Story

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer follows a third-grader, Judy Moody (Jordana Beatty), and her adventures during what she hopes will be a fun-filled summer holiday. The movie is based on Megan McDonald’s children’s book of the same name.

Judy has the holidays planned out on a poster of exciting activities, with ‘thrill points’ attached. She and her friends will try to be the first to reach 100 points. To Judy’s great disappointment, she discovers that two of her best friends are going to be away. To make the holidays even more disappointing, her parents don’t take her to California when they have to go to help her grandparents.

Judy and her younger brother, ‘Stink’ (Parris Mosteller), are left in the care of their well-travelled and carefree Aunt Opal (Heather Graham). Judy’s summer turns out to be very different from what she planned.

Themes

Separation from a parent; family relationships

Violence

This movie contains frequent slapstick violence and accidental harm. For example:

  • Children fall and trip, and cars crash into things. No-one is hurt.
  • A woman drives wildly through the front yards of houses. One of the yards has an inflatable jumping toy with a child in it.
  • A car almost hits children riding their bikes.
  • As part of a circus act, a girl is sawn in half.
  • A brother and sister fight, pushing and shouting at each other.
  • A girl is accidentally pushed out of a bunk bed. She falls to the ground but isn’t hurt.
  • A girl says she will ‘kill’ another girl if a frog falls on her face.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five. For example:

  • The movie has videos and photos of the yeti ‘Bigfoot’ throughout.
  • A girl and her brother are walking in a dark, wooded area in the middle of the night when an opossum falls on her head.
  • Judy and her friend go to see a horror movie that features zombies, one with an eye hanging out and another missing a hand. The movie scares the girls so much that they throw their popcorn into the air and run out of the cinema screaming. 

From 5-8

Younger children in this age group might also be scared by some of the scenes mentioned above. 

From 8-13

Nothing of concern 

Over 13

Nothing of concern 

Sexual references

This movie has some very mild sexual references. For example, a boy teases his sister by singing ‘k-i-s-s-i-n-g’ to her and her male friend. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern 

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie has some partial nudity. For example:

  • Aunt Opal wears tight, short skirts and a low-cut top that shows her cleavage.
  • A girl sits in the bath covered in bubbles. 

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Dyson vacuum cleaners, Apple computers, Toyota Prius, Google, Crayola crayons and pencils, and Sony. 

Coarse language

This movie has some mild coarse language and put-downs. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer is an entertaining movie targeting a pre-adolescent audience. It’s filled with toilet humour and silly jokes. Judy’s adventures on her summer holidays allow her to realise that she doesn’t need to be the centre of attention to have fun.

The main messages from this movie are about enjoying family time and being tolerant of your brothers and sisters. For example, Judy tries hard to avoid her brother but when she gets involved in his interests, she has fun and earns her ‘thrill points’ with the help of her aunt. The movie’s also about making the most of what life throws up at you. For example, Judy ends up having a unique and fun summer, even though it’s not what she planned.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include the importance of family relationships, friendship and forgiveness. You could also reinforce how important it is to find fun in simple things. For example, despite Judy’s careful plans, she ends up having the most fun spending time with her brother and aunt.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as the following:

  • Dangerous driving: Aunt Opal hasn’t driven for over 10 years but takes Judy and her brother in the car. Her erratic driving could have resulted in injury.
  • Managing anger: when Judy gets frustrated, she usually goes to her room, lies on her bed and screams, sometimes kicking her legs. You could talk about other ways that Judy could let out her anger.
  • Dealing with failure: Judy feels that her quest for ‘thrill points’ has failed, but you could talk about more positive ways of looking at her experiences.