Waffle + Mochi is the new Netflix TV series dedicated to preschool audiences created by Michelle Obama and available on Netflix from March 16th. Here is our review
ORIGINAL TITLE: Waffle + Mochi. KIND: childhood / animation. NATION: United States. PRODUCTION: Michelle Obama. CAST: Michelle Obama, Luca Bottura. time: About 30 minutes per episode. DISTRIBUTION: Netflix EXIT: March 16, 2021
Waffle + Mochi is available on Netflix from March 16, 2021 and is certainly a pleasant news for the little ones and their families: this new series is dedicated to the preschool audience and mixes puppets, animation, music and real characters, children and adults who interact with the two protagonists puppets.
This idea comes from the mind of Michelle Obama and her production company, with the aim of bringing the world closer to a healthy and balanced diet as well as intersected by various international influences.
Plot and trailer | Waffle + Mochi review
Hence, in fact, the title Waffle + Mochi, which refers to the two protagonists, the Waffle puppet, as the very popular dessert in the United States and the puppet made with Mochi computer graphics, like the Japanese food. The two friends, immersed in a frozen country made from frozen foods, go in search of fresh and genuine food, on a journey that will take them to all the countries of the world, in their cultures and traditions, dialoguing with experts in the food sector and with internationally renowned chefs.
And right on this journey, they also meet Massimo Bottura in his Osteria Francescana in Modena, who explains to the two protagonists the many uses that mushrooms can be done in the kitchen, letting them taste one of his sauces.
An educational series for children | Waffle + Mochi review
The intent of this new series is very clear: to be educational towards the little ones to bring them through entertainment towards a healthy, genuine food culture that above all does not stop at the borders of the country in which we live. The pairing of Waffle with Mochi has a very clear intent. The first is in fact a dessert widespread all over the world, especially in the United States, but it has a provenance that comes from Ancient Greece and which then over the centuries has moved from the Netherlands, to the United States, to France undergoing changes and variations. Mochi, on the other hand, is a mixture of crushed and chopped glutinous rice, which is used as a paste for the base of many Japanese desserts. This curious couple takes us to travel all over the world and to many kitchens, supermarkets, markets discovering new recipes and tasting new foods.
Too many elements to surround a simple and effective idea | Waffle + Mochi review
The idea behind this project by Michelle Obama is certainly very strong and works, inserted in a product aimed at children, but what makes everything waver is the director’s choice. Episodes appear full of too many elements: the puppets interact with actors and characters from the world of cooking, humans, but are also surrounded by elements of graphic animation, then they travel on an interactive plane equipped with artificial intelligence, then there are also the insertions of children interviewed on the food protagonists of each episode. There is also no lack of vocal insertions, such as that of the first episode, of the tomato that sings and explains to everyone that it is a fruit and not a vegetable.
All these elements overload the narrative line, almost going to take away the attention of the basic content which in itself is very interesting and well developed. The song of the singing tomato, for example, works very well, as well as being in line with the American style of Disney cartoons that the little ones are used to seeing. However, mixed with many other elements of childhood fiction, it risks creating a bit of confusion.
Obviously we must not forget that it is a product for the preschool age, aimed at educating, entertaining, so the final message certainly passes and is also able to entertain. In such an ambitious construction, perhaps a more orderly product was expected in its episodic development, but it is possible that this aspect could be fixed if the series has new seasons. Which we certainly wish her, given her very effective educational intent at the base.
Simple and effective idea, but too much seasoning around
Points in favor
- Educational message
- A journey between different culinary cultures
- Too many elements of narrative
- Direction a bit confusing