Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

3.9 23
Director: Thor Freudenthal

Cast: Thor Freudenthal, Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Rachael Harris

     
 

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Adults who haven't forgotten the fears and traumas of middle school will no doubt get a few hearty chuckles from director Thor Freudenthal's adaptation of Jeff Kinney's popular "Novel in Cartoons," but make no mistake, this one's primarily for the kids. With gags hinging on moldy playground cheese, hairy freckles, booger torment, older bullies, and bratty girls who… See more details below

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Overview

Adults who haven't forgotten the fears and traumas of middle school will no doubt get a few hearty chuckles from director Thor Freudenthal's adaptation of Jeff Kinney's popular "Novel in Cartoons," but make no mistake, this one's primarily for the kids. With gags hinging on moldy playground cheese, hairy freckles, booger torment, older bullies, and bratty girls who beat up boys, Diary of a Wimpy Kid relies heavily on juvenile humor to keep its preteen crowd giggling, yet deeper themes about what it takes to be a good friend -- even when it means flirting with social suicide -- will likely resonate with viewers of all ages. Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) is about to be thrust into middle school, and despite a dispiriting pep talk from his sadistic older brother, Rodrick (Devon Bostick), he's certain he'll quickly become the most popular kid in school. There's just one problem: Greg's best friend, Rowley (Robert Capron), hasn't quite jettisoned his elementary-school instincts. Like any good parent will do, Rowley's mom tells him to "just be himself" and he'll make friends in no time. But while Rowley is fairly comfortable in his own skin, Greg grasps for any excuse to redefine both of their images in a desperate attempt to earn the admiration of their peers. Their concepts of what it means to be cool start to clash after Greg accidentally breaks Rowley's arm, then lets his pal take the fall for something he didn't do. After going their separate ways, Rowley effortlessly manages to make new friends while every attempt Greg makes to increase his popularity ends in utter disaster. Perhaps if Greg could just take a cue from his former best pal and stop trying to be something he isn't, he'll find a way to heal some old wounds, and rekindle an important friendship. Plenty can happen in that brief yet seemingly interminable (at least at the time) period between elementary school and high school; it's a crucial season when we begin to make the decisions that gradually reveal our true personalities. Author Kinney obviously has a talent for tapping into the insecurities -- both real and imagined -- that we all had as youngsters making that first stride toward responsibility and adulthood, and screenwriters Jackie Filgo, Jeff Filgo, Jeff Judah, and Gabe Sachs do a commendable job of bringing his vision to life on the big screen. Kids will instantly recognize characters as fictional counterparts of their actual classmates, and adults will remember those archetypes from days long gone but not yet forgotten. Every school has its own mythology, and by continually drawing the story back to a piece of rancid cheese that sits festering on the playground blacktop, the writers have found a clever way to give the student body a distinct personality while simultaneously bringing the plot full circle. Maintaining the whimsical energy of his feature directorial debut, 2009's Hotel for Dogs, director Freudenthal once again coaxes some impressive performances from his young actors, making them effectively cartoonish but not entirely two-dimensional as young Greg struggles with weighty issues of honesty while reevaluating his concept of friendship. While Diary of a Wimpy Kid is hardly that type of rare movie that parents and kids will enjoy equally, it does have enough substance to remind grown-ups of what it was like to be a youngster, and enough childhood truths to help the little ones learn a few important lessons in between fits of laughter.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Adults who haven't forgotten the fears and traumas of middle school will no doubt get a few hearty chuckles from director Thor Freudenthal's adaptation of Jeff Kinney's popular Novel in Cartoons, but make no mistake, this one's primarily for the kids. With gags hinging on moldy playground cheese, hairy freckles, booger torment, older bullies, and bratty girls who beat up boys, Diary of a Wimpy Kid relies heavily on juvenile humor to keep its preteen crowd giggling, yet deeper themes about what it takes to be a good friend -- even when it means flirting with social suicide -- will likely resonate with viewers of all ages. Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) is about to be thrust into middle school, and despite a dispiriting pep talk from his sadistic older brother, Rodrick (Devon Bostick), he's certain he'll quickly become the most popular kid in school. There's just one problem: Greg's best friend, Rowley (Robert Capron), hasn't quite jettisoned his elementary-school instincts. Like any good parent will do, Rowley's mom tells him to "just be himself" and he'll make friends in no time. But while Rowley is fairly comfortable in his own skin, Greg grasps for any excuse to redefine both of their images in a desperate attempt to earn the admiration of their peers. Their concepts of what it means to be cool start to clash after Greg accidentally breaks Rowley's arm, then lets his pal take the fall for something he didn't do. After going their separate ways, Rowley effortlessly manages to make new friends while every attempt Greg makes to increase his popularity ends in utter disaster. Perhaps if Greg could just take a cue from his former best pal and stop trying to be something he isn't, he'll find a way to heal some old wounds, and rekindle an important friendship. Plenty can happen in that brief yet seemingly interminable (at least at the time) period between elementary school and high school; it's a crucial season when we begin to make the decisions that gradually reveal our true personalities. Author Kinney obviously has a talent for tapping into the insecurities -- both real and imagined -- that we all had as youngsters making that first stride toward responsibility and adulthood, and screenwriters Jackie Filgo, Jeff Filgo, Jeff Judah, and Gabe Sachs do a commendable job of bringing his vision to life on the big screen. Kids will instantly recognize characters as fictional counterparts of their actual classmates, and adults will remember those archetypes from days long gone but not yet forgotten. Every school has its own mythology, and by continually drawing the story back to a piece of rancid cheese that sits festering on the playground blacktop, the writers have found a clever way to give the student body a distinct personality while simultaneously bringing the plot full circle. Maintaining the whimsical energy of his feature directorial debut, 2009's Hotel for Dogs, director Freudenthal once again coaxes some impressive performances from his young actors, making them effectively cartoonish but not entirely two-dimensional as young Greg struggles with weighty issues of honesty while reevaluating his concept of friendship. While Diary of a Wimpy Kid is hardly that type of rare movie that parents and kids will enjoy equally, it does have enough substance to remind grown-ups of what it was like to be a youngster, and enough childhood truths to help the little ones learn a few important lessons in between fits of laughter.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/03/2010
UPC:
0024543669197
Original Release:
2010
Rating:
PG
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
13,153

