Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles (2023)

Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles (2023)

A warm and loving, if conventional, tribute to the longevity of these musical performers

6.8

Movie

Australia, New-Zealand
English
Documentary
2023
FEMALE DIRECTOR, SALLY AITKEN
Anthony Field, Bindi Irwin, Caterina Mete
104 min

TLDR

Don't talk to me about your favorite boy bands and idol groups if you don't rock with The Wiggles.

What it's about

The wildly popular Australian children's music group talk about their long, continuing journey through thick and thin.

The take

While this documentary may not provide the level of insight or as cohesive a narrative as other films from recent years about children's entertainment, Hot Potato benefits from the sheer charm and approachability of The Wiggles themselves. It's inspiring to see these men and women be perfectly ordinary people who just patiently put in the work to get to where they are today. The film doesn't necessarily find a central idea or philosophy behind The Wiggles' music, but their creativity and enthusiasm for performing manages to turn the simplest things (like fruit salad) into a celebration of life. The documentary isn't particularly good at balancing its tones, especially when it deals with the struggles that various Wiggles have faced in their personal lives, but it remains likable and wholesome all the same.

What stands out

One thing that many of these celebrated children's entertainers have in common (Mister Rogers, Mr. Dressup, Sesame Street, among others) is that they are genuinely brilliant songwriters. To the grown-up ear The Wiggles' lyrics might still sound too kiddy, but you really have to appreciate their ear for melody and their dedication to playing live music. The live instruments make a world of difference, not just in how the songs sound, but in showing kids that they can learn music themselves. And with The Wiggles paying homage to a whole variety of styles—from Indigenous Australian music, to The Beatles, to Tame Impala—that should also hopefully inspire young and old to appreciate things across all boundaries.

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