DVD Review: Z-O-M-B-I-E-S

Z-O-M-B-I-E-S DVDZ-O-M-B-I-E-S, the first Disney Channel Original Movie of 2018, arrives on DVD with a bunch of bonus features that allow superfans to get a peek behind the scenes. While you won’t see an extended cut of the film like Disney used to do with most DCOMs, you do get to own it commercial-free and there are deleted scenes. So grab a plate of cauliflower brains and get ready to sing-along.

From the creators of Descendants comes a film where a group of different and misunderstood kids are invited to attend a school that previously discriminated against tbem. But this time it’s not villains vs. heroes, it’s “Zoms vs. Poms,” according to the back of the box. And I’ll admit, the initial similarities to the first Descendants made it hard for me to buy into it, but it proves itself original as the story unfolds.

Addison is a human teenager with dreams of making Seabrook High’s prestigious cheer squad, while Zeb is a zombie who dreams of being on the football team. When their segregated worlds collide, they learn that they have more similarities than differences. But can their relationship last in a world that wants nothing more than to split them apart?

In addition to similarities to Descendants, this high school musical also has a few parallels with Hairspray, using zombies rather than skin color to tell a similar story. But Addison and Zeb are so likeable, played by Meg Donnelly and Milo Manheim, that anyone whose seen both likely won’t care. And since the target audience is tweens, odds are they haven’t yet fallen in love with Hairspray.

The music is fun and the choreography is innovative, making the musical moments the highlights of the film. The music at times feels like it relies too much on Lin Manuel-Miranda’s Hamilton style (a character named Eliza rapping about a “Revolution” doesn’t help the case), but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and it works.

Z-O-M-B-I-E-S allows Disney Channel to approach a story about inclusion through the lens of fantasy, allowing it to represent whatever it is that makes you feel other. For this reason, it will resonate deeply with many kids for a variety of reasons. Now they can rewatch the film anytime they want with this DVD relase.

Bonus Features

  • Bloopers (3:36) – The cast goofs up and goofs off in this blooper reel.
  • Deleted Scenes
    • It’s a Cheer-Tastrophe (0:40) – Bucky is unhappy about the football team’s winning streak.
    • New Jacket, New Name (0:52) – The cheer squad tried to give Addison a new rhyming name when her cheer jacket arrives.
  • Audition Footage (1:52) – Milo Manheim and Meg Donnelly’s audition footage finds them reading their introductory monologues in an office building.
  • Zombies Survival Guide to High School (2:06) – Milo and Meg offer tips for getting through high school, whether you’re a human or zombie.
  • Music Videos
    • “Bamm” Music Video (3:22) – This music video reuses clips from the film in addition to newly recorded footage of the stars singing the song.
    • “Bamm” Lyric Video (3:05) – Sing along with this stylized lyric video.
  • Dance Tutorial (3:20) – Choreographer Christopher Scott teaches the beginning routine from “Bamm.”
  • Original Trailers
    • Trailer #1 (2:02)
    • Trailer #2 (1:32)

Packaging & Design

Z-O-M-B-I-E-S comes in a standard black DVD case with a foil embossed slipcover. Inserts include a sheet of temporary tattoos themed to the film, a code for 100 points from Disney Movie Rewards, and a flier for Disney Movie Club.

This DVD uses Disneys FastPlay, which opens with an ad for Incredibles 2. After the film and bonus features, it plays ads for Disney Movie Rewards and DisneyNow. The main menu features background music from “Bamm” with a still image of Addison and Zeb.

Final Thoughts

Z-O-M-B-I-E-S borrows a few tried and true secrets of success to create a new musical with a positive message for kids entering middle and high school. The overall theme is to be proud of who you are and not let others tear you down, advice that everyone can use. With fun music and characters, kids will love this.

Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).