Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (Blu-ray)
The character Judy Moody was based on creator Megan McDonald’s childhood adventures with her sisters. After winning numerous children’s book awards and landing a spot on the New York Times Best Sellers List, Reel FX Creative Studios were itching to cast the perfect third grader for the role of Judy…right down to the signature red curl on the top of her head.
JUDY MOODY AND THE NOT BUMMER SUMMER is an adventure surrounding the imagination and infectious energy of our star Judy Moody (Jordana Beatty). Judy is determined that this summer will be the best months of her life and she’s excited to include her three best friends in her plans. She’s created a “thrill chart” that lists things to do that can earn the participate “thrill points.” The friend with the most points at the end of the summer will be deemed WINNER.
To Judy’s dismay, two of her friends already have summer plans. She’s left with dorky Frank, her kid brother Stink (Parris Mosteller) and the promise of absolutely zero opportunities for thrill points in the upcoming months. To make matters worse, her parents have an emergency and leave her and Stink in the capable yet quirky hands of Aunt Opal (Heather Graham). Although she fails repeatedly earning thrill points, she eventually learns the lesson that sometimes just living life is about as thrilling as an almost fourth grader needs.
Trying to channel my inner elementary Lincee is typically not a hard feat to accomplish. I’m totally cool with the typical Disney tween movies that showcase a new “it” girl or a animation that was created for the minds and enjoyment of those still in diapers. However, while watching JUDY MOODY AND THE NOT BUMMER SUMMER, I struggled to unleash my inner kid and embrace the Judy Moody world. Maybe it was because I have never read one of the books. Or maybe it’s because I’m actually not 10 years old. Whatever the case, I thought the film was just mediocre. This coming from someone who owns HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL.
I think the character of Judy is darling. Her mis-matched clothes and total sense of independence is inspiring for young girls. And although I thought she was darling, I think Beatty completely over acted in this role. Her incessant facial exaggeration of every scene became a little annoying to this adult. Will young kids relate? That’s the big question.
Graham is an actress who typically bugs me in feature films. With that said, her quirkiness works in this movie. The audience is led to conclude that Aunt Opal’s whimsical ways and free spirit are comparative to what an older Judy Moody may look like. I was pleasantly surprised by how Graham was utilized so well.
Her brother Stink’s infatuation with capturing the legendary Big Foot was the highlight of the show. Mosteller’s adorable lisp coupled with the fact that he spent the majority of the time dressed as a berry bush in order to lure the elusive man monkey into his back yard was a fun storyline. I would love to see a movie that revolves around just him and his Big Foot hunting hijinks.
JUDY MOODY AND THE NOT SO BUMMER SUMMER is an energetic film that focuses on what elementary aged kids love: playing, puke and toad pee. If you’re not into that, then this movie is probably not for you.
Video: 50GB Dual Layer: According to the bonus features, the production department copied the books exactly. The movie is extremely colorful and whimsical. Judy’s room is bright, fun and everything a young girl would dream of having.
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1: Kids scream. There were lots of kids in this movie. Ergo…lots of screaming.
Join the Toad Pee Club (2:00 minutes): Participants must answer 10 questions from the movie. If you get the majority of them right, you are inducted into the Toad Pee Club. I’m happy (sad?) to report that I am now an official member.
Judy Moody’s Guide To Making a Movie (23:32): I always find behind the scenes clips interesting. This feature talks about how hard it was to find the perfect Judy and how the director and the producer stopped at nothing to achieve this goal. In the end, creator Megan McDonald found Beatty. Fun tip…she’s Australian! They talked about how hard she worked to get rid of her accent. Also, her hair was cut eight inches for the role. The costume department used the leftover hair to make her signature curl.
Flippin Out with the Cast (3:00): Each of the kids were given a Flip cam on set. Think BLAIR WITCH shakiness with little kid topics.
Camryn’s “Wait and See” Music Video (3:35): The latest Disney tween to come out with a music video.
10 Things You Need to Know About Judy Moody (5:40): This gives a background of Judy as a character. Some of the numbers talk about when the movie comes out and how much it made (or didn’t) at the box office. Most of the information you could get from the movie or the behind the scenes feature.
Deleted and Alternate Scenes: Last Day of School, Smashing Stuff: Between the two deleted scenes, they were less than a minute long. Definitely not worth worrying about.