Zenon: Z3

Movie review by
Tracey Petherick, Common Sense Media
Zenon: Z3 Movie Poster Image
Teen space adventure with mild coming-of-age themes.
  • NR
  • 2004
  • 80 minutes

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

References to Neil Armstrong and the 1969 Moon landing.

Positive Messages

Being yourself -- you can be inspired by others, but don't try and be someone else. Looking out for your friends and supporting and encouraging them. Having courage and the confidence to fight for a good cause. Being open to new experiences.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Zenon is bright, friendly, and confident with strong values. She and her female friends are also relatable, and non-stereotypical -- for example, three of the four finalists in the "Galactic Teen Supreme contest" are girls. Sage is a Moon preservation activist and passionate about his cause, which resonates with current, real-life campaigns for environmental awareness.

Violence & Scariness

A Moon God threatens to destroy the Earth.

Sexy Stuff

Flirting and two teens share a gentle kiss. 

Language
Consumerism

Characters are excited by the mall-style Lunar Base on the Moon, which is full of shops and food outlets. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Zenon: Z3 is a teen space adventure with slightly older themes than the first two movies in this Disney trilogy (Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century and Zenon: The Zequel). With no controversial or scary content -- other than a brief moment where a Moon Goddess threatens to destroy the Earth -- it's still suitable for all ages, but this installment has a coming-of-age storyline with teenage activists fighting for environmental change and Zenon (Kirsten Storms) -- now 17 -- finding romance. There are a number of catchy songs that younger viewers will enjoy reciting long after the end credits. Smart, relatable characters that work together for a valuable cause make for an enjoyable story that exudes positive messages.

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What's the story?

Continuing the story of Zenon Kar, ZENON: Z3 is the third installment of the Disney TV movie trilogy. It's 2054 and Zenon (Kirsten Storms) is taking part in the Galactic Teen Supreme contest, determined to win her place at the Moonstock Festival, a two-day celebration at a Lunar Base on the Moon. Even the well-meaning teen activist Sage Borealis (Ben Easter) fighting to prevent the Moon from being colonized, can't stop her. But when a Moon Goddess -- who's not too happy about her home being wrecked -- appears, Zenon must once again gather her wits, and her friends, to save planet Earth.

Is it any good?

If you're surprised that Disney managed to stretch its Zenon concept to three movies, take comfort in the fact that this -- the final one -- is actually pretty good, as TV movies go. The special effects haven't come along by much, and there are still a few utterly implausible concepts, but overall this is an entertaining teen adventure in a funky, futuristic world.

Zenon has grown into a well-rounded character and the introduction of her precocious foster cousin Dasha (Alyson Morgan) brings a few laughs. We have more of the garish, multicolored outfits and props, extra space slang -- "zetus lapetus!" has somehow evolved into "vega omega!" -- and some genuinely catchy songs. Meanwhile characters like the eco-activist Sage and the punky Moon Goddess Selena make it feel slightly more up-to-date. Zenon: Z3 was never going to win any awards, but the snappier script, compelling-enough storyline, and better pacing give it the edge over its two predecessors.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the positive messages that come through in Zenon: Z3. Do you think the characters are good role models, and why?

  • Sage is fighting to prevent the Moon from being colonized. Talk about the reality of colonialism -- what it is and what its profound, far-reaching consequences are.

  • In the Zenon version of the future, there is an abundance of plastic and synthetic materials (in clothes, furnishings, eating utensils, etc.). What alternatives to plastic are already being developed in real life? Why is it important to find alternatives to plastic?

  • How does this movie compare to the previous two Zenon movies? Which one was your favorite and why?

Movie details

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