Review of Zookeeper on DVD

If you loved Kevin James' performance in Paul Blart: Mall Cop, you'll appreciate the off-beat and warm humor displayed in his newest movie: Zookeeper.  The film, rated PG, is a sassy romp through the world of a mild-mannered and caring zookeeper Griffin (played by James, of course.)  He can't ever seem to get his girl, and so begins his attempt at trying to win back the one that got away -- with the help of his animal friends at the zoo.  Rosario Dawson plays his co-worker/friend who also helps, and ultimately begins to play a more important role in both the film and in Griffin's life.  There are also MANY celebrity voices for the animals, including Adam Sandler and Sylvester Stallone.

The movie, which shows animals breaking their "code of silence" to speak verbally to Griffin, is full of wonderful lessons that I was proud to share with my kids.  It shows the main character treating a woman badly, which she ends up liking, in an effort to appear more manly and win her heart.  He later learns that the kind of woman that would appreciate being treated like dirt is not, in fact, the kind of girl who could make him happy, and he returns to his old ways of treating women with honor and grace (as they should be.)  I loved that my kids got to see this in the film; I feel there are so many mixed messages as to what really makes "a man."

For those who are a bit squeamish, you should be warned that this does require a bit of parental guidance.  Unlike a G movie, there are some bits that add a little "off color" humor.  There is quite a lot of discussion around animal behavior that doesn't translate so well in the human world: a monkey talks of throwing poop, an animal marks his territory (as does Griffin), and there is even mention of showing "the pudding cup."

Even with the mild innuendo, however, I was relaxed as I watched it with my kids.  This movie reminded me so much of what I like about Kevin James as an actor:  humble and gentle -- but with an amazing physical comedy-- he almost always wins by showing heart, and this movie is no different.

Never boring, we laughed almost all the way through this film.  If you can handle a little animal humor and one scene where Donnie Wahlberg is (rightfully) kicked through a wall, you'll likely put this on your favorites list.

The Zookeeper arrives on DVD and Blu-Ray tomorrow, October 11th!