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Diary of a Wimpy Kid
        review by Bobby Blakey

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The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books from Jeff Kinney has become a big franchise with 16 books currently in the main series with a new one pretty much every year since 2007 as well as spin off book series and three live action films. When Disney purchased Fox they obtained the rights to the franchise and not wasing anytime restarting it, but this time in animated form and taking on the first book in the series directed by Swinton Scott and written and produced by Jeff Kinney. Could this new version offer up more laughs and do the series justice or will it fall to the curse of the cheese?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid follows Greg Heffley, a scrawny but ambitious kid with an active imagination and big plans to be rich and famous – he just has to survive middle school first. To make matters worse, Greg’s lovable best friend Rowley seems to coast through life and succeed at everything without even trying! As details of his hilarious – and often disastrous – attempts to fit in fill the pages of his journal, Greg learns to appreciate true friends and the satisfaction that comes from standing up for what is right.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid is big in our home with buying the books for my own son since they began and even still buying him a new one for Christmas every year as an adult. We loved the silly live action films, but I always thought this would serve better as an animated feature and so happy we finally got one. This new version features the voices of Brady Noon as Greg Heffley, Ethan William Childress as Rowley Jefferson, and Chris Diamantopoulos as Frank Heffley perfectly bringing to life these beloved characters.

I know this is a kid’s film, but not going to lie and say I didn’t have a lot of fun with it. I think the simplicity of these stories not only get silly, but also deal with a lot of the same issues kids deal with at their age. The simple artwork for the books translate well into these animated designs to give it a unique view that is elevated from the source material but still stays true. It’s bright and vibrant and all around beautiful visually and just works. I was a bit disappointed that as a feature it’s actually a little under an hour, but they pack a lot of fun in that time.

This also makes me hope that it’s only the first to come and that they continue this format to take on each book as its own thing to bring the epic collection to fun life. Whether you have read the books or not this is still a fun animated adventure in middle school bringing the laughs, lessons and friendship like only a wimpy kid can.

Check out Diary of a Wimpy Kid when it premieres December 3rd exclusively on Disney+.

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