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‘Zombies 3’ is a dead-on-arrival sequel

‘Zombies 3’ is a dead-on-arrival sequel. Out of all of Disney’s teen musical series (like “High School Musical” and “Descendants”), “Zombies” is the most unexpectedly enjoyable. Its themes of bigotry and acceptance are backed up by some of the best songs in the business. Given this, it’s not fun to say that “Zombies 3” is creatively dead on arrival and brings back the same idea at least once too many times.

The story skips Disney Channel and goes straight to Disney+. Where it brings together the usual suspects in a town. Where humans, zombies, werewolves, and now, in a weak touch, aliens all live together. When a UFO appears over Seabrook High. It brings with it teens who are ready for their yearbook pictures and have blue hair and a few dots on their faces. These aren’t the face dots that most teens worry about, though.

‘Zombies 3’ is a dead-on-arrival sequel.

Zombies-3_-is-a-dead-on-arrival-sequel.

The aliens have come to Earth looking for a new home because an environmental disaster has destroyed their world. But in order to find it, they have to find Seabrook’s most valuable artifact. This gives them a reason to hang out, get to know the gang, and do some gravity-defying cheerleading, showing. What the 17th season of “Glee” might have been like.

As for the original players, Milo Manheim’s zombie Zed wants to be the first monster to get into Mountain College, mostly so he doesn’t have to worry about breaking up with his girlfriend Addison (Meg Donnelly). Even before the alien invasion, long-distance relationships can be hard. The alien invasion just makes it harder.

Back in 2018, before conservatives started attacking the Disney Channel studio, “Zombies” felt lively and forward-thinking by Disney Channel standards. The movie stays true to this theme, with one of the aliens (Terry Hu) being a non-binary character. But the way this show is put together, almost everything just feels louder and clunkier. As if adding more people to the song-and-dance numbers will make up for the fact that they aren’t very good.

Not surprisingly, “Someday,” a soulful ballad from the first movie, and “I’m Finally Me,” a new song sung by Donnelly, are the only ones that stand out. “I’m Finally Me” captures the feelings of being different and coming to terms with who you really are in a way that nothing else here does.

Disney is especially good at making young stars because it keeps the musical alive with these teen formats that are built around a colorful mix of music, magic, and broad comedy. But these things also have expiration dates, which aren’t always easy to figure out in advance but are painfully clear when you look back.

“Zombies 3” is a good example. It might not need to be given its last rites. But at least it should take a long break before anyone thinks about bringing the series back to life again.

“Zombies 3” comes out on Disney+ on