A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids can talk about the real meaning of Christmas and what Greg learns. They can also discuss the legend and significance of Santa (and their thoughts about his "naughty" and "nice" lists).
Cherish your loved ones while you have them. Sometimes our own problems can be minimalized by looking at the struggles of others. Be grateful for what you have. Take responsibility for your actions. Family watches out for family. Be good just to be good, not for ulterior or selfish motives.
Positive Role Models
Greg and Rowley accidentally get themselves into trouble, and rather than confessing what they've done, they get deeper and deeper into trouble by trying to hide it. Greg's family comes to his rescue. The snow plower works extra-long hours during the holiday season to support herself and her son. Greg makes an exceptionally generous gesture for a child, showing maturity and empathy. Rowley thinks it's important to do right and not to lie.
The characters of the book series and its many spin-offs are White and middle class. They celebrate Christmas. There are some background characters of color and one is seen in a wheelchair. A character in this film is a single mother struggling to make ends meet.
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Violence & Scariness
Animated characters fall and get knocked down, are nearly run over, imagine being bullied, are creeped out by an old doll who "reports to Santa" and seems to be following them, get hit by snowballs, fly off a trampoline, speed down a hill on a sled, wander around the woods alone at night, hear a story about a family lost in the snow that had to eat each other, suffer cold, hunger, and a flooded basement during a snowstorm, imagine getting thrown in jail, and lose sight of a baby.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Greg's parents are affectionate with each other.
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"Twerp," "heck," "dumb-dumb," "hooligan," and potty humor involving smelly bathrooms and a teen band called Löded Diper.
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Products & Purchases
Kids dream of expensive gifts for Christmas and worry about what Santa will bring them based on their behavior. A single mother can't afford the gifts her young son asks for. During the holidays, a neighborhood collects toys for the less fortunate.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever is an animated film based on the popular book series. In it, main character Greg Heffley (voiced by Wesley Kimmel, Jimmy's nephew) learns some positive lessons about the true meaning of Christmas. He and best friend Rowley (Spencer Howell) also get into all kinds of perilous situations as they try to cover up an accident they caused. Characters fall and get knocked down, are nearly run over, imagine being bullied, are creeped out by an old doll who "reports to Santa" and seems to be following them, get hit by snowballs, fly off a trampoline, speed down a hill on a sled, wander around the woods alone at night, hear a story about a family lost in the snow that had to eat each other, imagine getting thrown in jail, lose sight of a baby, and suffer cold, hunger, and a flooded basement during a snowstorm. Greg also learns that not every family has as much as he does, and he makes an exceptionally generous gesture on behalf of a child who's less fortunate than himself. Language includes "twerp," "heck," "dumb-dumb," "hooligan," and some potty humor involving smelly bathrooms and a teen band called Löded Diper. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Paring down the animation to what are essentially stick figures, like the original books' illustrations, this film keeps the focus on character interactions and positive messages. And make no mistake, Greg learns lots of positive lessons in Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever. Some come in the form of his sweet do-gooder bestie Rowley, who still wears footie jammies and likes staying home and singing at the piano with his doting parents. Others emerge from contrasting the relative abundance of the Heffley family with other characters who have less, a beneficial lesson in empathy and generosity. And, despite a few too many bathroom jokes, even bullying big bro Rodrick seems softened in this film and plays a key role in making this a happy Heffley Christmas.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.