Sunday, April 29, 2012

I Really Dig “Small Potatoes” by Josh Selig

Television We Love
Small Potatoes is the new short-form series from Josh Selig and Little Airplane Productions. Selig is the creator of the clever children’s series Wonder Pets and 3rd and Bird. Episodes of Small Potatoes appear throughout the day between regularly scheduled programs on Disney Junior in lieu of commercials. At just under four minutes each, they’re a perfect little opportunity to make a quick point, but this ambitious series does it with style and high production values.

That’s not to say the series is lavishly produced. Selig and Little Airplane Productions are the masters of a relatively simple form of animation known as photo-puppetry that uses the manipulation of photographs to create the animated characters and world. The value comes in the witty scripts, each featuring an original song that riffs on a well-known pop or classical piece of music. Then child actors do a little riffing of their own, offering their personal take on the subject of the episode in charmingly improvised dialogue.

An episode I particularly love is on the topic of imagination (appropriately enough) and can be seen in its entirety here:

And if you live in the New York City area, you can tour the Small Potatoes Animation Factory located at South Street Seaport. According to the Little Airplane website, “The Small Potatoes Animation Factory Tour runs weekdays at 11:00 am and 4:00 pm. Reservations are required.” Sounds pretty great to me!

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