Review by Camden Ferrell
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is one of the most successful children’s book franchises of this generation, and it shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. After a series of live-action movies, the books have now started to be adapted into animated films on Disney+. The first book in the series was adapted last year, and the second book is now being adapted into an animated movie, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. This movie is everything you’d expect it to be and will probably only really appeal to fans of the series and not much else.
In this movie, Greg continues to live his life as the titular wimpy kid, but this school year, he is intent on becoming closer with his brother, Rodrick. But as viewers know, things never go well for Greg, and we must witness him navigate life and all of its misfortunes, embarrassments, and conflicts. The premise is simple and stays fairly truthful to the book and spirit of the franchise as a whole.
The entire voice cast returns for this one, and like last time, it’s nothing impressive. Everyone is perfectly adequate and nothing more. It does feature a small part from the late Ed Asner, but even that performance isn’t quite as memorable as any of their live-action counterparts.
One thing about these animated movies is that they are quite short. This newest one clocks in at only 74 minutes which means everything feels quite rushed and underdeveloped. The pacing is so erratic in order to fit every plot point, that it doesn’t play out as well as it could have. It could have benefitted from either a longer run time or the omission of certain elements, but that would come at the cost of dissatisfied fans of the series.
The writing is on par with the first movie, and it will be best enjoyed by fans of the series and younger audiences. There aren’t any laugh out loud moments, but it’s occasionally enjoyable, and it does what it’s supposed to do. The animation quality still isn’t great, but it’s harmless enough to watch quickly.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules maintains the quality of the first animated movie, and this will either be good or bad depending on personal taste. It’s rushed and doesn’t really have anything especially commendable, but it’s good enough for a casual quick viewing.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules is streaming on Disney+ December 2.