judyThird graders unite! Judy Moody and her pals have a new film that will certainly make your summer a non bummer.

Third graders unite! Judy Moody and her pals have a new film that will certainly make your summer a non bummer. Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer is based on the "Judy Moody" book series by Megan McDonald. Following in the huge footprints of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid flicks; this one is not nearly as well written but still a lot of fun for your elementary minded family members.

Judy (Jordana Beatty) is gearing up for her best summer ever. She has devised an intricate plan with charts and graphs that will ensure this season is the best ever. But when all her friends desert her for other commitments she finds herself on the brink of having a truly bummer summer indeed. It isn’t until her free spirited Aunt Opal (Heather Graham) visits that Judy discovers that sometimes you just have to go with the flow. While all her friends are out having what seems to be the times of their lives, Judy is stuck at home. Plus it is worth mentioning that Bigfoot is on the loose in the area and her little brother Stink (Parris Mosteller) is trying hard to capture it.

Like all films of this nature it probably helps if your kids have read the books but it is certainly not a necessity. The story is easy to follow and the characters are identifiable. Judy has that sort of Punky Brewster way about her that makes her annoying yet endearing. As with the Wimpy Kid series this one includes moments of quick animation and mental scenarios to help it visually. There are lots of oddball characters to keep your kids entertained through out. As an adult you might find your mind wandering to other areas or strictly zoning out all together. There is little here to engage anyone over 10. Doesn’t make it a bad movie by any means but drastically skews the age demo.

If you are looking for a message in the film it would be that all circumstances, even if not as we planned, can have elements of excitement and create great memories. Judy finds out that when things seemed to have gone terribly wrong that looking back there was fun had in the midst of it all. The film is whimsical in its dealing with creative thinking. I would have loved to have had even one summer as action packed as Judy when I was her age.

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer is rated PG. It is supermegatotally safe for most kids. There is one mildly intense scene with Judy and her brother in the woods as they search for Bigfoot. I noticed that some of the 7 and under young ones in the theater had their hands over their eyes; of course giggling the whole time. There are some poop jokes of course and a few gross out moments in typical third grade style. Aunt Opal is a hippie at heart and so her unconventional way of thinking and risk taking might not set well with over protective parents. But honestly, we all have an Aunt Opal in our family tree somewhere. I give Judy 3.75 out of 5 thrill stars. This probably would have served better as a TV film for ABC family, but with very little coming your way for the youngsters this summer it will be a welcome site for many parents.

Matt Mungle

Review copyright 2011 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.