Small Potatoes Animation Factory Tour for NYC Kids: See How the Disney Junior Show is Made
Even though we try to expose our children to everything New York City has to offer, from theater to museums to music, the fact is kids—even our little urban sophisticates—love to stay home and watch television. My four-year-old is kind of obsessed with TV, especially Small Potatoes on Disney Junior. So when I heard about the behind-the-scenes Small Potatoes Animation Factory Tour down at the South Street Seaport, I couldn’t resist taking him. Not only would it pry him away from the screen, it's one of those cool cultural activities you can only do in New York City.
Small Potatoes is made at Little Airplane Productions, Inc., the company behind a bunch of really popular animated series for preschoolers like The Wonder Pets!, 3rd and Bird and Oobi!. On The Small Potatoes Animation Factory Tour, the series' young fans learn how the show is made and even get to see themselves as spuds.
My son was immediately smitten with Alex, our “Air Traffic Controller," (a.k.a. tour guide). After a brief video about the company and its series, Alex showed off some props from The Wonder Pets! and Oobi!.
We moved on to the second floor where we met the creative team and learned how a show goes from an idea to a script to an animated series. Alex asked the kids to come up with an idea for an episode and one of the animators did a storyboard of their concept on the spot. The kids even got a chance to do a little acting by recording their voices in the audio room and watching as their dialog was synced to Small Potatoes characters. It was a real thrill for my son to see the spuds sing in his voice!
In the grand finale, the stars of Small Potatoes give a "live" performance in a little red barn thanks to a 3-D holographic projection. It was definitely the highlight of the tour for my son. He also loved seeing himself (and my husband) transformed into Small Potatoes. All we had to do was submit a family photo to the Small Potatoes Facebook page. It’s a fantastic, holiday-card-worthy memento that got a good laugh from my son. Warning: You exit through the gift shop, which is stocked with books and toys, so expect begging.
The tour only takes about 45 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to explore the rest of South Street Seaport, including the awesome Imagination Playground and the recently reopened South Street Seaport Museum.
The Small Potatoes Animation Factory Tour takes place on weekdays at 11am and 4pm at Little Airplane Productions, Inc., 207 Front Street near Beekman Street. Best for children ages 4 and up. $10. Reservations are required: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-965-8999.
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