Zombies 3

(No caption title cuz WordPress sucks)

Hello, Spongey here.

It’s time to end one of the greatest sagas of our generation…for now at least. That’s right, for our first scene by scene review of 2023, we are returning to the world of Disney’s Zombies. This is a bit of a quota review as I wanted to do it last year but it just wouldn’t fit. Still, not bad to start with this.

Disney Channel’s Zombies films have been weird for me. In general, they’ve been an especially weird and cynical exercise for them. Every aspect is taken from other hits for them and has a dash of social commentary that feels tone deaf. I’ve gone into all this before.

At the same time, there is an oddball charm to them. There is some energy and humor that can be dumb but kinda fun at the same time. That’s why I’ve gotten less salty at them as time has gone on. That and the sequel was better, with less of the iffy commentary. Disney has been building this as their next big thing so it wasn’t a shocker that we got a 3rd one to close out the series.

I say close out but of course it won’t die, much like a zombie. We’re getting an animated series with Phineas and Ferb’s Aliki T Graft at the helm. I don’t know how it will tie in but there is that. They had these “animated” shorts tying into the 2nd one that…well let’s just say there’s a reason I put animated in quotes. .

Maybe they’ll pull a Descendants and do a weird looking spinoff. For now, this is the end of the main films which came out last year. The crew was the same so there’s nothing to go over there. This time, it actually came out on Disney+ a month before airing on the channel.

I knew they would do something like this after D+ launched. They do seem to wanna tie the channel and the service together so it’s cool they at least aren’t making these exclusive to there. When they aired, they advertised it as having a lost song. I thought it was a HSM 2 case….but instead it was some bonus music video after the movie. Boo.

The reception doesn’t matter for something like this but it sadly doesn’t have a perfect 100 on RT like the 2nd did. Yes, really. Guess this isn’t on par with Paddington 2. With that said, how is this one? Does it finally win me over or is undead on arrival? Let’s have a closer look.

This, is Zombies 3

The movie begins with another comic style intro that quickly recaps the first two: They had zombies, then werewolves. You’d think vampires would be next but oh boy, you’re wrong. Things in SeaBrook are great and they will be better once Zed becomes the first zombie that gets to go to college.

You may recall that the last one ended with something landing that made Addison’s hair glow. That will be important. But first, we jump to the live action as Zed is pumped for a championship football game coming that night. We find out vital lore in the form of the coach saying thanks to Zed, he no longer lives in his mom’s basement. Biggest W of the series.

Less notable I guess is that Eliza is over at Z Corp, the place that makes the Z band to be an intern so she can only video chat in a way that doesn’t let us see her bottom half too much. The actress was pregnant and they had to work around it, there ya go. We’re re-introduced to Addison as we get a Fired Up reprise because we can’t have the first bit of singing be original I guess.

Also this one werewolf guy has a thing for Eliza. Was this ever hinted before? Even if it was, it feels out of nowhere. Now we’re at night for the game, as the college recruiter is here. This first part is kinda dull, mostly just recapping and putting things into place before they blow up.

We’re told meteor showers have become regular since they got that moonstone and they just shrugged it off and figured the connection wasn’t clear. And then a spaceship shows up. That escalated quickly. That’s right, this one is about aliens. I wanna say I called it but it was someone on Twitter who did so first.

I”d act all shocked but they did hint at it this time even if it doesn’t make it any less weird. This gives us our first true song, Alien Invasion, as everyone goes on about these invaders. It goes on too long and is a bit slapdash but it’s not too bad. It’s kinda fun and the style is cool. Sadly the soundtrack in general this time is more on the okay side but this is one of the better ones.

Something I should mention is that the effects here are…actually pretty good. Usually effects in DCOMs are kinda shitty but here they’re pretty decent. This supposedly was the highest budget DCOM ever and it does show so I’ll give it credit for that. The aliens come out and they’re all blue and swear they mean no harm. They got blue hair, alert the man babies!

Their leader tells us/reminds them they are looking for the perfect home and the coordinates to their utopia are in the “most precious thing in Seabrook”. That is rather vague. We’re supposed to think it’s the moonstone but I think it was something else. This song is still going on by the way.

The three aliens notice these beings are a bit angry and want to calm them down without saying their true mission. Why? To cause pointless conflict of course.

