Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a series of fiction books written by the American author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney. All the main books are about a middle-school weakling named Greg Heffley, who writes about his personal life. Befitting a teen's diary, the books are filled with simple drawings of Greg's daily adventures. Since the release of the online version in May 2004, most of the books have garnered positive reviews and commercial success.
The first Diary of a Wimpy Kid novel was published on April 1st, 2007. To date, fifteen Wimpy Kid books have been released, plus one do-it-yourself book, two movie diaries, and two spin-offs titled Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal and Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure. In April 2009, TIME named Kinney one of The World's Most Influential People. Since the release of the online version in May 2004, most of the books have garnered positive reviews and commercial success. As of 2020, more than 250 million copies have been sold globally.
History with the Macy's Parade
Diary of a Wimpy Kid was first represented in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2010, when the series' main character, Greg Heffley, took flight as a giant helium balloon. Measuring in at 56 feet tall, 60 feet long and 25 feet wide, the 280 pound balloon cartoon required 90 handlers to be guided through the streets of New York City. The balloon's design features a not-so-wimpy Greg Heffley with the series' signature black-and-white color scheme, as he clutches his journal as he makes his way through the canyons and skyscrapers of New York City.
"I'm incredibly excited that Diary of a Wimpy Kid has been chosen to be a part of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," said Jeff Kinney. "When I think of all the iconic characters that have flown in years past, I feel humbled and honored that my character will be a part of the Parade's history". The balloon was created in part to promote the then-upcoming book in the series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Ugly Truth, in addition to the release of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules film.
Coinciding with the debut of the balloon, Abrams Children's Publishing sponsored a sweepstakes that would give Wimpy Kid fans a chance to see the 2010 Parade live. The winning entry would receive an airfare for four people, a hotel room for two nights, and VIP grandstand tickets to watch the Parade make its way down the Parade route. Kinney would later go on to assist in handling the original Greg Heffley balloon in 2012.
The original Greg Heffley balloon was retired after the 2015 procession, making six appearances in total.
In 2016, a new Greg Heffley balloon debuted in the form of a brand-new giant balloon. Transformed to more closely resemble Greg’s colorful new look as illustrated in the latest Diary of A Wimpy Kid books, the Greg Heffley balloon prepares for the winter decked out in red snow boots, blue puffer coat, red ear muffs and a green and yellow striped scarf. While he may be bundled up for the Thanksgiving Day weather, the second Greg Heffley balloon features Greg clumsily taking a tumble down the route with his arm outstretched to break his fall, having slipped on an icy surface with his nose buried in his Diary.
Commenting on the colorful and energetic new balloon design Jeff Kinney, author and illustrator said, “As a creator, this will be a huge day because I started with a pencil sketch and we tried lots of different ideas. For the new balloon, we wanted to do something really different and dramatic.” The second Greg Heffley balloon meausures much larger than his predecessor, at 62-feet long, 32-feet wide and is 62-feet tall. Kinney added, “It’s extremely exhilarating to see it come to life.”
Kinney would once again be a balloon handler during the balloon's debut appearance in 2016 and later in 2019.
The second Diary of a Wimpy Kid balloon is currently scheduled to appear in the re-imagined 2020 Parade, now being guided by five utility vehicles to minimize the number of Parade participants.
Listed below are the music tracks that played in the background of the balloon's appearances during the NBC telecasts.
- "Diary of a Wimpy Kid Theme", composed by Theodore Shapiro (2010-2013)