Special Features

Greg's deleted diary pages; More gross, silly Fregley fun; The benefits of the Cheese Touch; Chirag's trail of tears; Rowley's lost Zoo-Wee Mama cartoons

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Zachary Gordon Greg Heffley
Robert Capron Rowley Jefferson
Rachael Harris Susan Heffley
Steve Zahn Frank Heffley
Devon Bostick Rodrick Heffley
Connor Fielding Manny Heffley
Owen Fielding Manny Heffley
Chloë Grace Moretz Angie Steadman
Karan Brar Chirag Gupta
Grayson Russell Fregley
Laine MacNeil Patty Farrell
Alex Ferris Collin
Andrew McNee Coach Malone
Belita Moreno Mrs. Norton
Rob La Belle Mr. Winsky
Nicholas Carey Pete Hosey
Samuel Patrick Chu Carter
Donnie MacNeil Wade
Samantha Page Shelly
Ava Rebecca Hughes Marley
Owen Best Bryce Anderson
Cainan Wiebe Quentin
Cole Heppell Quentin's Sidekick
Harrison Houde Darren Walsh
Severin Korfer Dieter Muller
Jennifer Clement Mrs. Flint
Karin Konoval Mrs. Irvine
Raugi Yu Vice Principal Roy
Kaye Capron Rowley's Mom
Jake D. Smith Archie Kelly
Talon Dunbar Arthur
Willem Jacobson Cheese Boy
Naomi Dane Cheese Girl
Sean Bygrave Coach Brewer
Maxine Miller Elderly Woman
Taya Clyne Granddaughter
Nathaniel Marten Grown-Up Greg
Peter New Grown-Up Quentin
Nikki Frazer Lunch Girl #1
Greta Gibson Lunch Girl #2
Nathan Smith Kingergarten Boy
Kina Mori McWatt Kindergarten Girl
Dylan Bell Kindergarten Greg
Madison Bell Kindergarten Patty
Adom Osei Marty Porter
Alfred E. Humphreys Mr. Jefferson
Brent Chapman Mr. Parnell
Rylee Styles Preston
Ryan Grantham Rodney James
Ethan Shankaruk Snot Kid
Paul Hubbard Brock Branigan
Jesse Wheeler Unpopular '80s Boy
Brett Dier '80s Breakdancer
Brandon Barton '80s Jock Boy
Cindy Busby '80s Popular Girl
Alistair Abell Male Reporter
Tara McGuire Female Reporter

Technical Credits
Thor Freudenthal Director
Paul Becker Choreography
Heike Brandstatter Casting
Wendy Greene Bricmont Editor
Jeff Filgo Screenwriter
Jackie Filgo Screenwriter
Jack N. Green Cinematographer
Shannon Grover Art Director
Nina Jacobson Producer
Jeff Judah Screenwriter
Jeff Kinney Executive Producer
Ronna Kress Casting
Coreen Mayrs Casting
Julia Michels Musical Direction/Supervision
Monique Prudhomme Costumes/Costume Designer
Gabe Sachs Screenwriter
Theodore Shapiro Score Composer
Brad Simpson Producer
Ethan Smith Co-producer
Brent Thomas Production Designer
Anneke Van Oort Set Decoration/Design
Pete Whyte Asst. Director

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Diary of a Wimpy Kid
1. Chapter 1 [6:11]
2. Chapter 2 [3:52]
3. Chapter 3 [4:56]
4. Chapter 4 [4:06]
5. Chapter 5 [3:37]
6. Chapter 6 [5:42]
7. Chapter 7 [2:56]
8. Chapter 8 [5:19]
9. Chapter 9 [3:55]
10. Chapter 10 [4:31]
11. Chapter 11 [1:07]
12. Chapter 12 [2:10]
13. Chapter 13 [3:13]
14. Chapter 14 [2:17]
15. Chapter 15 [5:18]
16. Chapter 16 [2:52]
17. Chapter 17 [3:52]
18. Chapter 18 [3:25]
19. Chapter 19 [3:02]
20. Chapter 20 [3:11]
21. Chapter 21 [3:00]
22. Chapter 22 [1:57]
23. Chapter 23 [4:44]
24. Chapter 24 [1:13]

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