<i>War Horse</i> and <i>We Bought a Zoo</i>: Which Cheesy Animal Movie Should You See This Christmas?

Blame it on Marley & Me. When that cutesy-poo tearjerker about a family and their dog topped the holiday box office charts a few years back, Hollywood started looking around for other sentimental animal-centric tales designed to warm the hearts of even the sourest grinches. This year, families can choose between not just one, but two cheesy movies about adorable animals and the humans that love them, Steven Spielberg's War Horse and Cameron Crowe's We Bought a Zoo. The latter is based on a memoir by Benjamin Mee and stars Matt Damon as a widower, who packs up his two kids and moves them to a dilapidated zoo, which they have to get up and running again before it's shut down for good. The former is derived from Michael Morpurgo's children's novel (which also served as the basis for a recent Tony Award-winning play) and follows a spirited horse named Joey, who gallops through the lives of an all-star cast of European character actors (Emily Watson! Benedict Cumberbatch! Niels Arestrup!) against the backdrop of World War I. Although they tell very different stories, both films have the same ultimate goal: to make you weep often and openly. So which one succeeds? We'll answer that by pitting the films against each other in a few key areas.

Trailers Without Pity: War Horse

by Ethan Alter December 19, 2011 2:31 pm
Trailers Without Pity: <i>War Horse</i>

Steven Spielberg gets his epic on with this sweeping story of a boy and his horse set against the backdrop of World War I. When a poor British farmer spends all of his savings on the titular steed at an auction, his young son forms a strong bond with the horse -- which he names Joey -- that continues even after it is shipped away to the front. The horse then passes through the hands of various owners, while the boy grows up and goes to war himself.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, April 3, 2012

by Ethan Alter April 3, 2012 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A horse and his boy.

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