A true zoo story.

Acclaimed filmmaker Cameron Crowe ('Jerry Maguire') directs a story about finding joy, the power of family, and the triumph of hope. A widowed father buys a dilapidated zoo in hopes of making a fresh start. While facing enormous odds to keep the zoo open, he must find the courage to recommit to his children and to their new life together. Based on a true story.

  • 2 hr 6 minPGHDSD
  • Dec 23, 2011
  • Drama

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Cast & Crew

  • Matt DamonBenjamin Mee

    Matthew Paige Damon was born on October 8, 1970, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Kent Damon, a stockbroker, realtor and tax preparer, and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an early childhood education professor at Lesley University. Matt has an older brother, Kyle, a sculptor. His father was of English and Scottish descent, and his mother is of Finnish and Swedish ancestry. The family lived in Newton until his parents divorced in 1973, when Damon and his brother moved with his mother to Cambridge. He grew up in a stable community, and was raised near actor Ben Affleck. Damon attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and he performed in a number of theater productions during his time there. He attended Harvard University as an English major. While in Harvard, he kept on skipping classes to pursue acting projects, which included the TNT original film, Rising Son (1990), and prep-school drama, School Ties (1992). It was until his film, Geronimo: An American Legend (1993), was expected to be a big success that he decided to drop out of university completely. Arriving in Hollywood, Matt managed to get his first break with a part in the romantic comedy, Mystic Pizza (1988). However, the film did not do too well and his film career failed to take off. Not letting failure discourage him from acting, he went for another audition, and managed to get a starring role in School Ties (1992). Up next for Matt was a role as a soldier who had problems with drug-addiction in the movie, Courage Under Fire (1996). Matt had, in fact, lost forty pounds for his role which resulted in health problems. The following year, he garnered accolades for Good Will Hunting (1997), a screenplay he had originally written for an English class at Harvard University. Good Will Hunting (1997) was nominated for 9 Academy Awards, one of which, Matt won for Best Original Screenplay along with Ben Affleck. In the year 1998, Matt played the title role in Steven Spielberg's film, Saving Private Ryan (1998), which was one of the most acclaimed films in that year. Matt had the opportunity of working with Tom Hanks and Vin Diesel while filming that movie. That same year, he starred as an earnest law student and reformed poker player in Rounders (1998), starring opposite Edward Norton and John Malkovich. The next year, Matt rejoined his childhood friend, Ben Affleck and fellow comedian, Chris Rock, in the comedy Dogma (1999). Towards the end of 1999, Matt played "Tom Ripley", a working-class young man who tastes the good life and will do anything to live it. Both Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow also starred in the movie. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) earned mixed reviews from critics, but even so, Matt earned praise for his performance. Matt lent his voice to the animated movie, Titan A.E. (2000) in the year 2000, which also earned mixed reviews from the public. He also starred in two other movies, All the Pretty Horses (2000) and the golf comedy-drama, The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000), starring alongside Will Smith. In the year 2003, he signed on to star in The Informant! (2009) by Steven Soderbergh and the Farrelly Brothers' Stuck on You (2003). He also starred in Gerry (2002), a film he co-wrote with his friends, Gus Van Sant and Casey Affleck. One of Matt's most recognizable work to date is his role in the "Bourne" movie franchise. He plays an amnesiac assassin, "Jason Bourne", in The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). Another praised role is that as "Linus Caldwell" in the "Ocean's" movie franchise. He had the opportunity to star opposite George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Don Cheadle in Ocean's Eleven (2001). The successful crime comedy-drama eventually had two other sequels, Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007). Among other highly acclaimed movies that Matt has been a part of are Terry Gilliam's The Brothers Grimm (2005), George Clooney's Syriana (2005), Martin Scorsese's The Departed (2006) and Robert De Niro's The Good Shepherd (2006). In his personal life, Matt is now happily married to Argentine-born Luciana Barroso, whom he met in Miami, where she was working as a bartender. They married in a private civil ceremony on December 9, 2005, at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau. The couple have four daughters Alexia, Luciana's daughter from a previous relationship, as well as Isabella, Gia and Stella. Matt is a big fan of the Boston Red Sox and he tries to attend their games whenever possible. He has also formed great friendships with his Ocean's co-stars, George Clooney and Brad Pitt, whom he works on charity projects with. He and actor Ben Affleck, together with Ben's wife, Jennifer Garner, are also good family friends.
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  • Scarlett JohanssonKelly Foster

