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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
In contrast to the short series, this movie intends to entertain rather than to explore a preschoolers' sense of wonder about the world. The story centers on the band's evolution through struggles and triumphs, so there are some messages about following through on commitments and setting aside personal differences for the good of a team.
Viewers see band members weather the storms of fame, infighting, and eventual reconciliation. The show's parodying style pokes subtle fun at society's infatuation with celebrities and the icons' self-images, but it's all in good fun and not at anyone's expense, since the characters are animated potatoes. The lone female spud's selfish attitude is a deciding factor in the band's demise, but eventually she sees the error of her ways.
Positive Role Models
The band members let their personal differences influence their relationships and eventually break up the group, much to the disappointment of their fans and, in most cases, themselves. Ultimately they reach common ground, though, and return to making music that reflects their similarities and differences.
Ruby tells Nate, "I hate you!" during an argument.
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Products & Purchases
The movie centers on characters from an animated short available on TV and online. There are also web tie-ins with parodied social media sites "You Tuber" and a video chat room. In real life, the characters have a popular Facebook page and a spot on Disney's website that allows fans to submit pictures of themselves and receive a potato avatar with their own characteristics, some of which were used in the movie.
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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.