Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a 2021 computer-animated comedy film. It is based upon the book series of the same name written by author Jeff Kinney, and is a re-adaptation of the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid webcomic, which were previously adapted as a live-action film.
Greg Heffley is a scrawny but ambitious kid with an active imagination and big plans to be rich and famous – he just has to survive middle school first. To make matters worse, Greg’s lovable best friend, Rowley seems to coast through life and succeed at everything without even trying! As details of his hilarious – and often disastrous – attempts to fit in fill the pages of his journal, Greg learns to appreciate true friends and the satisfaction that comes from standing up for what is right.
Greg Heffley is about to enter middle school with his best friend Rowley Jefferson. He gets advice from his older brother Rodrick on how to "survive"; putting emphasis on avoiding the cheese touch, which supposedly makes one incredibly unpopular. Greg tries to help Rowley through adjusting, though both end up shunned by the majority of the students, mostly due to Rowley's somewhat childish antics. Nevertheless, they manage to avoid being completely at the bottom of the school hierarchy.
On Halloween night, Greg and Rowley are forced to take the former's little brother Manny with them. While at first annoyed, Greg realizes that Manny's adorable pirate costume allows them to acquire a large load of candy. Manny and Rowley become tired, but Greg insists that they continue on and take a shortcut through Snake Road, despite his mother Susan forbidding it. They encounter a trio of teenagers who begin to mock and chase them with water balloons down the road. The kids manage to evade them by tricking them into driving their truck into a ditch and make it home, only for their candy to get spoiled by Greg's father Frank when he accidentally dumps water on them and Manny outing the Snake Road incident to Susan. Greg is grounded from playing video games for a week.
While playing "tumble trike", Greg accidentally breaks Rowley's arm. Susan discovers this, but chooses not to punish Greg any further. Instead, she insists that he do the right thing and be a good friend to Rowley. Greg instead tries to take advantage of Rowley's broken arm, only to get shunned further by the other students who dote on Rowley, but villainize Greg for breaking it in the first place. Greg tries to become a cartoonist for the school paper with Rowley taking an interest in a comic he drew that depicts a character shouting "Zoo Wee Mama!", but Greg tosses it away and insists on a new one he drew. While Greg is accepted as the new cartoonist, the librarian butchers his comic, making him a laughingstock. Rowley's comic, which features the phrase, gets accepted, causing a falling out between the friends.
Rowley befriends a boy named Chirag Gupta and starts hanging out with him. To get back at Rowley, Greg decides to hang out with Fregley, an incredibly weird and unpopular boy. Greg has a sleepover at his house, but is immediately put off by his odd eccentricities. Fregley eats a candy bar that Greg had and becomes hyperactive and chases him with booger; forcing Greg to hide out in the bathroom for the remainder of the sleepover. The next day, Greg and Rowley confront each other and are ushered by the other kids into fighting, only for the trio of teenagers to return to get revenge on the boys. The teenagers force Rowley to eat a piece of the cheese and are about to force Greg to do it, but are saved by the intervention of Mr. Underwood.
The other children return to see what has transpired. To protect his friend, Greg claims that he was the one who ate the cheese, causing everyone to run from him in terror. Greg and Rowley resume their friendship as the former quickly realizes that having the cheese touch is a blessing as it forces everyone to give him and Rowley space, as well as a personal lunch table to themselves.
- Brady Noon as Greg Heffley
- Ethan William Childress as Rowley Jefferson
- Chris Diamantopoulos as Frank Heffley
- Erica Cerra as Susan Heffley
- Hunter Dillon as Rodrick Heffley
- Gracen Newton as Manny Heffley
- Veda Maharaj as Chirag Gupta
- Christian Convery as Fregley
- Billy Lopez as Mr. Underwood
- Brenda Crichlow as Fregley's mom
- Yuvraj Singh Kalsi as Charlie Davies
- Robert Moloney as Joshie
- Lossen Chambers as Homeroom Teacher
- Donny Lucas as Mr. Humphreys
- Cyrus Arnold as Teen Driver
- Braxton Baker as Teen with Mullet
- John Omohundro as Hulking Teen
- Zeno Robinson as Teen with Baseball Hat
- Jessica Mikayla Adams as Braced Girl
- Tessa Espinosa as Curly-Haired Girl
The film was first unveiled via Disney's 2020 Investor Day, revealing the film to be fully CGI animated and showing off test animation that reveals the art style.
