Stars of ZOMBIES: The Re-Animated Series talk their love of animation, the new show, and tease ZOMBIES 4

Your favorite Seabrook students are back, but this time, they're returning in a new animated form!
ZOMBIES: The Re-Animated Series - credit: Disney
ZOMBIES: The Re-Animated Series - credit: Disney /

Summer might be here but school is still in session at Seabrook High! Disney's ZOMBIES franchise is ever-expanding with this new animated spin-off series, ZOMBIES: The Re-Animated Series.

For those who don't know, this supernatural musical franchise began in 2018 with ZOMBIES and has since resulted in two follow-up movies, ZOMBIES 2 and ZOMBIES 3 which premiered on Disney Channel. The franchise has been highly successful and now a fourth film is in the works, ZOMBIES 4: Dawn of the Vampires which has an undisclosed 2025 premiere date. ZOMBIES: The Re-Animated Series is produced by Disney Television Animation with Aliki Theofilopoulos, Jack Ferraiolo, Gary Marsh, David Light, and Joseph Rasoat serving as executive producers.

The characters live in Seabrook, a fctional town where the humans and supernatural creatures like werewolves, mer-people and of course, zombies, co-exist. In this animated series, the high-school-age characters are able to transport to an alternate timeline where they get to do a do-over of their senior year. Sounds like a great thing right? Well, the group still have to deal with the everyday happenings of high school as well as this new form of alien technology that they encounter. What could this mean for Seabrook? There's only one way to find out! And don't worry! Just like the songs all ZOMBIES fans know and love from the film. Each episode of the series is jam-packed with brand-new original songs performed by the cast.

The Parent Watch got to speak with the stars of the franchise Milo Manheim, Meg Donnelly, Kylee Russell, and Chandler Kinney who voice the animated versions of their characters Zed Necrodopolis, Addison Wells, Eliza Zambi, and Willa Lykensen respectively. They all spoke about the excitement for this new version of their characters, which episodes are their favorites, and what makes ZOMBIES so special for fans and actors alike! This is the perfect time for the release as the series takes place after the third movie and before the fourth movie! Now that you know we have the inside scoop, you're ready to learn more about the series in this interview. Read on below!

The Parent Watch: Hearing about a new series with these characters must have been so exciting. I'd love to know what your first reaction was to the news.

Milo Manheim: Well, when I heard that we were doing it, I was super excited just to get back to spending time with Zed in the ZOMBIES universe. As we started recording it, I saw what they were doing with it. It's so over the top, funny, unserious, just day to day experience in Seabrook. If you're a fan of the franchise, a fran, if you will, then you'll get to experience these characters in a less serious light. The stakes are much lower, but these situations are just as absurd, if not even more creative and unique. You get to see the dynamics between other characters that you don't really get to see as much in the movie. Seriously, it is just such a fun time in that studio. We're always so looking forward to going back. Even though we're not together in the studio, it really feels like we are because we just know each other so well. I can read Meg's lines as Addison, and I can hear Addison in my ear as we're recording together so it's just been really good to be back with the family and back in the universe.

Meg Donnelly: Oh, I was so excited! I am such a huge fan of cartoons and doing voiceover work because it's so freeing to just be in a booth by yourself and just do whatever and be as crazy as you can be. When I heard about it being ZOMBIES characters, it just made me so excited because it's such a fun universe already. I'm excited to see where it was going to go, and it has exceeded my expectations. I love doing it, and it does not feel like a job at all.

With this being a full series order, have you been able to view any of the episodes? Do you have a favorite?

MM: I don't think I've been able to see any of the episodes in full. I've seen moments. I might have seen one full episode. I love all the music so much in the series. I always will love Z [Zed] and Addison moments, and you get to see them together as a couple in a new light, more serious. They're just clearly comfortable with each other and know each other so well, and they're each other's rocks, which is nice. Just seeing the dynamics between characters that you don't see as much in the franchise. Seriously, being in that recording studio, being this version of Z, I think really helped me bring the humor and light-heartedness back to Z in the live-action franchise. I needed animation Z as a reminder about what this universe is about. I was grateful for that.