“Take us to your leader” “Your Cheerleader”


They claim to be here for the Cheer Off that is going on and they get arrested. There’s an illegal alien joke in there somewhere. It turns out Addison is not that smart as she believes them and goes on about cheer bringing everyone together. She’s got spirit at least. One of the aliens is questioned as Zed cares about how the recruiter was scared off. He’s got his priorities straight.

Two of the aliens are named A-Li and A-Lan because these writers are big brained. The one in this scene is A-Spen and to get ut out of the way, they are non-binary. It’s just a thing and not specifically established, with the others using the right pronouns right away. I can’t speak on it but it’s somewhat neat. That’s it.

Anyway, they use some tech to discover the college has a separate scholarship for exceptional students and it does not ban zombies. How convenient. A-Spen is my favorite with their more logical nature. In general these aliens suppress emotion and are interested in these beings not doing that. So A-Spen turns on emotions, basically.

The aliens are freed and are allowed to compete in the Cheer Off. The zombies are still dealing with being accepted and these aliens are let in right away. Wait, didn’t we go through this with the werewolves in the 2nd one? Figures.

So the aliens begin to settle in. Also, their mother-ship has a computer voiced by RuPaul. Because why not. Zed and Addison focus on how things are going to pick up for them. They even sing about it with our next song, Ain’t No Doubt About It. It’s fine but not especially notable. It feels like it exists cuz they remembered it’s been a minute since a song.

After the song, we see that the werewolves are suspicious of the aliens. They actually do get things to do, when I assumed the werewolves wouldn’t do much here. That gets pushed aside for now as Eliza shows up. By that I mean she made a robot body that has this screen with her on it. The work from home trend never got this extreme.

Zed finds out he’s starting to get out ranked in class because the aliens are so much better than him, either due to alien smarts or alien tech. This includes athletic records. Gotta be alien tech, this kids are skinny as hell. You’d think they would suspect them of cheating but they just allow this.

Zed talks to them and they pull a sympathy act by saying their planet is gone, hence the new home thing. They want him to help and in exchange, they’ll use their alien magic to change his grades. Now he’s cool with cheating. I feel like I’m making them sound more sinister than they really are.

We get some hangout stuff, like A-Spen discovering they have a crush on Zed. Addison lets them know their grave mistake. Don’t worry there’s no love triangle, this is a weird one off bit. We then get cheer practice as we see the aliens’ cool routine. It’s enough of a song to be on the soundtrack so uh…it’s fine. Yeah, told ya the songs aren’t super notable.

The aliens’ nature of being a hive-mind helps them do the cheer and they establish that they value working as one without disagreement. Even with the lesson we get later, I wish we were more like these aliens. They found out about the moon-stone and they think it’s their precious thing so they try to get it. They scan it but it doesn’t have the coordinates.

A bit early to reveal that. The werewolves show up and the aliens hide. They can tell someone is there so this leads into the next song, Come on Out. This one’s pretty good. The werewolf songs in the 2nd one were the standout and that applies here as well, even if they only get one here. It has a more techno-y sound than their others so I don’t like it as much as the ones they got before but it’s still the standout so far.

The RuPaul ship beams the aliens up but it takes Addison as well. Zed is brought up, so the aliens have no choice but to welcome them. They’re weirdly cool with it. They even go into more detail on their situation: Their planet was destroyed by environmental blight that built up over many years.

No one spoke up about it because that would lead to disagreements as they value harmony. Ah there’s the obvious commentary. This time it’s a bit smarter at least. We’ve got the opposite problem, nothing but arguing. They admit they are here for the map to Utopia and not cheer. Hey, we avoided the liar revealed stuff, yay!

The map to Utopia was hidden by a scout whose message they have been trying to decrypt for ages. Zed makes it better by just banging on the machine, which is funny. The scout appears and is played by someone who was also in Women Talking. Clearly this is on the same level artistically. The scout now gets to explain that they crashed on this planet years ago and got help from a human named Eli. With no ship, she had to stay here and became a cheerleader.

As time went on, she fell for love and they banged. They had a daughter who they named Missy…which is the name of Addison’s grandma. That’s right, Addison has white hair because she’s an alien! What a twist. They didn’t explain it in the 1st one, they cockteased us in the 2nd one, and now we finally know it all here. I basically figured this would be the case, even if I was worried they’d chicken out again.

This is goofy but I’ve lost myself to the madness by now. Grandma said she got white hair because…aliens. This is all fine but being only part alien means she can’t share in all their powers or survive travel with them. What’s the point of being half alien if you can’t get cool stuff?

