Arlyn Reviews ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever’

Just in time for the holiday season, Disney+ has released a new Diary of a Wimpy Kid animated movie. Loosely based on the 2011 book Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever follows Greg on mischievous winter adventures with his best friend Rowley while also enjoying Christmas with his family. It may not be a direct adaptation of the book, but it keeps many of the same storylines and overall is another solid entry into the animated franchise.

With the movie debuting during the holiday season, it’s key that it touches on some traditional holiday themes. When a big snowstorm shuts everything down it forces Greg to spend time with his family at a time when he wants nothing more than to be away from them. Another one of Greg and Rowley’s typical dumb ideas leads to a series of events that brings Greg face-to-face with the driver of a broken snow plow. Their interaction leads Greg to realize that being with his family isn’t the worst thing in the world and he learns to start to cherish those moments.

(L-R): Manny (voiced by Gracen Newton), Frank Heffley (voiced by Chris Diamantopoulos), Susan (voiced by Erica Cerra), Greg (voiced by Wesley Kimmel) and Rodrick (voiced by Hunter Dillon) in Disney’s DIARY OF A WIMPY KID CHRISTMAS: CABIN FEVER, exclusively on Disney+. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

From a kid’s perspective, Christmas is too often all about presents and that’s definitely something Greg deals with in this movie. For most of the movie, Greg is obsessed with this year’s “best gift ever”: a gaming system. Also in typical kid fashion, Greg justifies his snooping and grows paranoid about his elf on the shelf observing his behavior. Greg’s obsessive behavior over the present ultimately leads Greg to learn the most important lessons about the holiday season, not everyone is as fortunate as him, and giving is better than receiving.

Author Jeff Kinney’s continued creative input into the movies allows him to tweak the storylines for the new medium and for modern times. Aimed at younger viewers, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever offers laughs and lessons wrapped up in a cute animated package delivered on Disney+.

About Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever

Get ready for the Wimpiest Christmas ever! The original animated adventure, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever, the latest animated movie based on Jeff Kinney’s wildly successful book series, will premiere December 8, 2023, exclusively on Disney+. The film is a hilarious and heartfelt holiday tale centered around everyone’s favorite disaster-prone middle school student.

The winter holidays are turning out to be especially stressful for Greg Heffley this year. After
accidentally damaging a snowplow while making a snowman with best friend Rowley Jefferson, Greg worries he won’t get the new video game console he so desperately wants for Christmas. To make matters worse, he gets snowed in with his family, including his grumpy older brother Rodrick and annoying younger brother Manny.

Directed by Luke Cormican (Teen Titans Go!) and written and produced by Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever features the voices of Wesley Kimmel (The Mandalorian), Spencer Howell (Ithaca), Chris Diamantopoulos (Beavis and Butt-Head), Erica Cerra (Power Rangers), and Hunter Dillon (Deadpool 2).

The Characters

(L-R): Manny (voiced by Gracen Newton), Frank Heffley (voiced by Chris Diamantopoulos), Susan (voiced by Erica Cerra) holding Elfrendo, Greg (voiced by Wesley Kimmel) and Rodrick (voiced by Hunter Dillon) in Disney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever, exclusively on Disney+. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Wesley Kimmel (The Mandalorian) is the voice of Greg Heffley, the disaster-prone middle
school student having a stressful winter holiday. He is trying to be on his best behavior so he will get the new video game console he desperately wants for Christmas but gets into trouble with best friend Rowley Jefferson when they damage a snowplow while innocently building a snowman.

Spencer Howell (Ithaca) voices Rowley Jefferson, who enjoys spending the winter holidays
inside sipping hot cocoa and singing Christmas carols with his parents, eagerly anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus on the big night. He is an unwilling accomplice to Greg Heffley’s snowplow cover-up.

Erica Cerra (Power Rangers) is the voice of Greg Heffley’s mother, Susan, who lives for the
Christmas holiday season and all its traditions. She is happiest when the family can celebrate the Yuletide season together.

Chris Diamantopoulos (Beavis and Butt-Head) voices Frank, Greg Heffley’s father, who is so busy anticipating a massive winter snowstorm that he is missing out on the family’s holiday
traditions that are so important to his wife Susan.

Hunter Dillon (Deadpool 2) is the voice of Greg’s older brother, Rodrick Heffley, who is spending the winter holidays lazy and unmoving from the couch until he decides he will find the culprits wanted by the police so he can take the reward money for himself.

Lisa Ann Walter (Abbott Elementary) voices Gabby, who drives a snowplow to make extra
money for the holidays. She is a single mother to her son Tyler, who is the light of her life.

Elfriendo is a homemade doll from Susan Heffley’s childhood who keeps watch over children and reports any bad behavior to Santa and his elves at the North Pole.

The Filmmakers

Jeff Kinney (Writer/Producer) is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Diary of a
Wimpy Kid series and the Awesome Friendly Kid series. He is a six-time Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award winner for Favorite Book and has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. He spent his childhood in the Washington, D.C., area and moved to New England, where he and his wife own a bookstore named An Unlikely Story.

Luke Cormican’s (Director) numerous animated credits include over 78 episodes of Teen Titans Go, on which he served as writer, producer, and director, as well as The Penguins of
, Brandy and Mr. Whiskers, The Buzz on Maggie, and Ren and Stimpy Adult
Party Cartoon, among others. Cormican also served as head of story on Teen Titans Go to the Movies.

John Paesano (Composer) is a BAFTA-winning, Emmy®-nominated composer with a range of credits that include The Maze Runner film trilogy, both of PlayStation’s Spider-Man videogames, 50 episodes of Marvel’s Defenders and Daredevil and 100 episodes of
the How to Train Your Dragon series (for which he won an Annie Award).

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