A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Zombies 2 is the sequel to Disney's Zombies. It follows the Seabrook residents as they encounter a new round of nonhuman beings in their town. Like the first movie, this one offers positive messages about self-esteem, identity, inclusion, tolerance, and challenging stereotypes. In addition, the idea of prejudice is explored from different points of view. That theme is particularly effective, because it involves a zombie who had previously suffered prejudice by humans -- this time around, that character is one of the main perpetrators of the injustice, which shows how insidious prejudice can be. A sweet teen romance continues to build and culminates in a kiss. Expect some mild scares when the werewolves show their force and bare their fangs and claws, but ultimately there's more good than bad in this energetic, funny movie with positive themes.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In ZOMBIES 2, life in Seabrook has settled into a new normal now that zombies and humans coexist peacefully. At Seabrook High, Addison's (Meg Donnelly) and Zed's (Milo Manheim) relationship continues to grow, and there's excitement in the air as the much-anticipated formal dance -- a first to welcome zombies among the attendees -- approaches. But when a pack of werewolves descends on the town in search of their fabled leader, the Great Alpha, and the powerful Moonstone they hope she will reveal, Seabrook is thrown back into a frenzy of monster paranoia that threatens the tenuous zombie-human relationships as well. As Addison finds her fate inexplicably tied to the werewolves' quest, Zed's fears grow as he sees her building bridges with the newcomers. Can Seabrook weather the storm of this latest round of interspecies drama?
Is it any good?
Once again, it's the young people of Seabrook who affect positive change in the mentality of the whole community in this story. The predicament is understandable, given that the new arrivals are werewolves who don't come across as exceptionally friendly and whose presence causes a rift in the new, hard-fought unity between the humans and the zombies. But Addison shows impressive fortitude in relating to the werewolves on their terms and encouraging others to follow suit, and her example proves the community's saving grace. In the process, everyone learns something valuable about being comfortable with who they are and recognizing the positive qualities in others.
To be honest, though, that's not what Zombies 2's young fans will be looking for when they watch, and for them the movie plays up young love, atypical characters, and lots of impressive song-and-dance scenes. There are ample funny moments -- often at the hands of Addison's colorful and comically self-involved cousin, Bucky (Trevor Tordjman) -- and some sweet ones between Bree (Carla Jeffery) and her zombie love interest, Bonzo (James Godfrey). The werewolves command the screen when they're in a scene, offsetting the vibrancy of Seabrook High and its students with their dark ruggedness. The story struggles in parts to keep a consistent pace and rushes through plot points that deserve more time, but ultimately it's bound to be a crowd-pleaser for viewers who enjoyed Zombies.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the stereotypes that are presented and challenged in Zombies 2. How do people's presumptions about others interfere with their getting to know them? In what cases do we see that a person's openness to new ideas benefits them? When have you seen similar tolerance yield positive change in the real world?
Addison doesn't find the pack she thinks she will, but she does find one in the end. How do you define a family (or pack)? Is biology a key component? If not, what is the main factor in determining where and with whom you belong?
How can stories like Zombies 2 make us think differently about situations that seem scary at first? Where do you find courage when you need to?
- On DVD or streaming: May 19, 2020
- Cast: Milo Manheim, Meg Donnelly, Trevor Tordjman
- Director: Paul Hoen
- Studio: Disney Channel Original Movies
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Friendship, High School, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 84 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- Awards/Honors: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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