Meet the Small Potatoes

  • Review Date: February 15, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 115 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Singing spuds' mockumentary is funny for kids and grown-ups.
  • Review Date: February 15, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 115 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

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.

Positive messages

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. 

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

Ruby tells Nate, "I hate you!" during an argument.

Consumerism

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.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk about...

  • 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?

Movie details

DVD release date:July 30, 2013
Cast:Malcolm McDowell, Morgan Hartley, Pablo Cano Carciofa
Director:Josh Selig
Studio:Universal Studios
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Friendship, Music and sing-along
Run time:115 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Meet the Small Potatoes was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byColleenR February 21, 2013
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Amazing!

This show is great- it exposes children to different musical genres in each episode and incorporates positive messages. The songs are catchy and enjoyable to sing along with.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byMegan M. March 11, 2013
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Love it and I'm 13!

I am 13 and I still watch this show. I simply adore the music and the cute potato characters. The reason why I gave it 4 stars was because right towards the middle of the movie one of the potatoes cussed. ( At least it's censored.) Other than that one flaw, I am quite happy with the Small Potatoes.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent Written byKellyRosie February 21, 2013
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

Small Potatoes, we love you!

We loved this movie! Finally, something artistically different in children's entertainment. Creativity shines in this campy, imaginative journey from the potato fields to the big city. Singing musical interludes are visually delightful and speak to the heart. The Small Potatoes are just adorable. I couldn't wait for the commercials to be over so we could get back to the movie!

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