Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Strong social messages about accepting others' differences and not letting our own unique qualities have a negative effect on our self-esteem.
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
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.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
The budding romance between Addison and Zed yields some longing looks and a kiss.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
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.