Zombies

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Zombies Movie Poster Image
Teens challenge stereotypes in lively Disney musical.
  • NR
  • 2018
  • 94 minutes
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 15 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Strong social messages about accepting others' differences and not letting our own unique qualities have a negative effect on our self-esteem.

Positive Messages

Messages about tolerance and celebrating individuality are impossible to miss. Teens learn to set aside their prejudices against each other (yes, it happens on both the human and the zombie side) and find common ground. There's little consequence for what seems the major legal infraction of tampering with technology that keeps zombies' impulses under control, but that's a small factor in the story. Positive messages are emphasized by the movie's songs.

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

A small group of open-minded teens manage to overcome prejudice encouraged by the adults -- and many peers -- in their lives. Addison chooses her friendship with Zed over the promise of popularity, and following her heart inspires others to see past differences as well. Some teens hold to their prejudice and even try to sabotage reconciliation between the two sides.

Violence & Scariness

A few scenes show teens transforming into zombies. Their eyes darken, their veins bulge, and, in one case, they stalk their human peers. There's mention of the fact that zombies eat human brains, but no actual violence.

 

Sexy Stuff

The budding romance between Addison and Zed yields some longing looks and a kiss.

 

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Zombies is a Disney movie about a community where teens inspire positive change by resisting prejudice and finding common ground when their high school integrates humans and zombies. There's stereotyping on both sides of the divide for most of the story, as well as some mean-spirited exchanges between humans and zombies, often driven by adults. But the relationship that develops between a human girl (Meg Donnelly) and a zombie boy (Milo Manheim) has a big impact, inspiring their peers to set aside misconceptions and befriend each other. Parents will especially like the themes of self-esteem surrounding Addison's struggle to let her true self show, and kids will love the catchy soundtrack and dance scenes.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHi T. April 21, 2018

Terrible

Instead of making an actual movie about discrimination Disney decides to make one about zombies and necrophilia. They could’ve made one about people of color, t... Continue reading
Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written byTiffany R. April 25, 2018

Good Fun

This movie is just good CLEAN fun. It is all about being who you are and accepting people who are different. Having a good positive attitude even if you are... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bymelodiruby February 23, 2018

Good songs, but cheesy plot

The movie had very catchy songs, but the plot was very generic. It had a zombie/ cheerleader Romeo Juliet feel to it. I did not like how the humans kids were al... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old February 23, 2018

bad just bad

this was TRASH and was a disgrace to zombie movies

What's the story?

In ZOMBIES, Seabrook is the perfect town with perfect neighborhoods, perfect residents, and a perfect record in high school cheerleading competitions, but all that uniformity comes under threat when students from neighboring Zombietown integrate Seabrook High School. While most of the humans bristle at the idea of coexisting with zombies, Addison (Meg Donnelly) feels an immediate connection to Zed (Milo Manheim), an optimist who hopes this change will be the start of full equality for his fellow zombies. As Addison and Zed's relationship evolves, tensions run high in this town, and people must decide where their loyalties lie.

Is it any good?

The fact that there are few surprises in this movie doesn't overshadow its appealing messages about tolerance and embracing individuality. It's obvious within the first minutes of Zombies exactly where the story's headed, and if you've seen Descendants, you'll notice similar evolutions of character and plot as the tale of unlikely friendship and broader social healing unfolds.

Beyond the most obvious struggle for Zed and Addison's relationship to be accepted lies the matter of Addison's inner turmoil over her own secret. As Addison wrestles with subjecting herself to judgment in an effort to do what's right, she reminds viewers of the importance of self-acceptance and positive self-esteem. Once again Disney hits a home run with the song-and-dance segments that engage viewers and reemphasize the strong themes about resisting peer pressure and respecting differences.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about stereotypes in Zombies. Kids: In what ways does prejudice exist on both the zombie and the human side of this story? Does the media perpetuate stereotypes of certain groups? Are stereotypes always negative?

  • Kids: What accounts for Zed's unflappable optimism in this story? How do other people's opinions of us influence our self-esteem? Do you ever feel pressure to hide or change your true self? What other positive character traits do you see in the characters? How do they communicate with each other? 

  • Is perfection an attainable goal? Who defines what's cool and what's not? Is being in the "in crowd" something that's important to you? Why or why not?

Movie details

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