"Oh, no! My hands are in the air like I just do not care!”
DreamWorks’ latest animated film will please the younger audience with its colorful visuals and likable characters, but I’m afraid parents won’t be too entertained by the predictability of the story, neither kids above the age of 10 for that matter. That is unless you are a fan of Rihanna who voices one of the main characters and sings the entire soundtrack for the movie. Home introduces us to an alien race known as the Boov who are always fleeing from their enemies, the Gorg. They flee to new planets where they can hide from the Gorgs and their next destination is Earth. Under the leadership of their most respected coward, Captain Smek (voiced by Steve Martin) they relocate the humans to other parts of the planet believing they are an inferior race and install themselves all over the globe. Oh (Jim Parsons) is a Boov misfit who is desperately in need of a friend and when he accidentally sends a message across the universe to a welcoming home party he puts the lives of everyone at risk. Realizing that he has made a terrible mistake, Oh goes on the run and that is where he runs into Tip, a young human girl who has managed to escape from the Boov relocation. She is searching for her mother (Jennifer Lopez) and after befriending Oh the two realize they can help each other out on their quests and embark on a journey that will take them around the globe.
The premise of the story isn’t very original and we’ve seen this scenario played out many times in the past with films like Lilo & Stitch or ET. The concept of teaming up a young child with an unknown alien seems to be appealing to kids who might feel like everyone around them is an alien in some sort of way. It has worked in the past so the producers aren’t really trying anything new here and they don’t provide a fresh spin to the well known story either. Ten minutes into the film and you already know how everything is going to turn out in the end. There aren’t any surprises and the only treat that Home offers are the colorful visuals and some few funny scenes. I didn’t get to watch this film in English so I couldn’t enjoy the voice work from Rihanna and Parsons, whom I’m a fan of his series, The Big Bang Theory. The Spanish voice work was solid and some of the jokes translated well.
The film does have some heartwarming moments and seems to remind children of the importance of facing their fears and taking risks. Tip is an adventurous character who teaches Oh to have hope despite the odds. She also teaches him about the true meaning of friendship which is thinking and caring for others instead of oneself. The message is well intentioned although a bit light, but in the end the simplicity of the story will hurt the film’s chances of remaining in the child’s memory after a few days have passed. Young kids will be entertained, but parents might prefer to take a nap while their children watch the movie.