“Meet the Small Potatoes” is not for anybody: Kids' Movie Review
Available on Netflix
For my second kids’ movie review, I was exposed to “Meet the Small Potatoes.” This film is a pseudo-rockumentary that follows the life and times of “The Small Potatoes”… who happen to be potatoes.
At this point, it should be noted that I am instituting a new rule for these reviews. When my kid is done with the movie, so am I. Not only do I refuse to watch these things if even she won’t, but I also think it is a pretty good measure of film failure if its target audience can’t bare the whole thing. Thus, as part of the rating process, I will include the length of time the movie was actually watched by my child.
It was family movie night. My wife was desperately trying to pick something mutually watchable. Before she could, my three year old daughter seized the remote. The scene quickly devolved into a micro-level power struggle. In order to end the madness, and avoid watching an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine, we would up with “Meet the Small Potatoes.”
“Meet the Small Potatoes” is a series of music videos interspersed with rockumentary style interviews with animated potatoes. While a ridiculous premise, it could have worked for a kids’ movie. The movie is visually appealing. Cute animation is mixed with clips of live stock footage. Imagine someone made a documentary on the lives of the Chicken McNuggets.
The music videos weren’t bad; they were enjoyable for what they were. Additionally, there was no major racism/sexism/etc. As a sociologist, this means a lot to me, and my bar is rather high. (I have a history of explaining to people why their favorite Disney classics are racist pieces of junk).
Is it too much to expect character development in a kids’ movie? What about characters at all? Yes, this movie follows “The Small Potatoes,” but I would be shocked if the most astute of children could name one of them at the end of this thing. “Well, how many characters are in the band?” you may ask. Well, I have no idea. My best guess was that there were at least 20 people (potatoes) in the group including background singers and the rest of the ensemble.
But, honestly, character development can be excused in a kids movie. There are other things that can’t be excused. There are other things that are the result of writers complete disregard for children. One of those things are references that kids have no hope of getting. The movie goes on for 20 minutes on how the characters only want to get from London to New York; my kid doesn’t understand that there are cities outside of the one we live in. It also states that one of the Small Potatoes is the next George Harrison; I would bet most college students would guess George Harrison was a President. You can say “well, those jokes are for parents.” Well, I grew up listening to Green Day and Pearl Jam, so what I suspect were Beatles and doo-wop references were lost on me. The only way I was able to piece together that they were even references was that I have an inhuman capacity for trivia and somehow know things that do not match my age.
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When it comes down to it, it is really unclear who this movie is for. It certainly isn’t for kids. If it were for kids, it would just be all songs. It isn’t for their parents, if it were, there would be at least some lazy Monty Python references. This movie is for Stoners, but not young stoners. Classic stoners, that like the Beatles, and can’t figure out how to use the search function on Netflix to find something they would actually enjoy.
In short, this is a good movie to watch while you eat prunes and smoke your evening joint.
Rating: 2/4 stars: This movie sort of works. It would be good to be in the background as long as you have something else to concentrate on, are a huge Beatles fan, are stoned, or any combination of the above.
Length of Time the Kid Watched: 28:00/48:00 minutes until she turned it off to watch Bo on the Go
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Jeremy is a stay-at-home dad and sociology instructor. I also write kids’ movie reviews on Medium and conduct a bit of my own sociological research. If you would like to learn more about his other projects, check out his website: www.ProfJeremyBaker.com