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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrik Rules!                        review by Bobby Blakey

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books from Jeff Kinney has become a big franchise with 17 books currently in the main series with a new one pretty much every year since 2007 as well as spin off book series, three live action films and the first animated feature premiering on Disney+ in 2021. Now an all-new chapter is here with Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrik Rules! directed by Luke Cormican and written and produced by Jeff Kinney.   The all-new animated feature once again on Disney+. The first one was excellent, but can they hit the mark again or will it be a party not worth having?

Diary of Wimpy Kid follows the riotous antics of angst-ridden, disaster-prone middle school student Greg Heffley. In the latest film, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules,” it focuses on his complicated relationship with older brother Rodrick. A spikey-haired high school student, Rodrick is lazy and undisciplined and spends way too much time practicing with his rock band, Löded Diper. While he loves to torment Greg, he ultimately has a deep affection for his younger brother.

This latest outing features returning cast Brady Noon, Ethan William Childress, Chris Diamantopoulos, Hunter Dillon and Erica Cerra along with new additions Ed Asner, Loretta Devine, Linda Lavin. I loved the first film so obviously was happy to see we were getting more time with the Heffleys. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid is big in our home with me 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 when we finally got one​ let alone two.

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 that the original was a little under an hour, but this latest one clocks in a little longer and they pack a lot of fun in that time.

​I was hoping after that last one it was just the beginning of the new animated features and hoping this one a year later is the sign of it continuing every year 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 showcasing the struggles of siblings and of course being wanting to be a rock star.  

Check out Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules! when it premieres December 2nd exclusively on Disney+.

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