Grandma mentioned making a trophy which is here at the school and they figure this could be their precious thing. There’s some down time with Addison and we move on to the next day as the college recruiter is coming.

And she’s coming early, which makes Zed freak. This abruptly leads into easily the best song, Extraordinary Zed. It has him worrying about not being special enough when they assure him he is, as he’s helped them. Nice message but it’s mostly by far the catchiest. It’s a fun tune and balances things well more than most of the others.

It’s one of the more stand out movie songs from 2022 to be honest, but it was slim pickings to be honest. The recruiter notices all this and is delighted, so the song helped! The actual meeting isn’t as good as Zed starts freaking out due to Addison’s alien powers which are now kicking in. Sure, why not.

“Addison Rosalind Wells, you’re an alien!”

Rosalind Wells…Roswell..oh boooooo.

A shock from her alien powers make Zed zombie out, which scares off the recruiter lady. But they catch up to her quickly and use a reprise of Exceptional Zed to convince her to stop being racist. If only it worked that way in real life.

And that’s that as we cut to the Cheer Off as Seabrook or the aliens must win it to get that trophy. Or you could just swipe it, screw the rules! The aliens had this lens thing that did nothing before but is glowing now that Addison has alien powers.

Bucky finds it and the werewolves catch wind of it, and have Eliza try to crack it. I haven’t mentioned Bucky before now as this is the first time he’s done anything. Before this he’s just had a few jokes. I’m glad we didn’t try too hard to push him but they clearly didn’t know what to do with him.

The thing is a mind scanner, then it shows them a bit of the scout log which makes them figure out the aliens lied about their mission. Addison never told the others so they can avoid all the trouble? Zed gets a call from the college and he gets in!

There’s that wrapped up, now to deal with the Z Patrol being called in. Zed sneaks them away and since they don’t show up for the cheer thing, they are disqualified and it is up to Addison to win to get that trophy. This randomly prompts her to sing about her woes via I’m Finally Me. It’s…nice but on the forgettable side. It kinda fits with Extraordinary Zed but it’s not as fun.

It bleeds into her cheer off routine, which I like. And they win! That was easy and they declared this right away without the judges thinking about it. Addison takes the trophy to bring the aliens, just as all hell’s breaking loose. Addison explains her whole alien thing and then her full alien persona kicks in, complete with blue hair.

Her mom is there to admit she always knew. Nice moment but then she says grandma called Addison her “most precious thing”. That’s right, it’s not the trophy, it’s a person. The coordinates are in her DNA. Sure, why not. I’ve learned not to question anything. It’s at least slightly more clever than being in a different object.

This all sounds good but Addison has to come with them to constantly steer them to Utopia, as they just can’t pluck some numbers. Adi has no problem and right away tells Zed she has to go with them. Wow, no conflicted thoughts at all, what a great girlfriend Zed has. She says in the next scene this is a hard decision but it sure didn’t seem like it.

So yes, we once again have that ending split up that was so fresh when Disney started using it, but now it’s become the new twist villain. It is something I like, as it is mature and no DCOM has done it yet. But it’s still standard at this point. Also it’s weird how the others just back down, no one has alien hatred to work out. We just cut to the next day as Addison gets ready.

Her mom reveals her own white hair and they share a moment. Nice for her to finally do something notable. Dad is here too and is new to all this. He’s not bad for someone who banged an alien. The alien ship is having trouble and they aren’t sure if they have the energy to take off but they’ll just hope.

We get our big sad goodbye, made sadder by the fact that Zed can’t come as their ship is made for aliens and Zed would be fried if they take off with a non-alien in it. Weird rule but okay. The wolves get over themselves quickly and let the aliens have the moonstone to power the ship, woo hoo. Also Eliza likes that werewolf guy back. Oh thank god I couldn’t sleep without that vital plot point being resolved.

Because we have to pad this out, they take a while to take off because they need some adapter for the moonstone and yada yada you don’t care. We still have 10 minutes left. Things get settled and it’s finally time to leave, after a big kiss with Zed. They leave and we get a reprise of Someday. That song has grown on me because they play it so much.

Alright then, that’s it so let’s roll the credits. What do you mean it just won’t end? We move on to graduation day, because the timeline here is a bit wonky. I’d check the others to see if this tracks but who cares. Back on the ship, they’re getting close but the scanner thing is at 97 percent. It must have YouTube’s engine.

