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Xombie: Dead on Arrival

Review by: 
Catwalk
Release Date: 
2003
Studio: 
Xombie
Genre: 
Animated
Format: 
Web Series
Region: 
N/A
Aspect Ratio: 
N/A
Directed by: 
James Farr
Cast: 
Geoff Edwards
Allison Rupert
Michele Fairney
James Farr
Haley Logan
Movie: 
5
Extras: 
0
Bottom Line: 
5

Xombie is an animated series based on the works of creator James Farr.  The series follows Dirge, a zombie who has retained his human soul, as he attempts to defend and assist the purple-haired human girl named Zoe. Zombies don’t talk. They don’t think.  They don’t read Theoretical Neuroscience. Dirge is an anomaly. He listens to Mozart. He keeps an undead dog (appropriately named Cerberus).  He has intellect and compassion.  And, he can drive.

Dirge saves Zoe from a zombie menace, and attempts to get her to the nearest human settlement.  Their car ride goes astray, and Dirge, Zoe and Cerberus wind up at the Circus; an outlet for plenty of bloodthirsty zombies of every description. The best, of course is the Farr’s use of zombie clowns. “Even dead, clowns are annoying.”  They proceed from the circus to an encounter at the Natural History Museum; including robots and reptiles. Ever seen a velociraptor take on a living dead man (while Celldweller plays in the background)?  Now you have.

In Chapter 5, the trio meets Nephthys, who explains the scientific method that causes death and reanimation, and the existence of zombie variants. She believes that she and Dirge fit into this category; gifted zombies with unfinished business who have been given a second chance. Dirge leaves, intent on delivering Zoe to the closest humans, and encounters a new type of combatant; robotic warriors programmed to destroy the undead. The robots call themselves the “Hands of God” (and are reminiscent of the Mondoshawan from “The Fifth Element”.) Soon, it’s robots against zombies as Dirge, Nephthys, Zoe and Cerberus fend off the assault of a robot fighter jet in a car chase. 

Once they reach the realm of the humans, they must part ways.  Cerberus, Dirge and Nephthys will be targeted by the auto-guns of the human compound.  Zoe, who is still alive, will not.  The zombies are caught between a salvation they cannot enter, and a group of assassins dedicated to their destruction. Zoe wants to make a place for her companions. She wants her champion to be her companion, despite the void...where only the living can survive, and the dead are dead forever.

Watching X:DoA is like marrying the minimalist animation stylings of Samurai Jack, and the comic mischief of the game, Plants vs. Zombies.  Despite its minimal approach, the series is brilliant in its use of color.  Each character has its particular signature palette. Each character has a visual contrast to its counterparts, just as it has a physical and emotional contrast.  The compassionate, always innocent Zoe, and the scientific, aggressive Dirge, are opposite sides of the same coin. The series is a study in the origin and purpose of mankind.  Have zombies been created just to eliminate the viral infection that is mankind?  Is the world attempting its own rebirth through the zombie outbreak?  

Fans of Barr’s work will appreciate this voicing of the Xombie story.  Viewers who have never seen the Xombie series before will enjoy the wide variety of graphic novels, trade paperbacks and flash videos that tell the story of Dirge, Zoe, and the incredible world where they seek to survive.

For more information on the series, check out www.xombified.com.

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