Check out our review of Zookeeper - is it any good and how suitable is it for kids?

A Dog's Purpose Poster


Starring: Kevin James, Rosario Dawson. (PG)

Release date: 2011

2 out of 5


Five years after zookeeper Griffin's (James) romantic beach proposal was rejected by then-girlfriend Stephanie (Leslie Bibb), their paths cross again and he realises he'll win her heart if he gives up his job and becomes a money-making car salesman instead. However, the animals at his zoo don't want to lose their friendly keeper, so they reveal to him that not only can they talk, they can also offer relationship advice so he can win status-conscious Stephanie back (including having the zoo vet played by Dawson as his date to make Steph jealous) without leaving his job.

Cue lots of pratfalls as a wolf teaches Griffin to mark his territory (and, unbelievably, Griffin does it, by peeing in a restaurant pot plant), bears show him how to do a mating roar, and Griffin takes Bernie the gorilla to restaurant TGI Fridays as a treat (pretending he's a guy in a gorilla costume in the most ridiculous scene of all). Some of the moments  are amusing, others just too unbelievable to be funny (quite an achievement in a movie where we have to believe animals can speak), and others downright annoying as Griffin learns to embrace his inner beast, realise his dream woman is actually a bitch, and discover (duh!) that there has been a better gal for him all along.

With Nick Nolte, Adam Sandler, Sylvester Stallone and Jon Favreau providing the voices of the gorilla, monkey, lion and bear, there are occasional laughs to be had. In the end, it's no Doctor Dolittle, however – the plot's too obvious for grown-ups, yet there are not enough jokes or talking animal bits to have kids rolling in the aisles, and all the lurve stuff will have them yawning or stampeding for the exits. 

Is Zookeeper suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...


If you like this, why not try: Doctor Dolittle 1967, Doctor Dolittle 1998, Furry Vengeance, Marmaduke, Garfield: The Movie,