Published September 11, 2022
ZOMBIES 3 is a Disney+ original movie that later joined the Disney Channel Original Movies collection with an additional scene when it aired on Disney Channel.
Since the worldwide success of High School Musical – Premiers Pas sur Scène in 2006, Disney Channel has become accustomed to offering quality musical films. Summer also seems to be a good time for this kind of productions with Cheetah Girls (2003), The Cheetah Girls 2 (2006), High School Musical 2 (2007), Camp Rock (2008), Cheetah Girls: Un Monde Unique (2008), Camp Rock 2: Face to Face (2010), Lemonade Mouth (2011), Let It Shine (2012), Teen Beach Movie (2013), Teen Beach 2 (2015), Descendants (2015), Descendants 2 (2017), Freaky Friday (2018) and Descendants 3 (2019). Once is not custom, ZOMBIES (2018) and its sequel ZOMBIES 2 (2020) offer a musical in the middle of winter like their illustrious predecessor High School Musical – First Steps on Stage. ZOMBIES 3 resumes, meanwhile, the original tradition of adolescent musicals of disney seeing itself broadcast in the summer.
ZOMBIES strangely became a teenage franchise of Disney Channel popular, certainly not as much as Descendants, but enough to also be entitled to a trilogy of films and a few other spin-off series. Six months after the release of ZOMBIES 2 is thus offered on October 16, 2020, just in time for Halloween, a mini-series of eight three-minute episodes under the title of ZOMBIES: The Mystery of Addison’s Moonstone. Fully animated, in the graphic style of the introductions to the two TV movies, it recounts the encounter of Addison and his zombie and werewolf friends with a vampire. A second series in the same style was offered the following year, on 1er October 2021, under the title ZOMBIES: The Mystery of Addison’s Monster. Only six episodes long, it tells how a monster ruins Seabrook High School’s Halloween party. In parallel, a third part is announced. ZOMBIES 3 finally innovates by landing on July 15, 2022, first on Disney+ inasmuch as Disney+ Originals while carrying the label of Disney Original Movieeven if the logo of Disney Channel Original Movies is attached to the end of the feature film. It is then broadcast on Disney Channel on August 15, 2022 with additional bonus features and a never-before-seen musical number compared to the video-on-demand service platform version. The third opus of the trilogy does not however sign the end of the franchise ZOMBIES since another anime series has been announced under the title of ZOMBIES: The Re-Animated Seriesproduced this time by Disney Television Animation for release in 2023.
ZOMBIES 2 had already teased the theme of the third opus during its conclusion. After zombies and werewolves, the new film calls on another kind of strange creatures capable of scaring young viewers: extraterrestrials. With a fanfare entrance bringing a funny nod to the film Encounters of the Third Kind, aliens therefore invade the city of Seabrook when the city had finally found peace and serenity between all the members of its community. These interstellar beings are in fact looking for a kind of stellar map which would give them the coordinates of a planet capable of replacing theirs, destroyed by a cataclysm. These non-earthlings are also a bit crazy and caricatural but in the end rather friendly. Blue in appearance, from their clothes to their hair, they possess a telepathic power that allows them to be a single fully Cartesian thinking entity. When they arrive on Earth, they will have to blend in with the masses to succeed in their mission. They then become full-fledged individuals while letting their emotions shine through. Naturally, these quirky characters are aimed at kids and will surely look ridiculous to parents even though they work like a charm. They indeed reveal an endearing candor that allows them to blend perfectly into this decidedly colorful and refreshing franchise.
ZOMBIES 3 continues the tradition of the franchise by advocating benevolence, tolerance and inclusion. The aliens thus try to integrate into a planet which is not theirs and where the inhabitants have negative a prioris vis-à-vis them. But even within the community of Seabrook, everything is indeed far from easy and won in the integration of its members, like Zed who tries to enter a university, which would be a first for a non-human monster. In addition to his own destiny, the zombie also becomes the standard bearer for everyone who is different in the city. Addison, meanwhile, is still the glue that binds humans, zombies, werewolves and now aliens together. She who has always tried to understand who she really was finally finds the answer to all her existential questions. Moreover, even if the love story between Addison and Zed is still present, it is no longer questioned once again, making the characters of the young girl and the zombie can focus more on their own. personal journeys rather than on the solidity of their couple.
