Who says the zombie apocalypse has to be such a downer? Animator Guy Collins gives this typically grim genre a child’s perspective in his fanciful web series Raised by Zombies. The pint-sized heroine is orphaned by zombies but befriended by wild animals with humanlike intelligence. Unlike the Jungle Book though, they don’t talk. In fact, none of the characters speak. The silence is filled by tropical music that creates the sense that the zombies could form a conga line at any moment.
Collins let L7 World pick his brainsss about this unique take on zombies.
The series has a lighthearted playfulness but there are definitely moments of graveness.
I wanted the series to have a bit of range in the story. It’s about this girl’s struggle to remain happy and content in a world that is often very depressing.
Do you think the lack dialogue helps or hurts the storytelling?
There’s no dialogue for two main reasons, a) I can’t write convincing dialogue to save my life, and b) It really suits the animation medium. It forces me to think visually, instead of relying on dialogue to carry the story. At the end of the day, you get something more interesting to watch!
Why does the end of the world have such upbeat music?
The music carries half the story, so I choose each track carefully to match. Kevin Macleod offers all the tracks free on his site, and his work has been crucial in making the series. Often it’s the music that gives me ideas! The upbeat tracks are important, usually zombie stuff falls right into a pit of blackness with no light. The girl has grown up in this world, so to her it’s normal, and it makes sense that she would be happy sometimes! I think of children in poverty in third world countries, surrounded by squalor, still laughing and playing games when they can. People find happiness where they are.
The little girl eventually reunites with her zombified mother without getting attacked. Are all zombies capable of resisting their homicidal urges or does love conquer all?
Zombie Mum and Dad are unlike all the other zombies, while the others have lost all humanity the parents cling to the remaining scraps of their own. Why just them? That’s something for season 2 :]
Although it’s called Raised by Zombies, animals seem to do the lion’s share of work protecting the young protagonist. Does the girl have a special hold over animals or do animals naturally like children?
The girl definitely holds a special influence over animals, they unite and help her when she’s around. The name of the series will make more sense once the whole thing is done, the parents haven’t had much of a chance to raise her yet.
The animals pretty fearless, are they immune to the zombie virus?
The animals are immune, this is a human-only curse. They are largely indifferent, ignoring the zombies most of the time, but when the girl is around they feel an odd compulsion to help protect her.
Which is your favorite animal in the series and which would you want as your companion in the zombie apocalypse?
Favourite animal – Obviously the stray cat, who finds her in episode 1. Companion animal – Obvious choice is the bear, but I think the hawk would be more fun, you could call in airstrikes :]
When can we expect season 2?
Season 2 is coming! I’m actually making a secret episode before starting season 2, that should be online soon.