A teaser poster was shown on Disney's social media accounts on September 2, 2021 alongside information that confirmed that Swinton Scott would direct the movie, Jeff Kinney would produce and write the movie, and that it would adapt the first book similarly to the live-action film released in 2010. Some of the voice cast was also confirmed - Brady Noon, Ethan William Childress, and Chris Diamantopoulos.
A special edition cover of the first book featuring the CG version of Greg was released on November 23 to promote the movie. In addition, the announcement picture also reveals another look at the movie's style, showing Rowley's CG design for the first time.
On October 19, 2021, the film's first official trailer was released to the public, in-which it had been delayed a day prior.
- Main article: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (soundtrack)
- The movie was originally produced by 20th Century Studios through 20th Century Animation, although during production it had switched over to Walt Disney Pictures instead.
- Thus, it became the first 20th Century Animation and also the first 20th Century Studios film to be marketed under the Disney brand.
- This was not originally going to be the case however, as seen from the movies' logo during the 2020 Disney Investor Day reveal, however when the films' poster was revealed, the logo was updated to include the Disney brand.
- Likewise, it is the second Disney+ original film to be produced by a 20th Century label after Home Sweet Home Alone, produced by 20th Century Studios.
- It is also the fourth overall production outside of the Disney label, or previously based on such, to be branded as Disney; after The Mysterious Benedict Society, the Turner & Hooch reboot, and Just Beyond.
- It is also the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid film to be fully animated, the first to be released under Disney, and the first branded as a Disney feature.
- This is the first animated film from Walt Disney Pictures that is not from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar or the defunct Disneytoon Studios since 2012's Frankenweenie (not counting 2019's The Lion King, which is considered a live-action film and was made with photorealistic CGI).
- This is the first Walt Disney Pictures film whose soundtrack was released by Hollywood Records rather than by Walt Disney Records since 2009's Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience.
- The copyright holder was listed as Disney Enterprises, Inc. on the film poster, credits, social media promos and on the official Wimpy Kid website page for the tie-in reprint book but was also listed instead as 20th Century Studios for the back cover of the tie-in book reprint as well as the films' soundtrack copyright on Spotify and Apple Music.
- This is the shortest Diary of a Wimpy Kid film to run and feature at 58 minutes, unlike the original live-action films; which were only 90 minutes long.
- Unlike the live-action adaptation, Angie does not exist in this movie. Patty also does not appear in the film who is only mentioned once by Rowley.
- Chris Diamantopoulos stars in the film. He also starred in The Three Stooges. Coincidentally, Robert Capron, who played Rowley in the first three live-action Diary of a Wimpy Kid films, is also in that film.
- The second Disney+ original to star Brady Noon in the lead role, after The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers.
- A scene in the teaser of this movie showed animated footage of Greg pushing a huge ball of snow. This scene was however not used. It could've been because the scene was deleted or is saved for another animated feature.
- According to the credits of this movie, Holly's friend makes an appearance. But Holly herself does not.
- Originally the creator Jeff Kinney announced a Diary of a Wimpy Kid animated series, but for unknown reasons there was a change of plans to release a new animated movie.
- With the running time of 56 minutes, this is the second shortest Disney animated feature film of all time behind Saludos Amigos.
- Thus, it is also the shortest PG-rated animated feature film of all time.
Disney Investor Day 2020 - Test Footage