The Six Best Movie Moments In Zoos

There’s a film out this week called We Bought A Zoo. Not since he starred in Siamese twin comedy Stuck On You has a film with Matt Damon done exactly what it says on the tin so precisely. To mark the release of director Cameron Crowe’s latest, Ross McG takes a look at the best cinematic moments to take place in a zoo. Please do not feed the blogger…

6. Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (2004)

If only every trip to the zoo was as fun as this. In the scintillating ludicrous finale to Will Ferrell’s finest hour and a half (although I know I am in the minority as far as my love for Blades Of Glory is concerned), the finest news team ever assembled – and their colleague from Whore Island – come together to capture the story of a lifetime (the birth of a panda) and to battle with some rather large bears. If you do fall into a bear enclosure, make sure you bring your dog who is a friend of one of their cousins with you. Saves a lot of hassle.

5. Rocky (1976) and Rocky II (1979)

Poor Rocky. All he wants to do is take his new gal Adrian (yes, she is a gal) out on a date. But he’s got no money and no ideas about where to go. This is where working for a scuzzy loan shark can come in handy. Not only will one of his goons give you some advice on where to take her, in this case the zoo, the boss himself will give you some spending money. All you have to do is ignore his buddy dissing your new girlfriend. Rocky took his time, a whole film in fact, to take Adrian to the zoo. He proposes to her there in Rocky II.

Rock makes one of the sweetest proposals ever. He even invites a tiger to the wedding – click HERE

4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

Just your ordinary trip to the reptile house really, apart from talking snakes, disappearing protective glass and some of the hammiest child acting since Veruca Salt demanded a golden goose. It doesn’t matter though, because this zoo scene gets by on old-fashioned charm and the actually strangely saddening fact that we’re never going to see that scamp Potter in a new film again. Unless old JK gets busy writing again. No, not a new Jamiroquai album. Here, little Harry’s conversation with a snake seems innocent enough, a mark of how light the first two films in the series are. As we came to find out later in the saga, snakes are teacher-eating slimy gits.

3. Eraser (1996)

From one reptile house to another, except this time instead of children acting badly we get Arnie uh, acting. Yeah, you get the drift. What the Austrian Oak lacks in the believability stakes however he more than makes up for with great big giant quips. And they don’t come much better than this one in a zoo, which is delivered with so little care that it actually makes it one of his greatest. Yes, up there with asking his former associate Bennett to de-steamify himself. Here, he tells the least lifelike crocodile in cinematic history that he is luggage. All the terribleness in this scene (James Caan phones it in too) can not stop it from being memorable. Or from being a memorable trip to the zoo.

2. An American Werewolf In London (1981)

And now we come to the first of two classics, both of which were filmed at London Zoo at Regent’s Park. The thing is, neither of these scenes would make it into a mainstream film these days, but for entirely different reasons. This sequence in John Landis horroromedy (yep, I did just write that) An American Werewolf In London is notable for the fact it features a naked man talking to a schoolboy in broad daylight. Asking him for his balloons no less. These are the situations you get yourself into though if you’ve become a werewolf. Actor David Naughton plays this scene so beautifully, from his American pronunciation of the word ‘pound’ to his demand: ‘Little boy with the balloons! Come over here!’ It’s all wonderfully funny stuff and is so knockabout it could sit comfortably as a farcical bit from a film in the 40s. Without the nudity, perhaps.

1. Withnail & I (1987)

The reason this scene wouldn’t make the cut these days is that it features its main character quoting Hamlet. In the rain. Don’t expect that in Transformers 4. Withnail & I’s ending, with Richard E Grant belting out good ole Shakey’s finest in the pissing rain outside the wolf enclosure at London Zoo, is just heartbreakingly fabulous. Everyone has their favourite Withnail quote (for me it’s ‘SCRUBBERS!!!’ being shouted at schoolgirls) but it is very hard to beat the Bard, even if you mightn’t have a clue what it all means. Richard E Grant will probably never top this moment. The best scene at a zoo ever.



3 Responses to “The Six Best Movie Moments In Zoos”

  1. Eraser is a movie I hate to love, thanks for reminding me of that scene! Also, any scene from American Werewolf in London is fantastic but this was pure hilarity!

  2. As soon as I saw this title I was thinking…An American Werewolf In London and the woman’s coat! 🙂

  3. Gotta be the monkey scene in Dead Alive. So gross and so marvelous.

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