We Bought A Zoo: Book And Movie Comparison

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The film is a story about the wonders of love, courage, and to make anything possible if you follow your heart. This is based on the true story of Benjamin Mee, who decides to move from London to somewhere in lower France to buy a new house. Both the book and movie tell us that Benjamin wants to have a fresh start in life by moving to a new house and that the house he buys comes with a zoo.

Though both the book and movie are similar, there are many factors such as Benjamin’s wife not being in the movie, the details on certain characters in the movie, and how the movie ends, which distinguishes the differences between the book and the movie. Throughout both the book and the movie, the author includes details about Katherine in order to catch the reader's attention, compared to the movie where the director has left out Katherine in order to keep the movie family-friendly. In the movie, the director puts their focus on Benjamin’s kids in order to have an emotional connection with the audiences, and the author left out these details to place their focus on Benjamin. Both the movie and the book had similar endings with one exception, whereas in the movie, the director ends the movie with Benjamin talking to his kids about their mother.

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To begin with, Katherine (Benjamin’s Wife) appears frequently in the book and certain details about her health conditions are mentioned. These health conditions about Katherine foreshadow some horrific events that occur, which eventually lead to her death. When Benjamin says, “ She quickly developed a speech deficit… She lost movement of her right arm” (Benjamin Mee We Bought A Zoo 110) and “Katherine’s breathing stopped at 3:30 AM on March 31” (Mee 134), it is clear that the author wanted to have these details in the book in order to add elements of suspense. By doing this, the author is able to catch the reader's attention and to have an emotional effect on the reader by adding these details about Katherine which led to her death. Compared to the movie, where it seems as if Katherine is nowhere to be seen, the director had purposely left out Katherine due to the gruesome details from the book.

The director must have wanted to aim for a family-friendly audience and realized that the death of Katherine would have changed the mood of the story and would not be appealing to younger audiences. With visuals from the movie, the director is already catching the audience's attention, making it unnecessary to include the details about Katherine which might intervene with the story’s mood. In addition, in the book, the author vaguely introduces Benjamin’s kids, Milo and Ella who are also known as Rosie and Dylan in the movie. From this quote, “Out two children, Ella and Milo, bilingual and sun-burnished, frolicked with kittens” (Mee 5), it is clear that the author introduces Benjamin’s kids but does not give enough details about them.

The author did not include details about Benjamin’s kids because they probably wanted to point their attention toward Benjamin and Katherine. By adding additional information on character development, this would have slowed down the pace of the book. Compared to the movie, the director has decided to place their focus points on the kids and add more context. In the beginning, we see Dylan upset at his father because he has to leave all his friends behind and towards the middle of the movie, Dylan falls in love with a girl named Lily. By doing this, the director must have wanted to add elements of conflict and to show that Dylan had some kind of relationship with another character. This would allow the audience to have an emotional connection to the characters and make it interesting. Furthermore, in the book, the author ends the story with Benjamin opening the zoo and does not include the ending where Benjamin talks to his kids about their mother like the movie did. The author must have wanted the book to end quickly and did not want to include unnecessary information.

By doing this the author must have wanted the story to flow at a good pace because, throughout most of the story, it is heavily packed with information and details about Katherine, Benjamin, the staff members, and the zoo. Compared to the movie, the director also ends the story with Benjamin opening the zoo, but also includes a scene where Benjamin takes his kids to the place where he met their mother. Benjamin explains that he used his skill he learned called “20 seconds of courage” which he had taught to Dylan when he asked out Lily. From this scene, it is clear that the director purposely included this scene in order to give the ending a more impactful meaning. By doing this, it left the audience in a happy and sad mood because they knew that Katherine had passed away and that the 20 seconds of courage Benjamin had taught Dylan was the exact method he used in order to win his wife's heart.

Overall, both the book, We Bought A Zoo, written by Benjamin Mee and We Bought A Zoo directed by Cameron Crowe (2011) were amazing pieces of work and demonstrated that both forms of media were able to tell the story of Benjamin Mee, which is based on a true story about the main character Benjamin who wants to start a new life with his family. In the movie, the director does not include details about Katherine in order to keep the movie family-friendly which would allow the movie to aim for a wider audience group and because the book has to include details in order to keep the audience's attention. In the book, the author decides to include minor details about the kids and does not include additional information to the ending, because the author wants to place their focus on Benjamin and to have the story flow at a good pace. On the other hand, in the movie, the director decides to have specific details about Benjamin’s kids and to add an additional scene to the ending, in order to allow the audience to have an emotional connection to the characters and to make the ending more meaningful. In the end, both forms of media did an excellent job of executing certain details, to have both the readers and audiences' attention towards the amazing story of Benjamin Mee.

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We Bought A Zoo: Book And Movie Comparison. (2020, November 26). WritingBros. Retrieved July 14, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/we-bought-a-zoo-book-and-movie-comparison/
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We Bought A Zoo: Book And Movie Comparison. [online]. Available at: <https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/we-bought-a-zoo-book-and-movie-comparison/> [Accessed 14 Jul. 2024].
We Bought A Zoo: Book And Movie Comparison [Internet]. WritingBros. 2020 Nov 26 [cited 2024 Jul 14]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/we-bought-a-zoo-book-and-movie-comparison/
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