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'Christmas Story' a model for 'Wimpy Kid'

Jeff Kinney had a clear template when it came time to adapt his wildly successful "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" children's books to the big screen.

"I went right to 'A Christmas Story,' " says the author, citing the 1983 film based on the stories of humorist Jean Shepherd.

"In most kids' movies, the stakes are very high," Kinney said. "The world is going to end, or somebody is going to die or something awful is going to happen unless the characters do such and such.

"In this movie, the stakes are incredibly low. There are two friends who break up, and you want them to become friends again. In 'A Christmas Story,' the stakes were perhaps even lower. A kid wants a BB gun.

"We kept reminding ourselves when we were working on the film that you can tell a good story even on the big screen with really low stakes as long as the emotional part of it works."

- Philadelphia Inquirer


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