REVIEW: ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ Is an Entertaining Adaptation

Reading Time: 3 minutes

diary of a wimpy kid

There are a lot of choices for kids these days when it comes to reading material. Not only are there plenty of classics, but there are a plethora of newer authors who are capturing the minds and imaginations of kids worldwide. One such author has written a whopping 16 book run known nationwide amongst younger audiences and has also been adapted into two live-action films. The one, the only, Jeff Kinney, and his brilliantly awkward series Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Now 20th Century is breathing new life into the series as Greg Heffley gets an animated special, only on Disney+.

Directed by Swinton ScottDiary of a Wimpy Kid tells the story of a scrawny but ambitious child intent on not only surviving middle school but thriving in it. Based on the book series, the streaming movie directly involved contributions from Kinney, who is credited as creator, writer, and producer. Starring Brady Noon as Greg (The Might Ducks: Game Changers), Ethan William Childress as Rowley (Mixed-ish), Christian Convery as Fregley (Sweet Tooth).

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is an adaptation of the very first Kinney book, in which Greg, a wimpy kid, attempts to survive his transition into middle school from elementary school. Accompanied by his best friend Rowley, Greg finds out that growing up has many, many obstacles, and making the right choice isn’t always easy.

Having not read the books, but being the parent of kids who are currently reading them, I was fascinated to watch this film to see what kind of message it has in store. The book initially came out 14 years ago, in 2007, but the story still appears to be as popular as ever. This version of the story captures those visual vibes that Kinney created for the book, with the film switching from 2D to 3D frequently to emphasize different points within the story. Having the story transformed into animation suits the style, and it’ll undoubtedly suit the audience it’s being directed at.

Younger audiences will absolutely vibe with the movie, as it dynamically tells its story in a comedic and awkward fashion. Poor Greg tries, but he learns all his lessons the hard way, and that performance was brought to life by an energetic vocal showing from Noon. The majority of the story is either narrated or heavily features Noon, so it was imperative for him to carry the film as he serves as the very foundation of it all. There’s a lesson to be learned here for Greg, and by the end, he figures out what’s important while collecting some bumps and bruises along the way.

The film’s pace moves along quite well, albeit a little bumpy at times, but with a run time of around 56 minutes, it’s an effortless watch that kids alike will be asking to watch repeatedly.

My biggest concerns are that the film isn’t always highly engaging, and it’s not quite as laugh-out-loud as you’d hope. It’s undoubtedly silly in parts, but when compared to its counterpart in Captain Underpants, it does fall a little under par. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see such heavy involvement from the original creator, and Kinney’s name is plastered all over the credits.

Overall, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a great family fun movie that, with roughly an hour-long run time, results in an easy watch. It’s visually parallel to its source material from the books that launched it into fandom status. It’s an amusing film, but not overly comical that will still land with younger viewers regardless.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is available now exclusively on Disney+.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • 7.5/10
    Rating - 7.5/10
7.5/10

TL;DR

Overall, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a great family fun movie that, with roughly an hour-long run time, results in an easy watch. It’s visually parallel to its source material from the books that launched it into fandom status. It’s an amusing film, but not overly comical that will still land with younger viewers regardless.

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