This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Zoo Movies ( #atozchallenge )

We Bought a Zoo
We Bought a Zoo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The films that I'll be listing in my April postings may not necessarily be films that I'd call my favorite films, but they will be favorites in the genres I'll be naming.   The A to Z genres are very specific micro genres as opposed to the broader genres like action, romance, or comedy.

      I'll bet you thought I would have picked Zombie Movies for 'Z'.   That is a favorite genre, but it's too obvious.   So I decided to go with a tough one.  I couldn't think of many zoo movies and actually most of these just have zoo scenes.  Maybe you can think of a few others.
       This is what I've got:

20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)--This is one of my favorites from childhood.  An exploratory spacecraft to Venus returns to Earth with a special treat.  The cute little Venusian visitor turns into a big monster. The dinosaur-like creature is subdued and taken to the zoo in Rome to be studied.  The creature is not happy and creates havoc at the zoo before terrorizing the city of Rome.  Great stop motion animation by the legendary Ray Harryhausen.  

The Graduate (1967)-- To call this a zoo film is a stretch, but there is a brief funny scene at a zoo.

Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)--In this third entry of the original Planet of the Apes series, advanced apes from the future travel back in time to Earth in 1973.  They are captured by the humans and incarcerated in the Los Angeles Zoo.

An American Werewolf in London (1981)--There is a very funny zoo scene where the wolf turns back into naked man at the zoo.  This is one of the best werewolf films ever.

Batman Returns (1992)--The Penguin was raised by penguins at the Gotham City Zoo.  By the time he has become an adult, this Batman nemesis is still using the now abandoned zoo as part of his base of operations.

We Bought a Zoo (2011)--Now we're getting to a true zoo film.  This is a heart-warming story about a widower who buys a zoo and moves there with his kids. It's based on a true story.

Life of Pi (2012)--Without the zoo and the animals this story would not be.   While moving from India to Canada, zoo owning family perishes during a storm at sea with only survivors being one son and a tiger named Richard Parker.  An incredible film that is thoughtful and beautiful to behold.  

           Can you think of another zoo movie?   Did I miss any animated films about zoos?   What are your favorite animals to watch at the zoo? 

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  1. I remember a few of these, have enjoyed your selections over the past month.


  2. Zoo movies - tough one! (Zeppelin movies would've been even more difficult.) Good choices in We Bought a Zoo and Life of Pie.
    How about the animated Madagascar movies?

  3. We Bought a Zoo is an excellent movie. I have yet to see Life of Pi.

    It's been an honor co-hosting alongside you, Lee. I'm glad we made it to the end.

  4. I've seen most of these apart from the last two. Must check them out. Thanks for the recommendations.

  5. Life of Pi is on my TBW list. My kids loved it.

  6. I really enjoyed WE BOUGHT A ZOO. I haven't seen the movie LIFE OF PI but I liked the book.

    Also, THE ZOOKEEPER with Kevin James was pretty cute.

  7. Hey, Lee, have you ever seen "Secondhand Lions"? A really heart warming movie with Haley Joel Osment, Robert Duvall, Michael Caine, and Kyra Sedgwick. The lion in the movie actually is one too old to perform in a circus and the three come into possession of it. Heartwarming movie filmed in 2003. Ya gotta see it! Great A to Z challenge this year! Thanks, my friend! Love, Ruby

  8. I enjoyed We Bought a Zoo, but I loved The Life of Pi...the book was excellent and the movie stayed true to that. Congrats on reaching letter Z! Thanks so much for all you do to make the challenge happen. I really enjoy it and look forward to next year!

  9. I've seen all of these except 20 Million Miles to Earth. I'm going to need to add it to my queue. I'll throw out Sharktopus and A Town Called Panic although neither are really "zoo movies," the both feature animals as main characters so that might count for something!

  10. I've seen and like most of the movies you posted. I didn't think I would like the latest Planet of the Apes movie where the monkey is put in a "Zoo like" place, but I did - very much.

    And who wouldn't like We bought a Zoo?

  11. i would like to add Dr Doolittle... as not much of a zoo, but animal enthusiast. Also, Animal Farm... Zookeeper and last Cat People..

    you did a great job with your post and putting your film knowledge up and letting us share in the film choices.

    thank you!

