Review: Daddy, I’m a Zombie / Cert: U / Director: Joan Espinach, Ricardo Ramon / Screenplay: Daniel Torres / Starring: Paula Ribo, Ivan Labanda, Nuria Trifol / Release Date: Out Now
Zombie films have always held a mirror up to society. Daddy, I’m a Zombie, despite being a children’s animation, is in the same tradition, only with an eye on a younger audience and a lot less blood.
Dixie is a young girl who has been unhappy since her parents split up, and is now living with her Dad (who works as an embalmer). Bullied at school, and without any friends, she is bitter, angry and lonely. Following an altercation with her bully nemeses at a fairground, she is hit by a falling tree and wakes in the land of the dead. Here she makes friends with Isis, an Ancient Egyptian Mummy and Gonner, a zombie pirate and they have to take on the evil witch Nebulosa.
The animation is decent and the film has a strong style of its own, while still carrying some clear influences from classic horror films and Tim Burton in particular. There are some great little visual gags – zombies with silly hats, for example – which prove that there is some imagination in the design beyond these influences. There are a few moments that would perhaps be too scary for very young children, although there is no gore despite the zombiefication of the main character.
There are some strong messages in this film. First, and repeated often by Dixie’s father, is that you get back what you put out into the world; so be nice and thoughtful of others. The second, however, seems to be that Dixie has to give up on her individuality and become more like everyone else. Perhaps this is reading too much into a simple children’s film, but it did seem to be there.
Daddy, I’m a Zombie doesn’t have the cross-generational appeal of some modern animations, but will keep children entertained and has a strong message to get across.