Blu-ray/DVD, Disney, Live Action, Live Action, Reviews

[DVD REVIEW] ‘Zombies’

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In recent years, Disney Channel has made a name for itself in providing teen-friendly musicals with positive messages and energetic songs. The latest entry, Zombies, is one of the better entries with a sweet message, charismatic performances and some catchy songs. It is coming out on DVD April 24th and it is worth a purchase, especially if you have teens in your life.

The set-up for Zombies is simple. In a town called Seabrook, a zombie outbreak was unleashed much to the horror of the citizens. To cope, the town built a wall to keep the zombies out. Fortunately, they also developed a cure for the zombies’ brain-eating ways which allowed them to behave like anybody else.  Like the villain kids in Descendants, the decision is made to welcome the zombies into the human schools, and this is met with persecution and disdain at first. Animation fans should enjoy the introduction to Zombies, which shows the creative flair the film has:

The lead zombie, Zed, is played by Milo Manheim, and his dream is to play on the school football team. Meanwhile, human girl Addison, played by Meg Donnelly, dreams of making the cheer squad at school. The head of the cheer team, Bucky, played by Trevor Tordjman, hates the zombies and is the main antagonist in the story. There is also a zombie named Eliza, played by Kylee Russell, that becomes friends with Zed and has a bit of a rebellious streak in her.

There’s nothing all that groundbreaking in Zombies and it could easily be accused of being maudlin and predictable; however, it clearly has its heart in the right place with a positive message that elevates it above typical Disney Channel fare. The songs are also a lot of fun and well choreographed by Christopher Scott and director Jeffrey Hornaday. It is particularly impressive how they use glow in the dark effects in the song ‘BAMM’:

Donnelly and Manheim are charming in the leads and overall it’s a very sweet, entertaining film the whole family can enjoy watching together.

Bonus Features ✮✮1/2

The DVD special features are average but entertaining enough for fans of the film to watch.

  • Bloopers – A classic blooper reel that gives some behind the scenes action
  • Deleted Scenes – 2 cut scenes both involving the cheer squad
  • Audition Footage – Manheim and Donnelly’s audition footage to be in the movie
  • Zombies Survival Guide to High School – A little 2 minute short giving 6 tips for surviving high school
  • Music Videos – 2 videos of the ‘BAMM’ song one with lyrics and one a traditional music video
  • Dance Tutorial – An instructional video teaching the dance in ‘BAMM’ by choreographer Christopher Scott
  • Original Trailers– Both of the Zombies trailers

Final Thoughts

If you are a fan of the recent Disney Channel musicals then you will definitely love Zombies. It is one of the better entries of late with a sweet message, likable cast and energetic musical numbers. The DVD is worth picking up where ever DVDs are sold

Movie Score ✮✮✮✮

AMAZON DVD here

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About Rachel Wagner

Rachel has loved animation since she was a little girl singing songs from The Little Mermaid at the top of her lungs. She currently works in social media marketing and loves to blog and vlog about Disney, Pixar and all kinds of movies in her free time. Her favorite movie is Up and she considers herself quite the Cinderella aficionado seeing every version she can get her hands on. She also loves animated TV shows like Simpsons, Gravity Falls, Star Wars Rebels and more. Follow her on twitter @smilingldsgirl
  • Yeah I saw this out of boredom and I wasn’t expecting much but the two leads really sold it for me and their song together in that hideout was really nice! Really nice review and agreed on all fronts! 🙂

    • Rachel Wagner

      Thanks so much. I was like you and just happened into it and was pleasantly surprised

