“Judy Moody” Not a Bummer Movie for Kids

It can be tough going to the movies with the little ones and not be taken by surprise by some of the high tech gimmicks, swashbuckling violence, or other age-inappropriate scenes and language  that sometimes pop out of left field in a supposedly PG rated film.

Hollywood just can't help itself when making films intended for kids.

This isn't the case with John Schultz's “Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer” movie opening June 10th. This film is based on the beloved Judy Moody children's book series by Megan McDonald who also wrote the screenplay.


Megan McDonald, author of Judy Moody books and Judy Moody (Jordana Beatty). Phot S. Valle

NOT Bummer Summer is a safe film for children of any age (probably best for the under 10 crowd,  though), and is full of inspiring creativity and low-tech fun which might also spark the pre-teen set to create some unique old-school summer fun of their own.

Judy Moody is a spunky eight-year old determined to have the best summer ever.  On the last day of school, she plans a series of dares with her friends to carry out over the school break, and whoever accumulates 100 Thrill Points by the end of the summer wins!  But her BFFs unexpectedly leave for far off vacations and she's left with one friend and Stink, her younger brother, to carry out her meticulous plan via long-distance emails.

To make matters worse, her parents leave to help ailing grandpa in California, and the kids have to stay behind with Aunt Opal (Heather Graham) a modern-day version of a hippy.

Aunt Opal saves the summer with a trunk full of “Gorilla Art” and other out-of-box ideas for the kids to survive the inevitable spell of summer boredom.

Here's my daughters' take on the film:

                “If you want an eyeful of vivacious patterned summer clothes, animated ear to ear smiles, extremely out of the box summer activity ideas, almost effervescent giggles even if you might get enough of this already at home, the Judy Moody movie is one not to miss!

                This perfect summer flick is great inspiration to have a not so bummer summer yourself.

                Judy's main goal is to try and have a memorable summer with her best friends. To her dismay, she finds out that all her friends are going away during the vacation. Then it just so happens that Judy's parents are leaving too, and Judy and her brother will be taken care of by Aunt Opal, a free spirited, eccentric world traveler. It all turns out for the best in the end, but not without a few lessons learned and some fun adventures.

                There is nothing better than an  innocent, heartwarming film about summer. I really enjoyed all of the eye candy and elementary school humor it had to offer. It is a children's movie so you definitely get your fair share of bathroom jokes and too much sugary food.

                However, the moral of the film is one kids everywhere need to remember before diving into an over-the-top summer vacation: There is always fun to be had somewhere, even in your own neighborhood, you just have to look!”


Suzette Valle, Jordana Beatty (Judy Moody), and author Megan McDonald. Photo S. Valle

The film industry is always trying to lure all the members of a family to one film, but ultimately ends up  leaving the most innocent ones ducking behind their hands or plugging their ears to avoid the barrage of gratuitous content sometimes not even a Disney film can avoid doing to make a one-size-fits-all film.

“Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer” won't zing your unsuspecting tikes, but it just might ignite their imagination to create a not so bummer summer of their own!

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