I’m trying to decide if the tragedy involving the Ohio animal preserve will be good or bad for We Bought a Zoo. On the one hand, people might boycott the movie to bring awareness to the dangers involved with regular people keeping exotic animals. On the other hand, the movie — based on the real-life [amazon_link id="0007431821" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]memoir by Benjamin Mee[/amazon_link] — looks really cute. I mean, Matt Damon as a single dad who moves his family to the country, only to discover they’ve bought a zoo? It doesn’t get any sweeter than that.
And then there’s Maggie Elizabeth Jones, the adorable girl who plays his daughter, Rosie. Their little scene in the trailer below, where he asks whether he’s doing anything right and she says he’s handsomer than the other dads? It makes me want to dissolve into a swirl of pixie dust and waft off into the universe to spread love and good cheer to all.
We Bought a Zoo hits theaters Dec. 23, 2011, and also stars Scarlett Johannson, Thomas Haden Church, Elle Fanning and J.B. Smoove (read my pal Joel Keller’s interview with Smoove over at the AV Club). It’s directed by Cameron Crowe, an interesting choice for a family movie, so I’ll be curious to see the final product. The movie’s not rated yet, but I’m guessing PG-13 or, more likely, PG.