    Scarlett Johansson was born in New York City. Her mother, Melanie Sloan, is from a Jewish family from the Bronx, and her father, Karsten Johansson, is a Danish-born architect, from Copenhagen. She has a sister, Vanessa Johansson, who is also an actress, a brother, Adrian, a twin brother, Hunter Johansson, born three minutes after her, and a paternal half-brother, Christian. Her grandfather was writer Ejner Johansson. Johansson began acting during childhood, after her mother started taking her to auditions. She made her professional acting debut at the age of eight in the off-Broadway production of "Sophistry" with Ethan Hawke, at New York's Playwrights Horizons. She would audition for commercials but took rejection so hard her mother began limiting her to film tryouts. She made her film debut at the age of nine, as John Ritter's character's daughter in the fantasy comedy North (1994). Following minor roles in Just Cause (1995), as the daughter of Sean Connery and Kate Capshaw's character, and If Lucy Fell (1996), she played the role of Amanda in Manny & Lo (1996). Her performance in Manny & Lo garnered a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female, and positive reviews, one noting, "[the film] grows on you, largely because of the charm of ... Scarlett Johansson", while San Francisco Chronicle critic Mick LaSalle commentated on her "peaceful aura", and wrote, "If she can get through puberty with that aura undisturbed, she could become an important actress." After appearing in minor roles in Fall (1997) and Home Alone 3 (1997), Johansson garnered widely spread attention for her performance in The Horse Whisperer (1998), directed by Robert Redford, where she played Grace MacLean, a teenager traumatized by a riding accident. She received a nomination for the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actress for the film. In 1999, she appeared in My Brother the Pig (1999) and in the music video for Mandy Moore's single, "Candy". Although the film was not a box office success, she received praise for her breakout role in Ghost World (2001), credited with "sensitivity and talent [that] belie her age". She was also featured in the Coen Brothers' dark drama The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), opposite Billy Bob Thornton and Frances McDormand. She appeared in the horror comedy Eight Legged Freaks (2002) with David Arquette and Kari Wuhrer. In 2003, she was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, one for drama (Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)) and one for comedy (Lost in Translation (2003)), her breakout role, starring opposite Bill Murray, and receiving rave reviews and a Best Actress Award at the Venice Film Festival. Her film roles include the critically acclaimed Weitz brothers' film In Good Company (2004), as well as starring opposite John Travolta in A Love Song for Bobby Long (2004), which garnered her a third Golden Globe Award nomination. She dropped out of Mission: Impossible III (2006) due to scheduling conflicts. Her next film role was in The Island (2005) alongside Ewan McGregor which earned weak reviews from U.S. critics. After this, she appeared in Woody Allen's Match Point (2005) and was nominated again for a Golden Globe Award. In May 2008, she released her album "Anywhere I Lay My Head", a collection of Tom Waits covers featuring one original song. Also that year, she starred in Frank Miller's The Spirit (2008), the Woody Allen film Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), and played Mary Boleyn opposite Natalie Portman in The Other Boleyn Girl (2008). Since then, she has appeared as part of an ensemble cast in the romantic comedy He's Just Not That Into You (2009), the action superhero film Iron Man 2 (2010), the comedy-drama We Bought a Zoo (2011) and starred as the original scream queen, Janet Leigh, in Hitchcock (2012). She then played her character, Black Widow, in the blockbuster action films The Avengers (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019), and also headlined the sci-fi action thriller Lucy (2014), a box office success. With more than a decade of work already under her belt, Scarlett has proven to be one of Hollywood's most talented young actresses. Her other starring roles are in the sci-fi action thriller Ghost in the Shell (2017) and the dark comedy Rough Night (2017). Scarlett and Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds were engaged in May 2008 and married in September of that year. In 2010, the couple announced their separation, and subsequently divorced a year later. In 2013, she became engaged to French journalist Romain Dauriac, the couple married a year later. In January 2017, the couple announced their separation, and subsequently divorced in March of that year. They have a daughter, Rose Dorothy Dauriac (born 2014).
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  • Thomas Haden ChurchDuncan Mee

