Night of the Animated Dead is a 2021 animated zombie film edited and directed by Jason Axinn (To Your Last Death, Inside the Legend, Space Guys in Space, and Chaotic Good Online). It was written by George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Creepshow, The Crazies, Two Evil Eyes, Martin, and The Dark Half) and John A. Russo (Night of the Living Dead, Night of the Living Dead 1990, The Return of the Living Dead, Midnight, and The Majorettes). It’s an animated remake of the 1968 horror classic. It was produced by Sam Register (Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, Batman: The Long Halloween, Tom and Jerry, Batman: Soul of the Dragon, Batman: Death in the Family,Superman: Man of Tomorrow, Deathstroke Knights & Dragons: The Movie, Harley Quinn, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, Superman: Red Son, The Death and Return of Superman, Constantine: City of Demons, Reign of the Supermen, The Death of Superman, and Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay).
Siblings Barbra (played by: Katharine Isabelle from Ginger Snaps franchise, Freddy vs. Jason, American Mary, Hannibal, and See No Evil 2) and Johnny (played by: Jimmi Simpson from Westworld, Under the Silver Lake, Breakout Kings, and Zodiac) drive to a cemetery in rural Pennsylvania to visit their father’s grave. Their car radio goes off the air due to technical difficulties. As they are leaving, a strange, ashen-faced man wearing a tattered suit kills Johnny and attacks Barbra. She flees and takes shelter in a farmhouse but finds the woman who lived there dead and half-eaten. A man named Ben (played by: Dulé Hill from The Wonder Years, Suits, Ballers, The West Wing, and Psych) arrives, secures the farmhouse by boarding the windows and doors, and drives away the ghouls with a lever-action rifle he finds in the closet and with fire, which the ghouls fear.
Barbra, in a catatonic state from shock, is surprised when Harry Cooper (played by: Josh Duhamel from Batman: The Long Halloween, Transformers franchise, Las Vegas, and Turistas) and Tom (played by: James Roday Rodriguez from Psych, A Million Little Things, Gravy, and Beerfest) emerge from the cellar. Harry has been taking shelter there with his wife Helen (played by: Nancy Travis from Last Man Standing, Becker, Greedy, The Vanishing, and So I Married an Axe Murderer) and their young daughter Karen after a group of the same monsters overturned their car and bit Karen (played by: Ashley Lambert from The X-Files, This is the End, and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone), leaving her seriously ill. Tom arrived with his girlfriend Judy (played by: Katee Sackhoff from Battlestar Galactica, The Flash, 24, Longmire, and Halloween: Resurrection) after hearing an emergency broadcast about a series of brutal killings. The group of strangers try to survive the night together with an army of zombies waiting outside to devour their flesh. Can they get along long enough to make this happen? or Will they become dinner for the dead????
Night of the Animated Dead kinda came out of no where and it’s animation style is a little controversial. Technology is so advanced these days especially when it comes to animation. Director Jason Axinn decided to go with a more old school style of animation for this remake since the original feature was made in the late 60’s. I personally think it fits the Night of the Living Dead universe and atmosphere. The script and story stays loyal to the original movie so diehard fans will appreciate that with this animated remake. It still has all the tension, suspense, and brutality of the horror classic. The theme still works in this modern day and people can still relate to some of the problems here. The iconic characters are brought back to life with a very talented voice cast that includes Katharine Isabelle, Josh Duhamel, Katee Sackhoff, Jimmi Simpson, Nancy Travis, Will Sasso, James Roday Rodriguez, and Dulé Hill. That’s one of the best vocal casts when it comes to an animated feature in a long time, it features so many familiar talents in this one. Psych fans will geek out for this considering both leads of the popular television show are reunited here. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this project when it was announced after being done without any warning or hype before it was finished but I thought it turned out really good. It’s refreshing to see a different take and style to this iconic film, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation and special feature from Warner Bros Pictures! This 1080p (1.78:1) looks really good here in HD. Like I said before, I enjoyed that it had that old school animation style to it. It has a few different audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, German: Dolby Digital 5.1, and Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 on the disc. All of the dialogue is crystal clear, all the zombie chaos is elevated, and the music has a nice boost to it. It has English SDH, French, German, Spanish, and Dutch subtitles. “Making-of Featurette: Animating the Dead” is almost 10 minutes. It has interviews with director Jason Axinn, actors Katharine Isabelle, Josh Duhamel, Dulé Hill, Will Sasso, and others. They chat about finding the right director for the project. They show their appreciation and respect to the original film. They talk about the cast and their characters. They compare original scenes with the animated ones. It has behind the scenes footage. They go into detail about putting together the look for everything here. It also includes a slipcover and a digital code. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!