It seems like Addison’s homesick thoughts are holding her back. The machine even provides us with a clip show! The aliens say they won’t miss the conflict but Addison says we need it. Being challenged sometimes pushes us to be better. It’s a nice thought but the clips focus on the whole racism thing they went through.

Not the best example to use. I think this is about natural human conflict but maybe don’t use your fictional racism as an example of good conflict. The aliens remember that their planet suffered because no one spoke up due to fearing disharmony. See that works, showing that while unity is good, the fear of having any conflict will only hold us back. Granted, that hasn’t exactly been our problem but whatever.

Addison realizes that Grandma wanted them to go to the most perfectly imperfect place there is. They go there and sure enough, it’s Seabrook! Yep, all that and we end up back where we started. So usually the cliche is we think they will totally leave forever but they don’t. Then this got subverted with movies that actually have them leave. Now that became the cliche so now going back to how it was done before is the subversion.

My head hurts.

I suppose this works fine, I can take or leave it even if I figured Utopia wouldn’t be this truly perfect place. They all hug it out and finally start to wrap it up. We get our graphic novel wrap up as we see the aliens fully moving into Seabrook. They see that while progress is being made, there’s still work to do but they’ll be ready for it. We even see vampires being welcomed. Don’t spoil Part 4!

Then we get the dance party ending with our finale song. It’s fine but it’s no…any of the HSM finale songs frankly. More on par with the Descendants ones. After the dance, Bucky goes inside the spaceship and tries to take off to bring cheer to the galaxy. Well given what they established…RIP Bucky. Oh wait they show it in space so screw the rules we established.

And that’s it. Fair but for the big finale, not the biggest. Eh at least we’re done until the animated series.

Final Thoughts:

Zombies the Third leaves me conflicted when it comes to how it compares to the others. In many ways, it’s the best of the 3 as it keeps up the improvement of the 2nd one. There’s less of the iffy commentary so it has more focus on intimate character stuff to an extent. The more annoying flaws have been toned to. It’s also the best looking of them with the effects again being pretty good.

But it can be as the weakest, or at least weaker than 2 as it feels the most limp story wise. The story is generally a rehash with it hitting the same beats as last time, as a new type of people show up for them to deal with. Not much really happens for most of it. You can tell they had no plans for the future when they made the first one, as these sequels struggled to keep things moving.

This was at least more planned out and isn’t quite as forced as the others but it has some of that. I’ve gotten used to the nature of these so I was able to vibe with some of it. The aliens were fun and while the songs were mostly eh, at least a couple were pretty good. There are some nice moments here and Zed’s deal works well enough. He avoids being too dick-ish like last time although the aspect of him having to set a good example for his kind could have been explored more deeply.

There’s a couple side things that don’t add up to much and further show they had to pad this out. The commentary we get here is a bit mixed. I like the message about unity and how conflict isn’t always bad, it just could have been presented a tad better. It mostly works but clashes with what we had before. It’s not as bad as some of what we had before but it’s there.

Pacing is over the map, fine but dull in some spots and padded in others. The nature of this one does expose how…dull a lot of it is when you strip away the commentary aspect. Zed and Addison just aren’t super compelling, as much as they try in some places. They’re mostly likable but standard so while certain parts work, it does make this one feel more generic.

This has been a weird series. For all the more cynical aspects, I’ve always felt that some people involved put heart into it and we do see that here. It’s just that it has a bunch of flaws during all that. But for DCOMs, you have to set certain things aside to enjoy them to their fullest. This one has some good and fun stuff if you can loose yourself to it, but it can boring with notable problems as well.

I applaud them for improving over time in regards to the biggest flaws, even if they create new ones due to poor planning. It’s easy to pick on these but as always I hope I’m being fair enough. Zombies 3 has the same puts and downs as the others, with the added bonus of feeling both nicer and more aimless.

There wasn’t as much to add from my first thoughts but I got to add more notes about spoilers. This works okay as a finale but who knows what the animated series will be about. As always, Disney will milk this for all its worth as much as they can.

It just won’t stay undead.

Rating: Average

Abrupt end to those thoughts but there wasn’t much to add. Nice to get this out of the way. We’ll have a break from scene by scene reviews as March needs to be lax to make way for a busy April. So we’ll come back in May as I turn a big lemon into lemonade.

See ya.


About Spongey444

I'm 25 and I mostly spend my time watching TV and movies, hence why I ended doing a blog all about those things. I tend to have weird tastes, but I like think I'm just fair on things. Actually nah, I have bad tastes.
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