Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2021)

image for Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2021)

Short takes

Not suitable under 8; parental guidance to 10 (themes, name calling, animated violence)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2021)
  • a review of Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2021) completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 9 December 2021.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to themes, name calling and animated violence.
Children aged 8–10 Parental guidance recommended due to themes, name calling and animated violence.
Children over the age of 10 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 (2021)
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes
Length: 56 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Greg (voice of Brady Noon) and Rowley (voice of Ethan William Childress) have been best friends forever but with the boys about to embark upon middle school, everything is set to change. Terrified by the stories he has heard from his older brother Roderick (voice of Hunter Dillon) and determined to do great things, Greg’s attitude towards his friend begins to change based on his perceptions of what he thinks will be cool to others. Rowley stays the same, however, after a freak accident, finds himself the ‘cool kid’. Trying to gain his own recognition, Greg’s plans repeatedly backfire and he finds himself reduced to hanging out with Fregley (voice of Christian Convery), the weirdest kid in school - and just when his closest friendship seems to be lost forever, the simple act of helping a friend turns everything around.

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.

Bullying; Sibling rivalry; Fickle friendships; Peer pressure and middle school-based popularity issues.

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:

  • Rowley gets knocked off his bike while playing a risky ball game with Greg. They continue to play it despite promising their parents that they won’t. They eventually stop playing it when Rowley breaks his arm.
  • Greg hits Rowley with his bike.
  • Greg’s older brother describes the bullying that takes place in middle school much to the horror of his family.
  • Kids shove each other in the hallways between classes. Some students are purposefully knocked to the ground.
  • One student trips another, grabs him by the ankles and drags him down the hall.
  • A student is shoved in a locker and forcibly kept in there despite his repeated requests to go to the bathroom.
  • Teenagers hit Greg and Rowley with water balloons and then chase them with their truck.
  • Greg is smashed into a wall and later shoved to the ground.
  • Greg is pushed down and punched in the face.

Teenagers threaten Greg and Rowley and make Rowley eat a piece of rancid cheese that has been on the ground for ages.

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.

  • None noted.

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.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Some menacing teenagers in a truck chase Greg and Rowley through a spooky forest on Halloween night. They are after their candy; they hit them with water balloons and relentlessly pursue them while the boys flee through the darkened woods. As the boys race back home, the teenagers threaten to find them. They later make good on those threats.

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.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Greg and Rowley play on a game console that clearly resembles Nintendo.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • No official substances were used, however, Fregley gets buzzed and hyperactive after eating some chocolate.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Shrimp
  • Runt
  • Weirdo
  • Nerd
  • Moron
  • Jerk
  • Idiot.

In a nutshell

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2021) is an animated film based on the book by Jeff Kinney. The film’s simple animations and basic plot will be best enjoyed by pre-teens but due to the violence and themes this is not a film for younger children.

The main messages from this movie are that you just need one good friend but that you also need to be a good friend.

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

  • Friendship
  • Helpfulness
  • Empathy
  • Courage.

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

  • Acting how you think other people want you to act instead of being true to who you really are.
  • Lying to your parents or encouraging others to lie to their parents as well.
  • Making promises that you do not intend to keep.
  • Disregarding what you have been instructed to do and making dangerous decisions that affect others.