10 fascinating movies about zoos

It is believed that the animals in the frame always outplay their two-legged colleagues, taking all the attention of the public. Furry tails also bring viewers to the cinema who want to see brilliant artists, and films about the zoo are no exception. Our selection includes popular comedies about four-legged pets, interesting dramas about the fate of animals in wartime, good family movies for evening viewing and children’s stories about the adventures of our smaller brothers.

Secret Zoo (2020)

The difficult financial situation forces the management to sell the inhabitants of the menagerie, but the employees do not want to become unemployed. To attract the interest of visitors, the entire team dresses up in realistic costumes of representatives of the fauna – and the idea is an incredible success. A good new movie is worth watching for fans of funny stories with humor and an unexpected ending.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Haechijianha

Genre:
Comedy

Actors:
Ahn Jae-heon, Kang So-ra, Park Yong-gyu …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.1

Age limit:
12+


Little Miss Dolittle (2018)

German comedy for children tells about the zoo and the red-haired girl Lillian, who knows how to talk to animals. Due to the daughter’s strange ability, the family has to move often so as not to attract the attention of others. The heroine of the film has no friends, except for a devoted dog, so one day Lillian decides not to communicate with animals anymore. However, she is forced to break her vow when she learns of Ronnie’s baby elephant being kidnapped.

Original title:
Liliane Susewind – Ein tierisches Abenteuer

Genre:
Fantasy, comedy, crime, family

Actors:
Peri Baumeister, Eileen Tetzel, Christoph Maria Herbst …

Country:
Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 5.8

Age restrictions:
6+


The Zookeeper’s Wife (2017)

The highly rated European film is based on the true story of Jan Zhabinsky and his wife. A family couple takes care of their beloved pets, but the idyll is destroyed by World War II . Some of the animals die during the bombing – and in the empty cages, the spouses hide hundreds of Jews . Antonina and Jan, risking their own lives, try to save people who managed to elude the Nazis.

Original title:
The Zookeeper’s Wife

Genre:
Drama, military, biography, history

Actors:
Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenberg, Daniel Brühl…

Country:
Czech Republic, UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.0

Age Limits :
16+


Zoo (2017)

Irishman George Hall opens a menagerie in Belfast, and Buster the elephant becomes the favorite of his youngest son Tom. With the outbreak of World War II, a man goes to the front, and the government issues a decree to get rid of wild animals. A family movie about a zoo, based on a true story , will tell how in hard times people’s hearts did not leave mercy for their smaller brothers. Young Tom manages to hide the baby elephant in the house of a good-natured woman. The boy seizes every opportunity to save his pet from disaster and save Buster’s life.

Original title:
Zoo

Genre:
Family, military, history

Actors:
Toby Jones. Penelope Wilton, Ian McElhinn…

Country:
Ireland, UK

Rating:
IMDb – 6.6


Our Zoo (mini-series, 2014)

In the early 1930s, George Mottershead brings an emaciated camel into his yard to take care of a poor man. The next acquisition is a colorful macaw parrot and a funny capuchin. At the family council, a decision is made to open a reserve where the animals will walk in spacious enclosures, but the local vicar opposes the use of “clean” lands for low-lying purposes.

Original title:
Our Zoo

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Lee Ingleby, Liz White, Anne Reid…

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 8.2


We Bought a Zoo (2011)

To create a wonderful film for the whole family, the director was inspired by the story of animals in the Benjamin Mee family zoo. After the death of his wife, a widower with children is looking for a new home, and a semi-abandoned ranch with an “app” turns out to be a suitable option. Two hundred exotic animals are waiting for help and attention, but taking care of them is not an easy task, although there is also a lot of funny things thanks to new friends. The difficult situation is exacerbated by a strained relationship with his son, who is still not reconciled to the death of his mother.

Original title:
We Bought a Zoo

Genre:
Drama, family, comedy

Actors:
Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Hayden Church…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
12+


My Zoo Boy (2011)

Griffin is unlucky in love, and the man almost despaired of finding happiness in his personal life. The animals adore their caretaker, so they give valuable advice on how to improve relations with the beautiful Stephanie. Talking animal recommendations help Griffin get closer to the girl of his dreams, but she puts an unexpected condition on her boyfriend. The beauty demands a change of job, because the position in the menagerie is not the most prestigious option, and the guy faces a difficult choice.

Original title:
Zookeeper

Genre:
Fantasy, melodrama, comedy, family

Actors:
Kevin James, Rosario Dawson, Leslie Bibb …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 5.2

Age restrictions:
12+


Bear named Winnie (2004)

One of the best zoo films is set during World War I. Lieutenant Harry Colebourne rescues an orphan bear cub – and the bear cub becomes the mascot of the Canadian Army regiment. Due to the redeployment of the division, the soldiers have to transfer the pet to the London menagerie. Harry promises to return Winnie to freedom, but at the end of the war he changes his mind after seeing how the children fell in love with the bear, and the furry talisman also served as a muse for Alexander Milne, the author of books about Winnie the Pooh.

Original title:
A Bear Named Winnie

Genre:
Drama, military

Actors:
Michael Fassbender, Gil Bellows, David Suchet…

Country:
Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
6+


Buddy (1997)

In the center of the film’s narrative is a pet that grew up in a human family. Almost every home has a four-legged pet, but Buddy is a male gorilla who was left without a mother in childhood. Wealthy aristocrat Gertrud Linz takes the baby under her care, educates and cares for him. However, as Buddy grows older, Buddy’s behavior and mannerisms cause more problems and concerns.

Original title:
Buddy

Genre:
Drama, comedy, adventure, family

Actors:
Rene Russo, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Cumming…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 4.9

Age limit:
0+


Fierce Creatures (1996)

Rounding out the list of the best films about zoos is a funny comedy about unusual business . A loss-making London menagerie passes into the possession of a mercantile entrepreneur, Rod McCain, who is ready to profit from the acquisition by any means. The new manager proposes to show visitors not cute animals, but ferocious predators, but not everyone agrees with such a policy.

Original title:
Fierce Creatures

Genre:
Comedy

Actors:
John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline …

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.4

Age Limits :
12+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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