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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Like the 1968 genre-defining original on which this is based, the movie makes pointed commentary on racism and the Cold War paranoia that was a part of the time.
Positive Role Models
Unlike the other characters, Ben stays relatively calm as he tries to figure out a way to get himself and those he's stranded with in the farmhouse to safety.
Like the original, Ben, the lead character, is an African American who emerges as a clear leader in the farmhouse.
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Violence & Scariness
Zombie horror movie violence throughout, at times more graphic than the original. Living and undead heads shown getting shot and blown in two. Zombies shown eating the flesh off of human limbs. A recently zombified daughter stabs her mother with a garden hand trowel; it's bloody and graphic. Tire iron through skulls, foreheads. Zombies shot with rifles, hands stabbed, fingers sliced off. Head smashed on gravestone; bloody. Zombies set on fire. Truck explosion. Ben punches Cooper after Cooper leaves Ben to fend for himself against the zombies. African American lead character shot and killed by one of the White vigilante militia groups roaming the countryside fighting the zombies.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief nonsexual nudity: backside of nude female zombie lurching with other clothed zombies.
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Infrequent profanity: "damned," "bastards," "goddammit," "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, as the title implies, Night of the Animated Dead is a 2021 animated remake of the genre-defining classic 1968 George Romero zombie movie. While it basically stays true to the original story, there are some moments that are more graphically violent -- including scenes in which humans and zombies have their heads shot off with rifles. A recently zombified daughter stabs her mother repeatedly with a garden hand trowel. Zombies are bludgeoned with tire irons. Zombies are shown eating the flesh off of severed human limbs. Zombies are stabbed in the hands, their fingers sliced off. Characters die in a truck explosion. A head is smashed on a gravestone. Zombies are set on fire. Punches are thrown when the lead character is left to fend for himself against the zombies by one of the more annoying humans inside the farmhouse. Brief nonsexual nudity of the backside of a female zombie lurching with other clothed zombies. An African American character is shot in the forehead and killed by one of the White vigilante militia members who are going around the countryside and attacking the zombie hordes. Cigarette smoking. Infrequent profanity: "damned," "bastards," "goddammit," "hell." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is an earnest, if unnecessary, animated remake of a genre-defining horror classic. Night of the Animated Dead is more graphically violent than the original, but aside from this and a minimalist (either due to style or economy) animation style, there's nothing much different from this and the 1968 Night of the Living Dead on which it's based. It doesn't bring any new perspectives to this movie, or to the zombieverse depicted in the other George Romero movies in the Dead franchise. If you've seen the original, this doesn't do much to bring on a deeper appreciation. If you haven't seen the original, there's no reason why you shouldn't just choose to watch the original instead. Nonetheless, while cynics may question why this would be made, it does come across as a sincere tribute to what makes Night of the Living Dead a classic.
The voice actors do solid work across the board, which plays into the tribute aspects of the movie. Perhaps the low-budget animation is also intended to be a tribute of sorts to the low-budget aesthetic of the original. If that's the case it's fine for what it is, but at the same time, like any tribute or remake, you want something new, something more than a modernized or animated version. This doesn't really do that, and if there's some question as to why it would be made in the first place, such questions naturally lead to why anyone should watch it in the first place. Why listen to a note-for-note cover band when you can just as easily listen to the real deal? Tribute or not, there isn't enough here to justify its existence.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.