Judy Moody and The Not Bummer Summer is based on the characters created by Megan McDonald in her Judy Moody book series.
The basic plot: Judy has a plan to combat a summer vacation full of boredom - a contest to see which of her friends can earn the most "thrill points" by completing tasks, such as: ride a roller coaster (bonus points if you keep your hands up), learn to surf, watch scary movies (without closing your eyes), and ride an elephant.
Her plans are thwarted as she learns that two of her friends already have exciting summer plans lined up that will earn them thrill points faster than you can say "circus camp", which is where one of the kids is spending his summer (I want to go to circus camp! How fun is that?). Judy's parents have to make an unexpected trip to California, leaving Judy and her brother Stinky in the care of their eccentric, gorilla-artist Aunt Opal.
Judy Moody and The Not Bummer summer is very cute. There are lots of laugh moments, and a few cringe-worthy poop and puke moments (a little tip from me to you - during the roller coaster scene, feel free to hold your hands up over your eyes and close those eyes until it is over...you don't need thrill points bad enough to watch that). I think it is a movie that both girls and boys would enjoy.
This movie feels like a kids movie in all the best ways, bright colors, fun costuming, snippets of animation, fantastic situations full of imagination, and a search for BIG FOOT!
A thought on casting - can we be really honest about child actors for a minute? Most of them are annoying, and painful to watch (and don't pretend you haven't thought the same thing). I was pleasantly surprised by Jordana Beatty's UN-annoying portrayal of Judy Moody, she really impressed me.
From Katarina (in her own words):
"It was a really great movie! I especially liked how they crossed animation with live actors. I hysterically laughed at the part where Judy almost ate Big Foot poo on the bottom of her sandwich; and the part where Opal drove into the sign and an elephant head fell on the car. I also loved the part where Judy and Opal made trash can hats. Watching the movie made me want to read the books."
I was provided with free passes to the pre-screening, but I was not compensated in any other way. Relativity Media did not require me to say nice things about the movie, the opinions are all mine. They also did not require me to eat an entire large tub of popcorn by myself...but that is a different story.
Have you and your kids read the Judy Moody book series?
Are they excited to see the movie?
.....and the most important question.....
Did you go to circus camp when you were a kid?