Disney: 'ZOMBIES' movie set in power plant town called 'Seabrook' a coincidenceBy JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent March 12. 2018 9:10PM
The Disney Channel’s latest movie is set around a nuclear power plant disaster that creates zombies in a small, suburban town. It’s wildly popular among children and has received good reviews so what’s the problem?
The fictional town is named Seabrook.
A Disney spokesman said it’s a coincidence.
But some locals may have a hard time believing that the screenwriters of the Disney Channel original movie weren’t thinking of Seabrook, N.H., and the 1,244-megawatt Seabrook Station nuclear power plant when they created the new flick.
“Disney’s ‘Zombies’ is a work of fiction and as such, any names, businesses and locales are from the two screenwriters’ imaginations and are used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to the many towns named Seabrook is purely coincidental, a Disney Channel spokesman said in a statement. (There are towns named Seabrook in Texas and Washington along with various neighborhoods named Seabrook in other states.)
In the movie that premiered on Feb. 16, an accident at a power plant turns half of the population living in the fictional town of Seabrook into zombies.
Seabrook Station owner NextEra Energy is trying to take things in stride, although company spokesman Peter Robbins called Disney’s use of the Seabrook name “unfortunate.”
“Clearly this is a TV movie designed to entertain teenagers and it is a complete work of fiction,” said Robbins, who described the film as a “goofy light-hearted movie.”
The company contacted Disney about the movie after becoming aware of the Seabrook connection, but Robbins said that “at the end of the day it’s their production and it’s their decision.”
On its website, Disney Channel describes “Zombies” as a “music- and dance-filled story set in the fictitious world of Seabrook, a cookie-cutter community brimming with perky conformity 50 years after a zombie apocalypse. Today, the zombies pose no threat but are required to live in Zombietown, an isolated, rundown community infused with their unique creative spirit.
“When zombies are finally allowed to enroll in Seabrook High School, the charming, charismatic zombie Zed, who is determined to play football, meets freshman Addison who dreams of being a cheerleader — the ultimate form of status in Seabrook. Addison takes a lot of flak for befriending Zed and his zombie friends but comes to learn that zombies and cheerleaders aren’t so different after all. Zed and Addison work together to show Seabrook what they can achieve when they embrace their differences and celebrate what makes them a community.”
There is no Seabrook High School in New Hampshire. Seabrook students go to Winnacunnet High School.
Disney Channel claims it has not received complaints about the similarities between the town in the movie and the one in New Hampshire.
According to Robbins, NextEra Energy hasn’t heard from any residents or elected officials on the movie setting.
Selectman Aboul Khan said he wasn’t familiar with the film, but acknowledged that there was little the town could do.
“Any movie outlet can make any fictional movie. That’s beyond our control. Anybody can use the name and the town,” he said.
Asked if he wished Disney chose a different name, Khan replied, “Of course.”
“They could have named it any name and not mentioned Seabrook,” he added.
Not that he’s worried about a zombie apocalypse in Seabrook, but Khan used the opportunity to stress the safety of the power plant.
“We have a very good track record for many years and we do exercises every year with state agencies,” he said. “We are prepared for any kind of accident or any kind of issue that might come.”