For some people, spooky season equates to jump scares and outright horror; for others, it’s musicals and old Disney Channel classics like Halloweentown and Hocus Pocus. There are also spooky twists on classic novels like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. However, Disney’s Zombies trilogy deserves far more attention than it gets for its thoughtful narratives and endearing romances.
There’s much to be said about the trilogy’s ridiculously catchy tunes and the adorable romances, but where it deserves credit is in its means to subtly deliver on political themes. The first film is a nod to segregation, while the second touches on colonization, and the third dives into immigration. While the kids and teens are the film’s primary audience and might not pick up on the allegories within, it’s almost effortless for adults to do so, making the overall viewing of the film that much more pleasant in trying times. In a nutshell, Disney’s Zombies trilogy is a brilliant joy ride that leaves viewers with the kind of message we could all use amid the harsh realities we’re living through—maybe someday, a united world could be ordinary.
Disney’s Zombies Trilogy Touches on Important Themes While Highlighting Romance
Forget Romeo and Juliet; let’s talk about a girl and a zombie. When the first Zombies film begins, the zombies cannot attend school with “normal” students and even when they finally can, they aren’t welcomed by all their peers. As the film dives into the budding love story between Zed (Milo Manheim) and Addison (Meg Donnelly), it breaks the dams standing against the two species co-existing. And sure, the themes are more palatable than they are in the real world because the films are geared toward kids, but it’s still a solid showcase of what can happen when acceptance and understanding surpass prejudice and woeful ignorance.
While such themes are subtle throughout Disney’s Zombies trilogy, they still matter significantly in showcasing the type of loving behaviors that kids and impressionable young adults could pick up on. When the werewolves enter the story in the second film, noting how this is their land that people have colonized, it provides further proof of the dangers human beings are capable of. Through song and dance and loads of pinks meshing with darker greys, it forces characters to look inward and question their societal roles. One person making a tremendous difference is an idealized notion we tend to grip onto hard, but it holds significant truth still.
It’s a story about unity and acceptance in a way that fully works because even while it’s trying hard at times, it’s still managing to bring everything to light with nuance and subtlety. And the fun part is, it’s perfect for the chickens in this world (cough, this writer, cough) who can only handle so much gore yet still want to dip their toes into the season’s fun. It’s an especially thrilling joy ride for romance genre fiends because everyone and their mother knows that there are few things better than the star-crossed lovers trope done right. Zed and Addison’s relationship is a soft, beautifully wholesome display of adoration similar to Julie and the Phantoms‘ Julie and Luke. Their duets together make for some of the catchiest ballads, and there’s much to be said about the stunning friendship threading them toward an even bigger love story by the trilogy’s end.
Every viewer looks for something different when it comes to both spooky season and romance, so Disney’s Zombies trilogy might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But it’s the kind of delicious blend you’ll find in the best tea shops, taking home for the special nights when you want to cozy up with something soothing. It’s a well-written, thoughtfully crafted story that’s worth revisiting time and again.
Zombies trilogy is now streaming on Disney+.