Inclusion is even more advanced in this third feature film thanks to the presence of the extraterrestrial character of A-Spen who defines himself as non-binary, and who falls under the spell respectively of a boy then a girl; a first in a labeled feature film disney. In the original version, the identity of the character is confirmed via the use of the English pronouns “they/them”, the neuter equivalent sometimes translated into French as “iel/ellui”. The French subtitles reflect the original text and use the pronoun “iel” whenever appropriate. The French dubbing is much clumsier, or at least more ambiguous. Instead of using the pronoun, he indeed prefers to use the first name of the character, also making sure never to use clearly displayed masculine or feminine adjectives. Thus, the character is certainly never gendered, but his non-binarity is not confirmed either, thereby making invisible the choice of production that was so close to the heart of the artist playing A-Spen, Terry Hu, who is defined as non-binary.
With ZOMBIES 3, the franchise therefore continues to be as colorful and joyful as ever with a definitely positive vibe. It is still necessary to salute the decorations always so beautiful. Admittedly, adults will find that they are fake and that they give the impression of straight out of the studios. But it is precisely their cardboard appearance taken from an old production of the 1950s that gives them their cozy and warm charm. The quality of the costumes, make-up and hairstyles should also be underlined. Bright colors and shiny fabrics are often used with designs that are as ambitious as they are original. In addition, each group of monsters has its own style which makes it perfectly different from the others. The viewer is clearly faced with a production for young people but of good quality. Above all, compared to the two previous opuses, the special effects here are generally convincing and successful, such as the protective barrier of the aliens or the teleportations from the mother ship to Earth and vice versa.
ZOMBIES 3 includes the entire cast of the first two opuses.
The spectator thus finds with pleasure the couple Milo Manheim and Meg Donnelly in the roles of Zed and Addison. They are still as endearing, whether in their relationship or in the questioning of their respective characters.
Among the rest of the cast, it will be noticed the strange use of the character of Eliza who is always seen seated in front of a screen. In reality, actress Kylee Russell was pregnant during filming, having given birth a few days before her closure. The subterfuge therefore makes it possible to have the character without having to delete it. The character of Bucky played by Bucky Buchanan is also interesting in that, if he remains present, he no longer has much use since he is no longer the villain of the story. He serves here above all as an amusing irritant always claiming his excessive ego.
Newcomers A-Spen, A-Li and A-Lan are held by Terry Hu, Kyra Tantao and Matt Cornett respectively. The latter is best known for the role of EJ in High School Musical: The Musical – The Series. By playing the naive aliens who take everything literally, they manage to bring a welcome little madness to the feature film, which certainly sometimes borders on the ridiculous but which clearly has its charm.
Finally, the voice of the mother ship is held in its original version by the actor and drag-queen singer RuPaul, offering well-felt and amusing repartees.
Like the two previous opuses, ZOMBIES 3 is a sparkling musical. The songs this time draw more towards pop and less towards hip-pop. The choreographies are always so nice, having fun either making confrontations between groups, or creating an atmosphere of frank camaraderie.
The first song, Alien Invasion, is performed by the entire cast. If the melody is not extraordinary, the choreography is rather inventive, allowing all the characters to intervene while transforming a supposedly violent moment into a rhythmic dance. Ain’t No Doubt About It is musically much more exciting, joyful and positive, one of the best in the film, where the couple of Zed and Addison shines brightly. Utopia is, meanwhile, the electronic song that shows what the aliens are capable of in the upcoming cheerleading competition. come on out is a song entirely dedicated to werewolves with a really convincing choreography where the dancers have movements reminiscent of a pack of wolves. Exceptional Zed is undoubtedly the best piece of the feature film where the whole town of Seabrook encourages Zed for his interview with the representative of the university. The song is both catchy and beautifully choreographed. She is also entitled to a recovery a little later in the feature film. With I’m Finally Me, Addison realizes she finally knows who she really is, giving her the courage to put on an incredible performance with her teammates at the cheerleading competition. It will be appreciated Somedaya cover of the title song from the first film, but this time performed in addition to Zed and Addison by their human, zombie and werewolf friends, in a lovely moving moment. fired up, which arrives a little earlier in the film, is also another cover as Addison rehearses with her team for the cheerleading contest. Finally, Nothing But Love is the concluding song where the whole cast dances as a sign of reconciliation, registering here in the pure tradition of Disney Channel Original Movies musicals that wants the whole cast back for one last ensemble choreography. Finally, note the presence of What Is This Feelingthe unreleased song present in the montage broadcast on Disney Channel.
ZOMBIES 3 is a great conclusion to a definitely nice trilogy, a hymn to tolerance and inclusion, as fun as it is colorful. Carried by a sparkling cast, rather successful songs and superb choreography, the film gives the public a moment filled with optimism on the condition that they let themselves be carried away by its very particular universe.