With Fox Home Entertainment’s release Aug. 3 of Diary of a Wimpy Kid on Blu-ray and DVD, you can welcome gangly pre-teen Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) into your home for a dose of survival techniques ala middle school. The 92-minute family comedy is based on the best-selling illustrated novel of the same name by Jeff Kinney, and brings to life Greg’s thoughts — his hopes as well as his version of schoolyard drama at “the dumbest idea ever invented” (middle school) and tribulations at home — as he recorded them in his journal.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is especially suited to eight- to 12-year-olds. It is one of the seven titles on the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Search, which invites kids aged six to 15 compete for a chance to be a recognized film critic for 12 months – attending red carpet events and interviewing stars as well as reviewing new films ahead of their theatrical release for KIDS FIRST! and our media partners. Written reviews will be accepted for the contest up to October 10, and upon acceptance, KIDS FIRST! will send the applicants instructions on creating a videotaped review that will be posted on WonderWorldTV.com for public vote. And the excitement culminates on the Nov. 12 – 14 weekend, when KIDS FIRST! will attempt to set a world’s record of one million kids “viewing and reviewing” the same film (The Velveteen Rabbit) on the same weekend, together with a caring adult.
KIDS FIRST! has developed a discussion guide for Diary of a Wimpy Kid (and for each of the seven titles – just click on the title where it’s listed on the right side of the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Campaign page) to assist our budding reviewers — as well as to facilitate parent-child conversation about key topics touched upon in the film. The guide includes paragraphs that describe specific scenes, to help you recall the particular situation and to help define the scope of the discussion, followed by talking points that put the experience into a personal context for the viewer/reviewer:
Description: The tag line for this movie is “I’ll be famous one day, but for now I’m stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons.” Greg considers junior high school a place rigged with hundreds of social landmines, not the least of which are wedgies, swirlies, bullies and lunchtime banishment of the cafeteria floor. His diary — or “journal” — chronicles his thoughts, tales of family trials and tribulations, and (would be) schoolyard triumphs.
Discuss: Can you relate to the theme of this movie? If you haven’t started middle school yet, what are your thoughts and concerns about it? If you are already in middle school — talk about your most memorable adventure.
The word on Diary of a Wimpy Kid from kid juror Lauren Boxer (age 11) is:
Diary of a Wimpy Kid shows us wimpy is cool and in style. You may say, “No it isn’t,” but you are wrong. It shows us the ups and downs of middle school, and trust me, it is all in there. One thing I was disappointed about before I saw it was it wasn’t animation. But now, I am standing corrected. Zachary Gordon is actually what I would imagine Greg Heffley would be in real life. This is a movie I definitely recommend, and Thor Freundenthal (director), Jackie & Jeff Filgo (screenwriters), and, last but not least, Jeff Kinney (the book’s author and executive producer) all did a great job.
And check out all the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Search titles now available on DVD at Amazon.com.