  • Tired

    Please don’t..don’t say this is for teens. As a teen myself,I just feel offended and it just makes it seem like you guys are using posts as sponsors. Like write an article for Zombies but at least be honest. ,,okay Zombies has its heart in the right place but let’s be completely honest,there have been better written Disney movies in the past. I’m not saying this out of nostalgia. I feel like the Disney Channel has actually faced a demographic shift in recent years actually. Before their shows seemed more aimed at tweens and preteens. But now it seems like kids from 4 to 10 are watching Disney more and leaving channels like Disney jr behind quicker. You can see it in the way their shows are written. I think tweens are using other forms of entertainment like streaming,YouTube,social media etc instead of watching Disney Channel. Which would explain why Disney is making most of their shows even more simple and clear cut. I mean, c’mon you can’t tell me that HSM and Zombies are equals when it comes to plot depth,emotional intensity and stuff.i feel Disney Channel just has a younger demographic to appeal to these days. But Zombies was,,cute in its own way I guess-my seven year old sister has watched non stop and Disney Channel has played it ten times a week ever since the movie came out. Personally that’s not how I would go about mirroring real world topics to kids. So I guess the broad message of the movie is about accepting others and treating others equally. And a lot of parallels can be drawn from the movie to real world oppressed minorities. I just feel as if Zombies was trying to give a simplified message of inclusivity and “tolerance” to children through a panel of old white Disney exec viewpoints. First question: why does the story revolve around Addison? She’s sweet and all but if the writers really wanted to get a message across they would’ve told the story through a Zombies perspective,a repressed minority of Seabrook. I think for the message to really be effective they should’ve had the main story line revolve around a Zombie. You could say the story is not that deep and it’s simply about being nice but if you rewatch the movie,you’ll see that the writers are trying to give a Disney Channel esque take on the racial diversity message. Between the protest signs and picket fences you can’t say that this movie is simply about bullying. Or that it’s simply trying to be about bullying. Kids across America are already bombarded with media revolving around white kids and their inner turmoil. Yes the white leads will often have a few good supporting racially different side characters but its not the same as being the movies main perspective. It just shows how black,Asian,Hispanic etc kids are going to feel like the side character in life. Like their narrative is not as prioritized. Yes other forms of media are taking great strides to be more racially inclusive but “Zombies” should practice what It preaches. If not then it just seems to fall short and the message seems one dimensional. Zed was kinda just a plot device for Addison. She’s the lead even though the movie is called “Zombies”. You can tell because most of Zed’s actions are usually instigated by Addision after the first ten minutes of the movie. He’s a strong supporting character but the movie isn’t about him. They kinda just paint Eliza as a crazy extremist SJW even though she makes the most sense throughout the whole movie lmao.God,idk when did Disney Channel become so fragile about these topics. I remember “the color of friendship” being played nonstop on the Disney Channel. They honestly just need to cut the metaphors and symbolism and say what they want to say clear and simple. Kids can’t and won’t understand this delicate type of messaging in “Zombies”. Yeah the surface message is “be nice to others” but they so obnoxiously try to make it deeper. Because,,,”Zombie-phobia”is a real world problem in the fictional land of Seabrook. Kids can understand more. Disney is underestimating how much kids can understand about the real world and it’s upsetting. My little sister doesn’t even care about the message of inclusivity. She just wants to be a cheerleader now. Thanks Disney. If anything the movie had the exact opposite effect on little kids especially little girls and just made them want to be more conforming. After watching the Color of Friendship though,we had a good discussion about some important topics that are still relevant to today’s America unfortunately. Give kids movies about the real world or give them movies from the perspective of an oppressed character the rest of America can relate with. Most kids just see Seabrook as a fantasy land where everyone gets to wear pastel colored clothing. It’s not a good way of mirroring the real world unless-you’re a young upper middle class child who lives in a gated community perhaps. But for the rest of America’s children,they’ll continue to see it as a Fantasyland. So for me Zombies fell short. My little sister and most little kids can’t grasp the message of the importance of being nice. She is more focused however on wearing makeup and fitting in at the whopping age of seven. Gee,I wonder wear she got this sudden urge to fit in? After seeing how hard it is to be an outsider or how strange it can be to seem different. For little kids,the Zombies are still Zombies. They show the characters all happy for a few seconds when the conflict is resolved at the end. Yet kids are left with the impression that being different really is bad. I mean,what kid would want to be a dusty,delinquent zombie over a pink,perfect,preppy cheerleader?