Zombies 2 Parent Guide
This fluffy little kids movie digs into some serious issues.
Parent Movie Review
To begin with, I must confess that I have never seen the original Zombies movie. I can also tell you that it doesn’t matter. Zombies 2 has such a simple plot that it can be followed by any sentient human being. The kids and tweens it’s aimed at will undoubtedly have a fun time with its frothy song and dance numbers and predictable storyline.
The film opens on a cheerful note, “Welcome back to Seabrook where belonging is everything.” Zombies wear wrist bands that domesticate them, keeping their violent and brain-eating impulses in check and allowing them to attend school and go to work. They are soon to learn that belonging is not a guarantee when differences are considered dangerous.
The tipping point comes when Addison (Meg Donnelly), a chipper, friendly cheerleader, sees werewolves in the Forbidden Forest. A wave of fear passes over Seabrook, and anti-monster laws are reinstated. Zombies are now banned from shopping in stores and from attending prawn a.k.a. the prom. Addison’s zombie boyfriend, Zed (Milo Manheim) determines that the only way to change bad laws is to change leadership, so he runs for student body president. But things only get more complicated when the werewolves march into the school, searching for Addison…
Zombies 2 is not a scary movie. It’s more like High School Musical with green haired zombies mixing happily with pastel-clad human classmates. Characters are poorly developed, generally with one identifying trait, and the acting measures up to the writing. Fortunately, there’s not much negative content with only a few scary moments of zombie transformation.
Oddly enough, this fluffy-looking movie digs into some serious issues, the first of which is accepting yourself for who you are. Zed is determined to prove to everyone that he isn’t a monster – until he accepts that, yes, he is a monster and being a monster can be good. The second issue concerns accepting differences in other social groups. Zombies have been accepted in Seabrook because they have completely assimilated the social norms of the town. Zed believes so strongly in this approach that he lectures the werewolves on their need to act more like humans. The parallels between this plot thread and cotemporary debates on immigration are hard to miss. The final plot point concerns the werewolves, who are clearly standing in for indigenous peoples. “How can we be trespassing on our own land?” one of the werewolves asks as they seek a long-lost artifact with special powers.
If you’re concerned that this movie might feel like a political rant, don’t worry. It’s fundamentally a lighthearted rom-com for kids. The complex issues it references certainly consume a fair bit of adults’ brains, but they are unlikely to get much bandwidth with young viewers. A more general message of accepting people who are different and working together to help each other is likely what they’ll pick up from the film. And that shouldn’t scare anyone.Directed by Paul Hoen. Starring Milo Manheim, Meg Donnelly, Trevor Tordjman. Running time: 84 minutes. Theatrical release August 14, 2020. Updated August 14, 2020
Watch the trailer for Zombies 2
Rating & Content Info
Why is Zombies 2 rated TV-G? Zombies 2 is rated TV-G by the MPAA
Violence: A girl is frightened by strange noises in the forest. Claw marks are seen on a front door. A zombie transforms in a couple of scenes. A zombie throws a werewolf. A werewolf mentions spattering blood.
Sexual Content: A teen boy and girl kiss.
Profanity: None noted. Very rare name calling – “freak”, “monster”, etc.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None noted.
Page last updated August 14, 2020
Zombies 2 Parents' Guide
Bucky says “I’m not anti-change. I’m pro keeping things the way they are cause you don’t mess with success.” What effect does this attitude have on the zombies?
When Bucky runs for student body president, he tries to use fear to stop people from voting for Zed. Why is fear an effective tool in politics? Have you seen a politician use fear to motivate voters?
Why does Zed resent the werewolves? Why does he think they are having everything handed to them on a silver platter? What changes his mind?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Zombie fiction comes in lots of flavors. On the goofy side, Zack Zombie’s series begins with Diary of a Minecraft Zombie Book 1: A Scare of a Dare. This lighthearted series is suitable for older elementary school kids. Also appropriate for this age group is The Zombie Chasers by John Kloepfer and Steve Wolfhard.
Dead City by James Ponti tells the story of Molly, who’s hunting zombies in NYC. But she doesn’t know if her mother is alive, dead, or undead. Ty Drago’s Undertakers: The Rise of the Corpses begins with a harrowing premise: aliens are inhabiting dead bodies. Kids who can see the real zombies are tasked with saving the world. Hunting zombies is especially difficult when you know who they used to be, as Benny learns in Rot & Ruin. Written by Jonathan Mayberry, this novel has humans hiding in compounds and hunting the zombies who roam the landscape, seeking living food.
Related home video titles:
The Addams Family animated film shares an almost identical message of accepting people with diverse backgrounds. The challenges of understanding past mistreatment of indigenous peoples is addresses in Frozen II.