Meet the Small Potatoes
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Meet the Small Potatoes centers on the musical stars of a British animated short series and features a mix of existing and brand-new songs throughout the biographical tale of the group's success. While the show's target audience is preschoolers, this movie's mockumentary style is more entertaining for grown-ups who will pick up on the parodies of more serious rockumentaries and the woes of the celebrity spuds. The content is appropriate for viewers of all ages, and parents can use the characters' sometimes precarious friendships to discuss interpersonal relationships with kids. Because the characters have a strong online presence in videos as well as a website where fans can create potato avatars using their own photo images, kids may ask to explore these venues after coming to love the singing stars.
What's the story?
MEET THE SMALL POTATOES is a feature-length movie that chronicles the rise, fall, and eventual reunion of the famed band of singing tubers: Ruby, Olaf, Nate, and Chip. The story compiles fan accounts, concert clips, and interviews with the Potatoes and their band manager, Lester Koop (voiced by Malcolm McDowell), to piece together a chronology of the musicians' journey from a nondescript Idaho farm to some of the world's biggest stages. Along the way, fans learn how periodic musical styles and clashes among the band members gave rise to some of their most recognizable songs.
Is it any good?
These misshapen brown singing stars have won over fans of all ages with their insightful songs and big imaginations that reflect their unique ways of looking at the world. In contrast, though, Meet the Small Potatoes clearly is written with the characters' older fans in mind, leaning on a clever mockumentary style (think Spinal Tap, but with food products) that younger kids just won't get. A power coup from the band's diva, the manager's attempts to get one of the Potatoes off the starch and on a protein diet, a nationwide bus tour with disastrous results, the band's pilgrimage to India for reflection and meditation -- these hilarious plot points put the exclamation point on the movie's comedy, but they're lost on kids with no experience in the nature of pop culture or celebrity status.
Of course, if your kids' affection of the Small Potatoes matches your own, there's still plenty to like in this, the spuds' first movie. They'll get to see how the characters' life journeys influenced the music they write, and they'll hear both popular and brand-new musical numbers throughout. One-on-one interviews with the singers let kids better glimpse their individual personalities, and there's also a lot of humor that doesn't require an adult's discerning eye to spot. Plus, with a little help from you, kids can draw comparisons between the band members' squabbles and reconciliation and issues they have with their own siblings or friends. For older kids, the movie can provide an intriguing look at how we embrace celebrity status and how the pressures can affect those stars.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about how the characters overcome their differences. What issues create a problem for the band? How does each member respond to the discord? Do real-life friends experience problems like these?
How has the Internet changed the nature of celebrities? Is it easier to become famous because of websites like YouTube? Is this a good thing?
Kids: How do the Small Potatoes choose topics for their songs? How do their different musical styles enhance their songs? What subject would you choose for a song?
What inanimate objects do you like to imagine are real? How and where would they live? What activities would they enjoy?