  12. Yvonne -- Thank you for being with me the entire way for all of my blogs.

    Alex-- Since I haven't seen the Madagascar movies I don't know if they involved zoos.

    Matthew - Thank you and the entire A to Z Team. Without the unified effort this could never be as successful as it is. You must see Life of Pi.

    Bibliophile -- The last two are the real zoo movies.

    Dani -- ...Pi should be on everyone's list.

    Madeline -- Haven't seen The Zookeeper.

    Grammy -- I did see Secondhand Lions--I think--but I cannot remember it at all. Thanks for joining in for another round of A to Z. You're one of the originals.

    Joyce -- Thank you for being a part of A to Z. The real success is in the participants.

    HeatherL -- Yeah, but if we throw in animal movies there would be a ton of those.

    Gillian -- Agreed!

    Teresa -- Actually the most recent Apes offering might be the best. I thought it was great.

    Jeremy -- Dr. Doolittle would certainly be a good person to have on staff at a zoo.


  13. Does Zoolander count? It has Zoo in the title. Can't believe another Challenge has come to a close.

  14. American Werewolf was a great movie and the zoo scene was funny, sort of...And I adored Life of Pi (the book). Looking forward to renting the movie.

  15. Not really a zoo movie, but they ended up with a menagerie of sorts was "The Swiss Family Robinson."

  16. Congratulations, LEE, McBuddy - you made it to the end again!

    Yeah, Grammy's mention of 'Secondhand Lions' was a good one.

    My choice is a movie that's not about a zoo, but it does have a long and memorable scene that takes place in a zoo: 'ALTERED STATES'.

    I bow to you, Lee, the master of 'A To Z'.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  17. I liked that old batman movie and the story of the penguin. And I did expect Zombies today.

  18. Hi Lee - thanks so much for starting off the Challenge all those four years ago .. I've thoroughly enjoyed number my number 3!

    Lots of good ideas from you and other commenters... does Animal Farm slot it?! I loved the Life of Pi .. I really need to read the book .. the other films I haven't seen.

    These will be so good to come back to and read and to see some of those films I've missed over the years.

    Cheers Hilary

  19. Oh yes to these. I loved We Bought A Zoo, and just saw it a couple of months ago.

    This seems to be Zoo Day at the Challenge. I love it. I also think there's nothing more beautiful than the panther. I could watch them forever.

    Thanks for coming up with the idea for this Challenge. It has been fun.

  20. Judy -- I never saw Zoolander but from what I know of it, no, it is not a "zoo" movie. Nice try, Judy.

    Mshatch -- I thought the zoo scene in American Werewolf... was hilarious. What an awkward position to be in.

    Rocky -- There have been more than a few films where a menagerie was accumulated. Calling them zoos could be a stretch.

    StMc -- I have seen Altered States but don't really remember it. I should probably watch that one again. Most of my picks only had zoo scenes and did not focus on zoos in anyway. And thank you for being with us in comment throughout the Challenge.

    Susan GK -- I originally planned "Zombies" but then decided it was too predictable. But Zombie Movies would be a favorite genre for me.

    Hilary -- Animal Farm would have been a good one for Farm Movies--that would be a big genre. Let me know if you do watch any of my recommendations. I'd like to hear what other reactions were to some of them.


  21. The zebra is my favorite animal! I really like the animated movie Madagascar. It cracks me up! The Wild is another animated movie that was pretty good.

    I enjoyed We Bought a Zoo, The Zookeeper, and Life of Pi.

    Thank you being so awesome, Arlee!! It was another fantastic Challenge!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  22. I had a feeling that zombie movies was coming up here Lee so this was a nice surprise. I never knew there was a Batman film that centred around a zoo haha, this is so cool. Great job with the challenge Lee, you've done amazing as usual buddy.

