Zenimation

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Zenimation TV Poster Image
Disney film clips pair with nature sounds for calming watch.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive Messages

By replacing sound like dialogue and music from movie scenes with coordinating nature sounds, this series emphasizes the artistry that’s involved in creating animated productions like Disney movies and provides viewers a relaxing, visually soothing experience.

Positive Role Models & Representations
Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

This series comprises short clips from Disney films grouped under themes like “Night” and “Discovery.”

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Zenimation inspires mindfulness and relaxation by pairing scenes from favorite Disney movies with nature and meditation sounds. Using episode themes like "Serenity" and “Water Realms,” the series groups clips from numerous Disney movies and overlays calming sounds on them. Viewers may find themselves wanting to watch the movies themselves after revisiting some of the favorite scenes, since the compilations work as effective ads for Disney productions old and new. Families who watch will enjoy this unique packaging of some of Disney’s most famous animated movie scenes. 

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What's the story?

ZENIMATION presents thematic collections of Disney film scenes overlaid with nature and meditation sounds for a visually relaxing viewing experience. Episode titles like “Night” and “Water” pair clips from movies like Tangled, Big Hero 6, and Frozen 2, all with dialogue and music removed and replaced with soothing nature sounds. The short episodes are designed to encourage mindfulness and also to spotlight the impressive Disney visual artistry. 

Is it any good?

Billed as a “moment of mindfulness” for sensory refreshment, this atypical series certainly delivers on its promise. It is exceedingly relaxing to watch as one scene transitions into another with a similar theme and nature noise like rippling water, chirping insects, and rushing wind fill the sound void. Viewers are swept along from the Polynesian shores in Moana to the sweeping African landscapes in The Lion King in an episode dedicated to water, or follow Aladdin and Jasmine on a carpet ride and Peter Pan and his friends soaring through the sky in a collection of flight scenes. 

As soothing as Zenimation is, there is one caveat for fans who are familiar with the Disney films: You may find yourself filling in the missing music or predicting upcoming conversations, which is decidedly unrelaxing. While the tapped scenes don’t make the lack of dialogue obvious, fans who know the movies well may find their minds wander as a result. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the themes Zenimation uses to group similar movie scenes. Does packaging them this way make you think differently about common themes in the movies themselves? Can you think of other movie moments that would fit within the episode's themes? Does seeing these scenes altogether make you want to watch the movies? 

  • Does the show achieve its stated goal of emphasizing the work of Disney's visual artists? How does the absence of movie sound like conversations and music change the way you look at the action onscreen? 

  • What is mindfulness? What are some benefits of the practice? How can it encourage better personal strengths like gratitude and self-control? Is it difficult to find a time and place for mindfulness in our hectic lifestyles? 

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