Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012 film)

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Directed by David Bowers
Produced by Nina Jacobson
Brad Simpson
Screenplay by Wallace Wooladarsky
Maya Forbes
Based on The Last Straw & Dog Days
Narrated by Zachary Gordon
Music by Edward Shearmur
Cinematography Anthony B. Richmond
Editing by Troy Takai
Studio Dune Entertainment

Color Force

Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) Friday, August 3, 2012
Running time 94 minutes
Country United States and


Budget $22 million 

Box office


Preceded by

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

Succeeded by Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is the 3rd film in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film franchise. It is based on both the third book and the fourth book. The movie was released on Friday, August 3rd, 2012. It starred Zachary GordonDevon BostickRobert Capron, Peyton List, Karan Brar, Rachael Harris and Steve Zahn. This film was also the last film to feature the original actors, as many had outgrown their roles.


The film opens with the Heffley family arriving at the town's public pool. Greg, his father and Manny go to the bathroom. Greg tries to avoid the half naked men having showers right in the open stalls. Frank walks off and tells Greg to look after Manny. Then, Greg turns and sees that Manny is missing. Greg walks around the shower room trying to find Manny. Greg finds him and chases him to the toilets where Manny washes his hands in the urinal, thinking it's a sink. Greg leaves the shower room with Manny and goes to find his family at the pool. Greg starts playing video games on his PSP, but his parents tell him to get into the pool and swim.Lenwood Heath stops by the Heffleys' and explains to Frank Heffley about Spag Union. Greg finds out that Frank might be planning to send him there. Greg gets into the pool and Manny starts laughing as he's peeing himself, and then splashes. Greg in the face with water as he looks around and sees lots of other toddlers peeing in the pool.

Greg goes to school for his last day and gets forgets his history book at home and is forced to share one with Fregley. When work time is over everyone signs each other's yearbook. Greg asks Holly to sign hers and she does. He also asks her to write her phone number. The class bell rings and everyone runs out of school. Greg notices that Holly was in a rush and didn't write the last two numbers. Greg runs into the hall to try get Holly to finish her number but gets crushed in a crowd. Greg makes it out of school and sees Holly. When Greg asks to finish the number she tries to but Heather Hills arrives in her car and demands Holly to get in. Holly gets in and Rodrick flirts with Heather Hills. Heather Hills drives over Rodrick's foot and drives away. Greg becomes upset when Holly signs Rowley's yearbook saying he's "cute" and signing Greg's yearbook calling him a "friend".

On the first day of summer, Greg gets up early just in time before his dad is going off to work. After waiting for him to leave, Greg closes all the curtains, gets snacks and starts up a clock and begins playing video games on his Xbox 360. Greg's dad arrives and Greg jumps into the sprinklers and gets a football then tells his dad he was playing sports. As Greg's dad turns on the TV, he sees that Greg forgot to turn off his console and he finds out he was playing video games. He unplugs the TV before heading for the basement, but is stopped by Greg's mom. She tells him he needs to spend more time with Greg stating that they need to bond. Greg's dad tries to bond with Greg by going fishing. Greg puts an end to the fishing by throwing bait in the water. Next they go to a civil war reenactment where Greg blows a trumpet at the wrong time and Greg runs away as people with guns that shoots blanks are chasing him.

Rowley invites Greg to go to the country club and comes along with him, preferring to go there instead of being in his mom's Reading Is Fun! Club. Greg finds out that the country club is not as crowded as the public pool and begins to like it. Greg finds out that Holly Hills gives her tennis lessons and sets up a game with her the next day. Frank signs up Greg for an internship at his office, but Greg lies, stating that he got a job at the country club, which Greg's dad becomes really happy, saying that Greg actually did something.

The next day, Greg and Rowley meet up with Holly for the tennis match. Greg finds out that Patty is there too. Greg and Rowley get hit by Patty many times with tennis balls in the genitals and make it totally obvious they know nothing about tennis and that they have only played Ultimate Tennis on the Wii. Holly is flattered that they tried to impress her and offers to help them with become better and Holly teaches Greg personally.

The Heffleys go to a fourth of July party at the Warrens' house where Rodrick tells Greg about his suspicions about him having a job, intimidating Greg, causing him to admit to Rodrick that he doesn't have a job at the country club to hang out with Holly. Rodrick sees this as an opportunity to see Heather Hills and blackmails Greg into sneak him into the country club.

