We Bought a Zoo

Book vs. Movie

We Bought a Zoo (book)    We Bought a Zoo (movie)

When I had picked up this book about two years ago, I never thought it would be made into a movie.  Don’t get me wrong—it is not that the memoir did not have potential to go on the big screen, but the book didn’t circulate much at our library and so I didn’t think many people would have caused a hype to make it into a film.  When I found out that it was going Hollywood, I was quite interested to see what they would do with the material.  While the movie rendition is a family flick and gets you crying, the book is not completely the same.  Main differences: in the memoir, Mee tells us how he acquired the zoo while his children were both still young and he was challenged not only with the animals, but also going through his wife’s terminal brain cancer.  That’s right, she was there from the beginning—even helping out during some of her worst struggles of the disease.  So, the fact that they moved because of his troubled teenager was not the reason they bought the aniaml sanctuary.  Also, the zoo personnel we meet in the movie seem more exaggerated from the people he introduces to us in the book but I think it helps bring more humor and character to the film.  Most of the animals and their dramas do take place in Mee’s memoir, but the screen version has the zoo located in California with a different name (Rosemoor instead of Dartmoor).  The real zoo is situated in the UK.  I really liked both book and movie, but they are distinct from one another.  What did you think?

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