Saturday, April 17, 2010

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Movie

My son and I saw the movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid the other day.

As you know, the books are hugely popular with boys and girls of all ages. But I was leery about the movie. I pictured one of those "revenge of the nerds" types of movies, where the main character gets picked on mercilessly for the first half of the film.

That's not what this is. Wimpy doesn't mean loser. Sure the main character is at the bottom of the pecking order in his new school, but he's never a victim. I think it's because he never sees himself as a victim.

That crucial distinction takes Diary up a step--several steps--from other kids' movies.

The other thing I like about the movie is that it's not just a good movie for kids, but for adults too. It's fun to see with a kid, but it would probably be just fine for two adults as well.

Most importantly, I think that Diary the movie is a great reading extension that will encourage kids to read Diary the book series.

And speaking of reading extensions, here's a great twist: author Jeff Kinney has recently published a book about the making of the movie. It was the author's first movie and so he's documented it in Wimpy-Kid-Diary format. I haven't read it (I just found out about it as I was researching this article) but it's a great idea that could extend the learning even further.

Here's a great quote from Roger Ebert's review - and one with which I thoroughly agree:

"The movie is inspired by the books of Jeff Kinney, and the titles reproduce his hand-lettering and drawing style. The movie reproduces his charm."

His movie review will also give you more information about the plot of the film and the characters.

Here's a link to the books.
And a link to a past post featuring Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Before you go, make sure to flip through one of the books with your child to remind yourself of the main characters. They have been brilliantly cast and considering how simplistic the drawings are, they're remarkably accurate. Fun!

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