarrassing bravery and I promise you something great will come of it" 

Thank you for reading my A-Z April blog posts, although it's been a lot of work (and way more stressful then I imagined) I've enjoyed thinking up and writing every single one, and I hope you've enjoyed reading them.

So, Until Next Time (which will hopefully be soon),

Alice x

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