DVD Review: Disney's Zombies

Green-haired zombies, a white-haired cheerleader, and lots of song-and-dance.

By , Contributor
Disney Channel Original Movie Zombies (stylized Z-O-M-B-I-E-S, due to its cheerleader-based plot) combines the zombie craze popularized by the more mature fare like The Walking Dead with tween faves like High School Musical, with a dash of cheer-saga Bring It On. The 94-minute musical premiered on the Disney Channel just two months ago—now it's available to own on DVD with bonus features (and a sheet of glow-in-the-dark temporary tattoos, to boot!).

Zombies is spirited, cute, and possesses a typical—but welcome nonetheless—message of embracing each other's differences, as well as our own perceived "flaws" and shortcomings. The premise involves the reintegration of zombies into society via pulse-emitting mobile devices that control their, ahem, special dietary needs (there's a cauliflower-based brain substitute on the market, kind of a wink at the paleo and gluten-free diet trends). In the picture-perfect suburban community of Seabrook, perky cheerleader Addison (Meg Donnelly) engages in a budding relationship with zombie football player Zed (Milo Manheim). Her family is aghast, while Zed's zombie pals are skeptical about introducing a non-zombie to their world.

And there's plenty of songs, none of which you're likely to be humming after the credits roll. But your kids just might, especially after they've watched the DVD 75 times. The "regular" world views the zombies as freaks and outcasts. Addison uses a blonde wig to cover up naturally white hair, which she's ultra-self-conscious about. The whole thing is an on-the-nose allegory for all sort of societal bigotry, but director Paul Hoen never makes it feel preachy. The focus remains squarely on fun song-and-dance numbers and broad, mild, tween-friendly humor. Watch it with kids, young siblings, nieces, cousins, whoever—it all glides by pleasantly.

Disney's DVD edition several bite-sized bonus features: several minutes each of bloopers, deleted scenes, audition videos, a music video, dance tutorial, and a short featurette "The Zombies Survival Guide to High School."


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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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