Later on, Frank Heffley does what Warren suggested and gets a dog for the family. Manny names the dog Sweetie and Susan and Frank agree on it. Greg explains how he always wanted a dog, but has second thoughts as he has to pick up dog poop, deal with Sweetie sleeping on his bed, and the fact that Sweetie constantly jumps on him and stealing his food.

Greg sneaks Rodrick into the country club the next day, and Rodrick begins to order tons of food on the Jeffersons' bill. Rodrick comes up with a plan to get Heather's attention by pretending to drown, but while he's pretending, Heather is arguing with a little girl and doesn't even notice Rodrick. A bald guy sees Rodrick drowning and comes to him and gives him mouth to mouth as Rodrick cries in disgust. After Rodrick's horrible event, Rowley invites Greg to come to the beach with him and his family. Rodrick tells them that they should head down to the boardwalk and ride the Cranium Shaker while they're there. The next day, Frank enrolls Greg into the Wilderness Explorers making Greg believe he will be sent to Spag Union.

Greg is about to leave with Rowley to the beach and his parents give him a phone before he goes. But the phone is a ladybug phone which only contacts home and the police. They stay at the house and play "I Love You Because.." before heading to the boardwalk. They got to the boardwalk and Greg and Rowley wait for the Cranium Shaker's line to decrease and go on other rides and games. The Cranium Shaker eventually opens and Greg and Rowley overhear a story of a guy who went on the ride making Greg and Rowley scared. They survive and Rowley's parents say they've been looking for them and are disappointed with him. In the middle of the night, Greg gets on Mr. Jefferson's computer and sends an email to his mother, but accidentally sends it to everyone on his contact list. The next morning Mr. Jefferson has over 949 emails and Greg calls 911 by accident while trying to call home. While coming downstairs, the police come and tackle Mr. Jefferson for having a knife in his hand, thinking he hurt someone. Greg is then sent home early and Frank thinks hat Rowley is a bad influence because Greg always gets in trouble around him.

Greg calls Rowley to ask if he's going to country club and Rowley says he isn't. Greg sneaks himself in like he sneaked Rodrick in. Greg finds out that Rowley did come to the club and lied to him, saying his parents say he can't invite Greg to come to the club with him anymore. Greg and Rowley make up and he runs into Holly and Heather. Heather says that her DJ for her Sweet 16 party cancelled and has no music. Greg says that him and Rowley are roadies for Rodrick's band Loded Diper and asks if they could perform at her party. Heather has no choice but to accept it and Rodrick is thrilled that he gets to perform at Heather Hills' party.

Greg's dad decides to take Greg to "work" the next day. Greg gets dropped off and heads inside where an infuriated Mr. Jefferson is with a bill of $260 worth of smoothies. Greg's dad comes in to drop off his sunscreen and Mr. Jefferson tells Frank about the bill and Greg's dad finds out Greg doesn't have a job after all. Greg's dad pays for the bill himself and Greg is in the car with dad waiting for him to yell at him. Greg's dad says he's just disappointed and isn't going to yell at him. Later on, Rodrick finds a Spag Union DVD package in the mail and they watch it. Rodrick tells Greg that his last chance is to go on the Wilderness Weekend to prove to Frank he doesn't needs to go to Spag Union.

Greg goes on Wilderness Weekend with Rowley, Fregley and Chirag. Frank is still upset with Greg and they silently ride the bus to the campsite without talking to each other. They are driven away from the campsite by Stan Warren and his troop. Greg's troop is sent over by the latrines and they tell ghost stories. Fregley tells a story about the Muddy Hand and a paranoid Greg accidentally bangs Frank's hand with a mallet. Greg, Rowley, Fregley and Chirag overhear the Warrens making fun of Frank Heffley and his troop. The boys angrily devise a plan to get back a Stan Warren. They plan to make a web and cover it in honey, get ants to put in the Warrens' sleeping bags and they'll be chased off into the web and trapped. Greg goes into the tent to plant the ants and discovers that the Warrens' have a whole bunch of technology with them and aren't really camping. As Stan is coming back, Greg hides but the ants get lose and crawl all over him. Greg ruins the Warrens' tent and sets it on fire. Greg takes his own blame and Frank finds all of the equipment and technology they were using and calls Stan a phony and Stan falls into the trap and is chased by bees and a bear. Frank takes Greg to a motel where he admits to hating camping. Frank tells Greg that he's proud of him and won't send him to Spag Union.