    Thomas Haden Church was born Thomas Richard McMillen in Yolo, California, to Maxine (Sanders) and Carlos Richard McMillen, who was a U.S. marine and surveyor. He was raised in Texas. His mother remarried George Quesada, a widowed WWII veteran who served in Guam, in 1969. He adopted this surname Quesada. He changed it to Haden Church after "nobody could pronounce Quesada". Church began his show business career in front of a microphone instead of a camera, first as a radio deejay and then as a voice-over announcer. After landing a role in the independent film, Stolen Moments, Church moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career.
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  • STEPHANIE SZOSTAKKatherine Mee

    French-American actress, Stephanie Szostak (show-stack) never thought of becoming an actress. She left France after high school to study business and play varsity golf at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Upon graduating college, Szostak landed a job in marketing at Chanel in New York and was eventually asked to model for one of their in-house brochures. It was at that moment that she decided to take a leap of faith and start a modeling career at 26-years-old. Three years later, Szostak took her first acting class in New York City and knew that she had finally found her passion. Soon after, she landed a role opposite Meryl Streep in the iconic film, "The Devil Wears Prada." Upcoming, Szostak will star as one of the leads in the ABC drama "A Million Little Things." The series, created by DJ Nash and executive produced by Aaron Kaplan ("Divorce," "Life in Pieces") and Dana Honor, will follow a group of friends whose lives are intertwined and eventually turned upside down when one of them suddenly dies. "A Million Little Things" will air Wednesdays at 10/9c this fall, though a specific date has not yet been announced. Most recently, Szostak appeared in guest roles on the TV Land series "Younger," Bravo's "Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce," and CBS' "Bull." She also starred opposite Matt Passmore in USA Network's "Satisfaction," a provocative drama from Sean Jablonski ("Nip/Tuck," "Suits") that explored a modern marriage at its core. Additionally, Szostak appeared in the Ricky Blitt-directed independent comedy "Hit by Lightning" alongside Jon Cryer and Will Sasso, and co-stared opposite Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges in Universal Pictures' "R.I.P.D." In 2013, Szostak took on her first action role as the villain 'Brandt' opposite Robert Downey, Jr. in Marvel's "Iron Man 3." The film, also starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce, brought in $174 million domestically in its opening weekend and has since passed the $1 billion mark globally. Also in 2013, Szostak appeared in Ross Krauss' "Gimme Shelter" with Vanessa Hudgens, Brendan Fraser and Rosario Dawson. In 2011, Szostak played Matt Damon's late-wife in the Fox comedy-drama from Cameron Crowe titled "We Bought a Zoo," and in 2010 she starred as the female lead opposite Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell and Zach Galifianakis in Paramount Pictures' "Dinner for Schmucks," the American adaptation of the 1998 French comedy "Le Dîner de Cons," directed by Jay Roach ("Meet the Parents" and "Austin Powers" franchises). In 2006, Szostak rivaled Meryl Streep's 'Miranda Priestly' as French Vogue Editor, 'Jacqueline Follet' in David Frankel's beloved take on Lauren Weisberger's novel of the same name, "The Devil Wears Prada." The film received critical acclaim and garnered an AFI Award for 'Movie of the Year,' a Golden Globe nomination in the category of 'Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical' and was named one of the Top Ten Films of the year by the National Board of Review, among others. Additional projects include the French film, "Une aventure New Yorkaise" ("A New York Thing") alongside actor Jonathan Zaccai, "The Rebound" directed by Bart Freundlich and starring Catherine Zeta Jones, Italian comedy "Four Single Fathers, Motherhood" starring Uma Thurman, "The Good Heart" with Brian Cox, and Jeff Winner's independent film "Satellite," for which Szostak received a Best Actress award at the BendFilm Festival. Other television credits include the acclaimed HBO series "The Sopranos" and the hit NBC series "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." Szostak has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the College of William and Mary and is an avid golfer. She lives outside of New York City with her husband and two sons.
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  • Peter RiegertActor

  • Patrick FugitRobin Jones

    Patrick Fugit was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Jan Clark-Fugit, a dance teacher, and Bruce Fugit, an electrical engineer. He has two siblings. He began acting in a summer Theater program through the University of Utah at eleven. He continued on through high school and regional productions. He enjoys biking and skating. In 2002, he was featured in Seventeen magazine, along with Alison Lohman, his co-star from White Oleander (2002).
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