A Dose of Half-Term Hyperactivity Bursts onto Sky Box Office

Horrid Henry meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid in John Schultz’s 2011 children’s comedy Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. Splattered with all the hyper-activity of typical pre-teen conquests, this 92-minute adventure is sure to preoccupy any primary school pupil this Jubilee half-term.

Based on Megan McDonald’s popular Judy Moody book series, the latest instalment in the fictional franchise stars newcomer Jordana Beatty as 10-year-old protagonist Judy.

When the school year draws to a close, Judy is plagued by thoughts of her friends off on thrilling vacations in exotic locations. Adamant to make this the summer to remember, she designs a list of ‘thrill points’ to determine who will have the most ‘thrilladelic’ summer break.

But as her friends rake up more points on the tally chart, Judy is left feeling like the biggest summer bummer of them all. Through this tale of family and friendship, Judy Moody soon discovers that summer happiness can be found closer to home.

This strictly ‘no-parents-allowed’ comedy is definitely one designed to keep the kids quiet. The whimsical visuals and smooth integration into animation plays homage to the original book series by retaining the originality through the big screen transition. Heather Graham also stars as the bohemian Aunt Opal, injecting some silver screen recognition into the largely unrecognisable cast.

But scratch beneath the surface, beyond the neon-bright numbers, the bubble-gum banter and the chaotic colours, and you may find that director John Schultz subtly weaves a message for the mature into the narrative too.

By the end of the film, we come to learn that we can’t quantify happiness against pre-imposed ideals. And much like the thrill-point challenge, life doesn’t necessarily play out according to that image we envision. But once we learn to accept the variations, however small and insignificant, we can find happiness in the most normal of circumstances- void of any thrill-seeking obligations.

There’s something for both the young and old in this film; while children can draw inspiration from the stakeouts and expeditions, adults can ponder the youthful innocence of childhood summer with nostalgic recollection.

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer is available on Sky Box Office from June 4th.  

About The Author

Manleen is currently studying Journalism (BA) at London’s elite City University. As an avid movie fanatic, she is combining the skills taught within her degree to kick-start her career as a movie critic. She’s worked with some media heavyweights in the past, such as the BBC, CNN and Orange Film Club. Manleen has joined the team and takes on the role of news and reviews writer and social media promoter.

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