As summer is close to it's end, several days later, Loded Diper goes to Heather's Sweet 16 birthday party along with Greg and Rowley as roadies. Everything at the party is very fancy as there is a chocolate fountain, an ice sculpture of Heather and men in tuxes and women in dresses. Rodrick tells his band that he needs to make a love connection with Heather and tells Ben to play drums while he sings lead vocals. They perform a rock version of Justin Bieber's "Baby" trying to impress Heather. When they go hardcore, the crowd watches in shock and Heather reacts in dismay. When Rodrick attempts to hold her hand, Heather resists in disgust. Rodrick sings the chorus again wildly, accidentally knocking down the ice sculpture. Heather attempts to hit Rodrick but he dodges and she instead hits the chocolate fountain which sprays all of the guests, ruining the party. Greg apologizes to Holly, but Holly is happy saying that Heather wants people to remember her Sweet Sixteen, and they will. Holly holds Greg's hand and they happily smile at each other, becoming a couple.

Greg states that summer was not how he planned it to be, but everything turned out fine for him. Greg, Rowley and Holly swim at the municipal pool together, with Greg's family. Greg says that things between him and Frank will be okay and says that they are good at working together, with Greg saying it was the best summer ever. After the movie ends, an animated credits are shown, with some animated scenes of Greg.

Major Cast

Critical reception

  • The film has received mixed reviews. It holds 51% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the general consensus stating "Overly familiar and a bit too reliant on slapstick, the sitcom-like Dog Days fails to improve upon previous installments and will likely appeal to few outside its target audience." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 54/100, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Abby West of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+ and wrote "Though often self-centered and conniving, Greg remains a likable kid, and the movie entertains by pulling off over-the-top scenarios that set up digestible life lessons for youngsters."

Differences Between The Books And The Film

  • Coach Malone is a minor character in the film. When Malone is talking on the phone while Greg and Rowley are trying to get the right phone number of Holly Hills and accidentally call him, he doesn't know Greg when he answers the phone. Probably because he didn't recognize him.
  • In the film, Spag Unionis a prep school, while in The Last Straw, it is a military academy.
  • Chirag Gupta appears in the movie, while he is not featured in Dog Days (book).
  • In the book, the Hills family isn't shown to be members at the Country Club.
  • The Reading Is Fun Club had various people in the book, but it had only 3 in the movie.
  • The Warrens are only briefly mentioned and briefly appeared in The Last Straw, but in the movie, Stan Warren is one of the main antagonists.
  • Heather has more personality in the movie and has a bigger role.
  • Greg and Holly are implied to be a real couple at the end of the movie, but Holly is barely mentioned after The Last Straw. In fact, when the Hills are mentioned in the books, Heather is the one Greg's attracted to.
  • Greg never goes to the Country Club after being banned by Mr. Jefferson, but in the movie he isn't directly banned and later sneaks in afterwards.
  • In the book Dog Days, Frank Heffley is nearly arrested, but in this movie, Robert Jefferson is the one who almost gets arrested.
  • In the book, the Muddy Hand is in Hello, You're Dead, which is a scary movie, but here it was in a camp fire story told by Fregley.
  • Greg doesn't have a crush on Heather in the movie, but he continues his crush on Holly. However, in the animated credits, Greg is trying to show and flex his muscles in front of Heather and her friend.
  • In the movie, Greg smashes his father's hand with a mallet once, but in the book, Rowley smashes Greg's hand with a mallet more than once.
  • Lenwood Heath was a lifeguard at the community pool in the movie, but in The Last Straw he had a job as a movie theater usher.
  • In the book, Frank gives Sweetie to Gramma in the end, but in the movie, Sweetie is still with the Heffleys till the end of the movie and it is unknown if they gave Sweetie away or not.
  • Patty Farrell is included while in the book she was not heard of since The Last Straw.
  • Greg went to the Cranuim Shaker with Rowley but in the book he went alone. And Rowley bought a shirt that says "I Survived the Cranium Shaker" in the book but he didn't in the film. The ride also looks different in the film than in the book.
  • In the book Susan came up with the name Sweetie for the dog. But in the film Manny suggested the name and didn't suggest animal names. And Rodrick didn't suggest Turtle (only so they could call him Turd) or any names for the dog.
  • In the film Susie finds Manny's blanket Tingy in the trash can that Frank accidentally threw away it and retrieves it. But in the book it is thrown away and never found again, causing Manny to take on his anger on everyone.
  • Sweetie is a major character in the book, but only appears in a few scenes in the film.
  • In the book Greg was kicked out of the country club early on in the story, forcing him to go to the community pool, but in the film Greg is kicked out of the country club during the near end of the movie.
  • In the book after the events of The Last Straw, Greg gives up on Holly Hills and moves on to other girls. In the film Greg still has feelings for Holly and hasn't moved on to other girls.
  • The smoothies bill was $83.00 in the book, but $216.00 in the film. Also, in the book, Susan confiscates Greg's birthday money to pay off the bill, while Frank is forced to pay himself in the movie.
  • In the book, it's Greg's mom who wants him to spend summer outside more, but in the film, it's his dad.


