EXCLUSIVE: ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ Author Details How the Disney + Adaptation Differs From the Book

The animated film Diary of a Wimpy Kid debuted on Disney Plus last week and fans of the book have noticed it wasn’t exactly a beat-for-beat adaptation of the original novel, nor an animated remake of the 2007 film. According to author Jeff Kinney, who also wrote and served as an executive producer on the new, animated film, that was intentional. Kinney used the animated retelling as way to beef up the emotional impact of the story, as he explained to our Arlyn Murphy.

We’re really trying to tell an emotional story. Like my first book is just a bunch of jokes, really, with a thin story and this is a more meaty story where you really come to care for Greg and Rowley.

Creators are famously never satisfied with their works and often tweak and revise things endlessly. In Kinney’s case, this new film gave him a chance to slide a little bit of empathy into the film, something Murphy noted in her review. As Kinney told us, he hopes to adapt all of his Wimpy Kid series’ books into animated films for the streaming service (in fact, Rodrick Rules is already in the works and headed to D+ next year), so it’ll be fun to follow how he continues to tweak the stories of each of his works moving forward.

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