MD: There's so many different bits that are so funny, just random parts of the episodes. But I think the two that come to mind are there's one where there's a play or a musical about Seabrook, the history of Seabrook. And it's like the goes wrong, everything goes wrong. It is so funny. That episode just makes me laugh so hard. And then there's one that was really fun for me because Addison is really insecure about drawing, and then she draws something, and her alien power zaps it, and it comes to life. The alter ego is this New York version of Addison that's a heckler and really mean to Addison. Doing that was just so much fun. I have a blast. Those are two that come to mind that I'm really excited to see how they turn out.

MM: I can't wait to see those. I know exactly what you're talking about. The great part about this show is that a lot of the times we're accidentally cloning ourselves or accidentally 'flashbacking'. We get to do a lot of different versions of our own characters, which is really cool to explore.

What do you hope fans will get out of this series? There's been so many movies within this franchise, but this series really sets itself apart.

MM: When you're making a movie and you have a franchise, that's exactly what it is. It feels like we've been doing this for so long and there's so much, but really all we have of this universe is three movies with an upcoming fourth, which is a couple of hours worth of stuff. The beauty of this franchise is that you just get to live in Seabrook a little bit. Every episode, there's a goal, there's an objective, but it's not like the fate of the universe is on the line. We can just live in the chaos of Seabrook. It's just a great thing. Before you wake up, you make your bowl of cereal, you flip on this show, and you're back in Seabrook with all your favorite characters that you know and love. It's the nostalgia of the show, even though it's new, and just feeling like you're just back with your old pals, and we can take a breather from the high stakes of the franchise, and we can just exist in this humor.

MD: I agree with that. I think you see the Seabrook characters in just a whole new light, and you can just watch these episodes and just laugh so hard and laugh along with these characters that have been around since 2018. People are really going to love it, and it's a great show to watch to get excited for ZOMBIES [4].

Chandler, what was it like first hearing about a ZOMBIES animated series?

Chandler Kinney: Well, actually, my first thought was like, 'I hope they don't cast someone else to play Willa.' They asked me back, of course they did. I was so stoked. I I just thought it was the perfect direction to take the franchise in. It's such a crazy world of color and whimsy and so much heart and so many important messages and so much to say. I just thought to take that premise and put it in an animated world where zombies is all about the possibilities being endless. I think to give that a life of animation is the perfect way to take it. Now we really can do all the crazy things in the world.

Kylie Russell: Honestly, it was the quickest yes, I've ever blurted out ever. I was like, 'Okay, let's do it!' I've always wanted to be an animated character, and it's literally a dream come true. I say that every time because I enjoy going to work. I enjoy it so much. It's so much fun, and I just can't wait for it to come out and for people to see and enjoy it.

Because this is an animated series and everyone who's a ZOMBIES fan knows that we love seeing you guys act together, I'm assuming you guys don't record. How is it like to act out your character only through the voice?

CK: A little strange at first because I didn't realize that I relied so much on my physical environment and also the energy that people are throwing at me. I know these guys like the back of my hand because we've been doing this for however many years now. That actually does really help being in the booth because you can anticipate how Kylie is going to play this or I know when Milo says this, he's going to do a little thing like this. That helps a lot. It definitely is a bit strange at first, but I think it's so much fun. It does afford us the opportunity to just give the biggest performance or give the smallest performance or give so many different options. So much of it is just a game. It's a lot of playing around and laughing and ripping and experimenting, which I think is so much fun as an actor.

KJ: Literally what Chandler said. [laughs]

A lot of people know ZOMBIES. [The fans] know your characters. Do you feel like you still relate to your characters even now as you've gone throughout this entire franchise?

CK: I love this question because I feel like I relate to my character even more, especially with the animated series. I think just the framework of a show, it allows you into the character's psyche a bit more. You get to see them in different situations, be challenged in different ways. Whereas I think in the movies, there's so much plot and there's conflict and we got to get the problem solved. And I think it's beautiful for what that is. In a show, there's so many times where we're just sitting at a table and we're just goofing off in the lunch room. The characters are even that much more relatable. If that was even possible, you get to see these different facets to them, which I think is really beautiful.

KJ: With the animated series, I feel like because there's more freedom, I'm able to put even more of my own personality into Eliza. Now I feel like me and Eliza are more of the same person, other than the fact that she's a genius. As far as personality goes, I feel like I was able to put more of myself in there, where as far as the movies, Eliza was a different person that I had to play. With the animated series, I can just sneak myself more in there, and it's so much fun.

Episodes of ZOMBIES: The Re-Animated Series premieres on Jun. 28 and available to stream on Disney+ the next day

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