  • While the movie received mixed reviews from critics, many fans consider this and Rodrick Rules to be much better than the first film, and received more positive reviews from the fans than the first film.
  • This movie is The Last Straw and Dog Days combined into one story.
  • There is also a movie diary, too, which is basically an expansion to the original movie diary, like Rodrick Rules.

Release Dates

Country Date
Canada August 3, 2012
      August 3, 2012
      August 3, 2012
United Kingdom August 3, 2012
U.S.A August 3, 2012
Philipines August 15, 2012
Singapore August 30, 2012
Turkey August 31, 2012
Australia September 20, 2012
Germany September 20, 2012
New Zealand September 27, 2012
Spain September 28, 2012
Poland October 19, 2012
France October 24, 2012
Brazil November 2, 2012
Hungary December 12, 2012 (premiered with DVD)
Taiwan December 14, 2012 (premiered with DVD)


March 20, 2013 (premiered with DVD)


In an interview, Devon Bostick (Rodrick Heffley) said that The Last Straw could be in the works and is "90% sure it will happen" depending on the success of Rodrick Rules.[4] here is one photo that Gordon posted on his Facebook page showing, himself (Zachary Gordon), Robert Capron (Rowley Jefferson), Peyton Roi List (Holly Hills) and Laine MacNeil (Patty Farrell), together on set.

Zachary Gordon wore a tight fitting "skin colored bathing suit" (presumably moleskin) covering his genitals when he acted out the inconsequential scene of Greg's unintentional skinny dipping into the country club pool, to which his bathing suit is snagged on the corner edges of the high dive and slips out of it (off camera) while jumping off the board. However, after the take that was used in the finished film, Gordon admitted in an interview with WJTV that it felt embarrassing to wear, even though he signed autographs to the nearby fans and onlookers.


  • At Heather Hills' Sweet 16 party, during LD's performance, Heather Hills swings at Rodrick with his mic stand, missing him, but in turn knocks her chocolate fountain over & away from her. In the next shot, she's seen standing next to Madison on the opposite side of the fountain, without the mic stand, & the chocolate fountain has been splattered onto her somehow.
  • When Frank Heffley tells Greg to keep an eye on Manny, the captions say "Watch Manny."
  • When Greg is walking with Rowley at the beginning, his legs disappear as they are walking.
  • When Susan is telling Frank about Manny's lost Tingy, Frank replies with "I'm sure it'll turn up" while facing forward talking to Susan. In the next shot, Susan is behind him finding the Tingy.
  • When Rodrick hands Greg the remote control for the pyrotechnics at Heather Hills' birthday party, he is wearing a sleeveless shirt. In the next shot, he is wearing an over-shirt which he takes off to reveal the sleeveless shirt.
  • The hand on the spinner constantly changes places throughout the scene in which Greg and Rowley's family play a board game.
  • When Rodrick is singing a song for Heather's Sweet 16, and Rodrick hits the ice sculpture, a lighting crew is seen on top of a table in the background.
  • When the Cranium shaker moves upwards, we see some mountain scenery and movie studio buildings below, and not the usual boardwalk scenery where the movie should take place.
  • The characters played by Joshua J. Ballard and Matt Mazur are swapped in the end credits. In fact Ballard was Spag Union Tracking Device Boy and Mazur was Spag Union Math Boy.
  • When Frank Heffley checks his watch and says that he's late for work, he actually looks at his left arm, which doesn't have a watch on it. However, this was deliberate and not a mistake, as Frank needed an excuse to leave and so didn't actually bother to check the time properly.
  • Although the movie is set during the summer holidays, fall foliage is clearly visible throughout the film.
  • At the end, at Heather Hills' "Sweet 16," Rodrick sings. After Rodrick sings his song, Heather gets angry and swings one of the microphone stands towards Rodrick, who ducks so Heather hits the chocolate fountain. In the next shot, Heather is hit by the chocolate fountain and the microphone stand disappears.


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