  23. I still haven't seen We Bought a Zoo. I had to laugh about Batman being on the list b/c of the Penguin. I'd add Madagascar to the list :)

  24. We Bought A Zoo...Such a cute movie. I liked it much more than I thought I would.

    Stefani @ Dreams of Nyssa

  25. Loved We Bought a Zoo. I thought it was going to be a cheesy comedy but was very pleasantly surprised!

  26. Laura -- You're a Challenge veteran. It's the participants like you who keep A to Z going strong.

    Yeamie -- Thanks for your continued support, Matthew. You are a worthy commenter. I sincerely appreciate it.

    Stephsco -- The Gotham City Zoo was a center of activity for the Penguin. That's where he came about.

    Stefani -- I didn't expect much from We Bought a Zoo until I started seeing so many recommendations from bloggers.

    Steven- Exactly! I was expecting the same. It was a wonderful film.


  27. I have enjoyed all but I Bought a Zoo with Life of Pi being my favorite out of all of these.

  28. How about Fierce Creatures, which kind of followed A Fish called Wanda...I recently saw I bought a zoo, it's a nice feel good movie.

  29. Difficult one, Zoo films. I just wanted to say, thanks for the Challenge again this year. I've loved it and can't wait till next year's.

  30. I prefer Zoo's to Zombies. We loved We Bought A Zoo.

    Thanks for another great challenge. I made it all the way from A to Z!

  31. Cool choice to end this challenge. Thanks for creating a great way for us bloggers to blog and meet new people.

  32. Candace -- Those two films are worth anyone's time.

    Rowena - Fierce Creatures is a new one on me.

    DayDreamer -- Thank you for being Challenged by the letters.

    Jenn -- You're not the only one who is not a zombie fan.

    Sheena -- The Challenge is all about the bloggers who become a part of it. Thank you!


  33. I've seen a few and want the see the others I haven't.

    Great A to Z, my first time and it was fun, a true challenge!

    Thank you!

  34. Life of Pi was a visual treat. I would watch it again. The A-Z was fun. Thanks!!!

  35. I loved We Bought a Zoo, great movie and would like to see it again. Haven't seen the other movies you mentioned, especially Life of Pi, I will have to get round to that soon.

    Thanks so much for dreaming up this blogfest and for co-hosting it Lee, I have had a blast this year.


  36. Ah, nice list! I can't say I have seen any of these...I thought surely I may have, but I don't think I have. Isn't Madagascar (animated) set in a zoo at first? I just saw previews, but I thought it was.

    Anyway, thanks again for the fun challenge. I'll be back next year!

  37. Interesting choices! Congrats on finishing the challenge!

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog:

  38. Yolanda -- Glad you gave the A to Z a chance.

    Sharon - Life of Pi is the kind of DVD to add to a collection.

    TM-- Couldn't tell you about Madagascar since I didn't see it. Thanks for A to Zing with us.

    Kristen -- And a big congratulations to you! Thanks for dropping by so often.


  39. Thoroughly enjoyed Life of Pi. How about Madagascar?
    Thanks for the A to Z challenge. I did manage to complete it.

  40. We Bought A Zoo was a very good movie, and surprisingly emotional. I loved The Graduate, but can't remember the zoo scene. Thanks for hosting another terrific A to Z! I also enjoyed your movie theme, and it's amazing how you kept up with your multiple blogs. I hope you'll be getting some much needed rest now Lee!


  41. truly creative post arlee!! most movies i haven't seen though :(

  42. I kinda liked Zookeeper with Kevin James. I like to see the zebras and the giraffes. This challenge was really fun, THANK YOU!

    Chontali Kirk

  43. Thank you Lee and Congrats on a very wonderful #AtoZblogging challenge!

    I love zoo movies ;D
    Well done on your themed challenge!

  44. We did it!!!!! Thanks for your awesome leadership and your time, effort, encouragement and general wrangling of the team.
    As to the movies, I've only seen The Graduate and don't remember anything about a zoo...although I love Scarlett Johansson and Matt Damon so I will need to catch that one.
    Tina @ Life is Good

  45. There's Cat People (1942 and 1982). I like the early version best. The zoo is an important part of the movie. I love that you included The Graduate in this zoo genre!

  46. Great list of "Zoo" movies. Would you consider Ace Ventura and the Nutty Professor? Way to finish your challenge with a challenging "Z" genre!


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