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I caught a little bit of the Disney film Zombies while visiting some nieces, which looks like a delightful campy kinda film, so I'm not expecting a thorough treatise on zombie population dynamics.

But the Wikipedia article gave more details than I expected on how the zombies in the film came about, and it piqued my interest.

Fifty years ago in the planned community of Seabrook, an accident at the Seabrook Power Plant resulted in an explosion that caused half the population of Seabrook to turn into brain-eating zombies. Those that weren't affected constructed a wall to quarantine the zombies from the rest of Seabrook in a territory called Zombietown. The government later created bracelets for zombies, called Z-Bands, that deliver soothing electromagnetic pulses to keep zombies from craving brains. In the present day, zombie students from Zombietown transfer to the human high school, Seabrook High, where suburban life is filled with uniformity, traditions, and pep rallies. The zombies in the school are patrolled by Dale, whose daughter Addison and nephew Bucky are on the school's cheerleading team.
Wikipedia

Part of what I caught showed two cheerleaders being dropped off in 'Zombietown' to throw eggs at Zombie's houses, but there are kids and grown-ups, actual houses and communities there.

I'd have imagined that unless more people were turned into zombies their population would have dwindled by now so either:

  1. Zombies are immortal and unaging (the film didn't seem to imply this)
  2. Children are born zombies, and fitted with new z-bands at birth (not covered the film, but I wouldn't expect that)
  3. Exposure to the aftermath of the powerplants explosion converts people into zombies (Which makes most sense, but doesn't explain why people can visit zombie town and be unaffected, nor why people keep going there and letting themselves be converted.

Or some other more typical zombie process (biting, saliva in wounds etc...), the sort of thing genre savvy people might be expected to assume?

Do any of the three films explain this at all, or is it glossed over?

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Having watched this film (and its two sequels) too many times with my children, this is kind of glossed over, but it's most like your guess #2. I believe at one point there is at least one little zombie child, that was born to zombie parents after the explosion.

If you think of the series in the terms under which it was conceived, as a social commentary on race and class (outcasts vs popular kids, "wrong side of the tracks," etc.) this is expected - Unpopular/minority families will have unpopular minority children, and popular/rich/suburban types will have popular, rich suburban children. In the show, the humans represent the popular, clique, well-connected people you're likely to find in a "planned community" and the zombies represent alternative, poor(er), outcasts who are treated as "less than" because they're "gross" - even though the Z-bands make them essentially human (a few weird habits remain, but they don't pose a danger to humans and by tinkering with the Z-band, they can even become almost fully human). Some fourth wall-breaking jokes in the films include Seabrook residents' ice cream shops only serving vanilla ice cream - emphasizing the boring, socially careful, structured lives the writers see stereotypical suburbanites living.

It was conceived as a way to explore these themes in a catchy and creative (and musical number-laden) way, with the morals being unity, breaking down barriers and realizing nobody's so different they can't be friends. The films aren't meant to be deep sci-fi, and are more like Disney's legacy of High School Musical but with an obvious "us vs. them" in each film: in the first film it's humans vs. zombies, with humans accepting zombies at the end; in the second film it's humans and zombies vs. werewolves, and in the third movie it's humans and zombies and werewolves vs. aliens. Each time, the themes are about unity and getting over stereotypes to become stronger through diversity.

And as a bonus, the songs are catchy and get stuck in your head.

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If Zombies don't age, the Zombie population could consist of the people of all different ages who were turned into zombies by the explosion 80 years later.

But if so, why would the teenage looking zombies Zed and Eliza go to the high school if they are 50 years older than they look? Shouldn't they have been educated by now? And since Zed shows a typical teenage interest in romance, he should have fallen in love and married a zombie girl his age decades ago.

Thus I find it very hard to believe that the zombies in Zombietown are all original zombies who don't grow old.

Certainly when I saw teenage looking zed and Eliza acting like teenagers, and little girl looking Zoey acting like a little girl, I assumed that they were no older than they looked and that zombies marry and have children.

And I think that the creators intended that every viewer would assume that.

The plot would be really creepy if Addison was, for example, 16 years old and a 66-year-old Zed wanted to be her boyfriend.

The only creepier age gap romances in Disney productions would be Mason and Alex and Justin and Juliet in The Wizards of Waverly Place.

Instead I suspect that the zombies in zombietown grow old and die and baby zombies are born and grow up to be new adult zombies.

Thus I suspect that Zed and Eliza are less than 18 years old in Zombies and were born more than 30 years after the explosion which created zombies. And I believe that Zed's little sister Zoey is less than about 10 years old and was born at least 40 years after the explosion.

I note that the Disney Fandom Zombies Wikia claims that Zed Necrodopolis was born October 27, 2004.

But I don't know if the Wikia is accurate.

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  • is there a formatting error in your answer?
    – AncientSwordRage
    May 3, 2023 at 10:36
  • Maybe. I made some corrections 05-12-2023. May 12, 2023 at 14:44

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