“Cabin Fever” is just like every other sweet Christmas movie to come before it
The first “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” book hit shelves for the first time in 2007 and took the world by storm. The books are staples of schools’ yearly Scholastic Book Fairs, accompanying generations of children through elementary school and beyond.
Like with any popular book series, a movie adaptation was inevitable and “Diary of Wimpy Kid'' was no exception. In 2010, the series received their very first movie adaptation under the same name from 20th Century Fox Films. The live action movie was so successful the studio ended up adapting three more books after that.
At this point, it was clear that 20th Century Fox was going to milk this series for all that it is worth, but then, there came a new competitor: Disney Animation Studios. In 2017, Disney acquired 20th Century Fox for 65 billion dollars, giving them the rights to “Home Alone,” “Ice Age,” and, of course, “Diary of Wimpy Kid.”
Disney released their first adaptation of the series in 2021, except this time, Greg Heffley is taking on the big screen through 3D animation. Disney took the cartoonish doodles of the books and voilà! — added a whole new dimension.
Fast forward to 2023 and Disney just released their third movie in the franchise: “Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever.”
This time, the Heffley family celebrates Christmas in the midst of a snowstorm that rages for days on end. While snowed in, Greg Heffley (Wesley Kimmel) pines for the new video game console, the mystical Mega Station 9000, as the rest of the family fall victim to cabin fever.
Unfortunately, Greg and his best friend, Rowley Jefferson (Spencer Howell) make a mistake that may just cost Greg his precious console. We follow Greg as he must avoid the glare of his mother’s creepy elf on the shelf, Elfrendo, and his brother Rodrick’s (Hunter Dillon) suspicions. By the end, Greg learns the important lessons of appreciation and family—just like every other Christmas movie!
Although generic, “Cabin Fever” still tells a heartwarming story with a conclusion that feels satisfying. Besides, what are Christmas movies if not overdone and overly sweet?
The whole movie is just a little over an hour and the short runtime benefits the story. No part of the movie feels dragged out and the jokes were entertaining for the whole family. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” has always been praised for its relatability, and “Cabin Fever” definitely carries on that legacy.
The simplistic art style of Greg’s doodles translates well into 3D animation. Even Greg’s iconic three strands of hair were preserved perfectly in a nostalgic fashion.
The faces were all very expressive despite being composed of only two dots and a line. Eyebrows and stress lines would disappear and appear smoothly as the characters transition between emotions. The mouth itself would move from the left to the right as the character speaks and moves their spherical head.
All in all, “Cabin Fever” knows what kind of movie it is and does not try to be anything more than that. It is a gingerbread cookie-cutter Christmas movie, and it is unapologetically so.
“Cabin Fever” is a family movie at heart, made to be enjoyed with loved ones and a mug of piping-hot hot chocolate. If you are looking for a new Christmas movie to watch this year, give “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever” a chance!
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever” is available to stream on Disney+ now.
Angelina Cao. Hi, my name is Angelina and I am a writer! I like animation and crocheting :) More »