Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2021) is Disney once again shelling out anything they own the rights to. Live action Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies were all but over after Dog Days was released in 2012. I think The Long Haul meant well, but nobody wanted to see new actors only 5 years after the third movie. Since Jeff Kinney’s book series is just too popular, Fox wanted to keep it relevant no matter what. Even after Disney acquired the rights. Aside from the short film Class Clown, the only animated Diary of a Wimpy Kid project would’ve been Cabin Fever.
When that fell through, Disney chose to reboot the entire series with computer animated movies on Disney+. I don’t know what it is, but somehow Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2021) feels like the most contractually obligated movie they’ve made up to this point. Although the Disney brand is all over it, this “feature film” is only 58 minutes long. So much of the book is cut out that it almost feels abrupt when it ends. Events are streamlined to almost exclusively focus on Greg Heffley and Rowley Jefferson’s friendship.
So they only include the big wheel accident, Halloween, sleeping over at Fregley’s, Zoo-Wee-Mama! comics, and of course “the Cheese Touch.” Wrestling, Christmas, the school play, and just about everything else is cut. Even mom, dad, Manny, and Rodrick are barely in the movie. It doesn’t help that the cast is almost entirely unknown. Then there’s the animation. Despite having these perfectly good 2D illustrations, Kinney went with 3D animated characters, and it just doesn’t look right. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2021) isn’t exactly the fresh start it could’ve been.
Animated Reboot of: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)