EXCLUSIVE: Jeff Kinney on Skipping Ahead to ‘Cabin Fever’

In 2021, Disney Plus rolled out Diary of a Wimpy Kid, an animated feature based on author Jeff Kinney’s best-selling and beloved 2007 book. At that time, Kinney told us that he hoped that his partnership with Disney would be fruitful enough that each of the now 18 books in the series would be adapted for the streaming service.

 I really hope we get to do lots of these stories because we’re really trying to do a good job and we’re not just spitting them out. We’re sort of really taking our time in crafting them and I love that so I hope we can tell lots of stories.

Jeff Kinney on his hopes to adapt the entire Wimpy Kid series as animated features for Disney Plus

A year later, an adaptation of Rodrick Rules, the second book in the series, hit the streaming service and Kinney indicated that an adaptation of the third book, The Last Straw, was already in development. All signs pointed to that adaptation being ready for a 2023 debut and yet, on December 8th, the streamer will release Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever, an adaptation of the sixth book in the series. While talking with Kinney about the new project, we inquired as to what exactly transpired that led to change.

We were working on The Last Straw which is the third Wimpy Kid story in the timeline,” explained Kinney, “And then Disney said what would be really great is for us to do a Holiday Special. So we made this big switch pretty late in the day and we were able to put the movie together and get it out there in the world on time. It just felt like the right thing.

Kinney also shared that the rise in the number of streaming services has led to a renewed demand for holiday specials which were near and dear to his heart as a child. For the time being, it looks as though Kinney’s partnership with Disney will continue to produce one Wimpy Kid feature per year and with Kinney open to the possibility of creating original stories for the streaming service, there’s no telling just how far into the future things may continue.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever debuts on Disney Plus at 12 AM PST/3 AM EST on December 8th.

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

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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