This review was originally posted on Punch Drunk Critics
DreamWorks is back again with another new animated feature or franchise, this time with Home. Now I really didn’t expect much from this movie. All I knew was the super nerdy guy from The Big Bang Theory, a show I detest, was voicing an alien that’s with a black girl voiced by Rihanna. What I got though when watching it was some weird animated movie that has a mix of themes that all tangle together, but I don’t know if they actually got resolved. This is a kids’ movie about an alien invasion of earth that has no violence at all. It’s really too sweet with such a frightening concept but hey it’s a kid buddy movie so let’s jump in and enjoy the 3D projected ride.
So Home’s story is about this little alien race called the Boov who. because they are shook ones, are on the run from the alien Gorg. When Gorg finds them again their leader Captain Smek, voiced by the great Steve Martin, takes his race to earth. The one Boov who is most excited by this is called Oh, voiced by Jim Parsons. He’s looking for a new start on a new world. He’s a misfit of the Boov; no one likes him because he makes mistakes. After arriving the Boov suck up all the humans on Earth and put them in Australia. Now I have no idea how 7 billion people fit into Australia but ok. Oh makes a huge mistake and gets shunned and has to run from all the other Boov, and during this he runs into Tip (voiced by Rihanna), a young girl living on her own who escaped relocation. Tip wants to find her mom (Jennifer Lopez), and Oh obliges to help her so that he can continue to run from his people.
To be honest this feature looks alright and what I mean is the characters and world are all designed well. Boov seems to be designed with kids very much in mind. They look amazingly squishy and expressive and they change colors. All that said I’m very much a cynic and get that all this is really great for toys and I also wouldn’t be surprised to see some cartoon series come out of this movie like all the other DreamWorks Animation films. The humans all look really good with a lot great work, especially on Tip’s hair. Not only is it rare to see a black lead in an animated film, being that this is the first one for a CG movie I’m glad they did a great job on that. While the world is made really well it’s also pretty generic in look. The City is a city with no distinguishing features and the relocation town is like standard issue looking houses you’d see in a pharmaceutical advertisement.
All the voices are pretty good performance-wise, being that the movie really only focuses on a few characters, mostly on Oh and Tip, a lot of the weight is on those two. A lot of the humor is carried by Parsons or Martin when they need Smek to do something completely absurd. Now for me the whole movie is bugged. I couldn’t scratch the feeling that the movie was talking about colonialism in some really big ways. The Boov think they are better than the humans and can improve their lives because they are stupid savages. That idea hang throughout the whole movie and the characters point some of this out but then the theme shifts to the nature of a home and individuality. If it took to the time I think to really hone in one of these ideas more maybe the whole thing would’ve been a true smash but as it is right now it’s just an ok feature. Just think last year we were watching the amazing Lego Movie. Le Sigh.