Australian Council on Children and the Media

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick rules

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Not recommended under 6, PG to 13 (Themes; Crude humour)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick rules
  • a review of Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick rules completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 28 April 2011.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not recommended due to themes and crude humour.
Children 6-12 Parental guidance recommended due to themes and crude humour.
Children 13 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick rules
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild crude humour
Length 99 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) is the middle child. He has the cute little brother who is always getting him into trouble and an older brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick) who pushes him around. This year he is in 7th Grade and is no longer the new kid who some will be familiar with from in the first film in this series. There is a new girl in his class, Holly (Peyton List) who he really wants to ask out on a date although most of his friends and, of course, Rodrick think that she is out of his league.

Rodrick continues to make Greg’s life a misery until their mother (Rachael Harris) has had enough. She leaves them at home to work out their relationship rather than taking them away on a fun weekend, with the proviso from their father (Steve Zahn) that they are to have no visitors. Roderick disobeys and has a party and Greg later covers for him.

Rodrick and Greg now have a new bond, and finally they seem to be getting along. Unfortunately, their parents eventually find out about the party and then everything becomes worse than before as Rodrick blames Greg for their punishment. However Greg is eventually able to do something for Roderick that changes everything.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Sibling rivalry; bullying

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • physical and verbal fighting between Greg and Rodrick, often initiated by Rodrick bullying Greg
  • women attack Greg when he accidentally ends up in a women’s toilet in his underpants

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There are several scenes involving accidental harm, usually played for comedy, that may worry younger children
  • Greg is locked in a dark basement by Rodrick
  • Greg and Rodrick watch a spoof horror movie involving a severed foot and scenes from this are shown

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

There is some product placement including

  • Apple computers

Sexual references

Include discussion of Greg’s crush on Holly.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

  • Greg’s parents drink wine with a meal
  • Although there is apparently no use of alcohol at Rodrick’s party, the behaviour at the party, including drinking games, resembles that at an alcohol-fuelled event.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language and crude humour in this movie, including:

  • insults such as “wimp”, “nerd” , “butt-brain”
  • jokes involving farting, urine, excrement and fake vomit

In a nutshell

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules is a comedy about family relationships especially those between siblings. Parents may be concerned about primary school aged children imitating parts of this film, including the teasing and bullying, the crude humour and the behaviour during the party.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • trust
  • honesty
  • the importance of family

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as

  • the distinction between telling the truth and being tactless which is raised when Greg is rude to his grandfather after previously getting into trouble for lying
  • how far you should go to be liked by someone – an issue raised when Greg adopts bad habits to bond with Rodrick

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