Home (20th Century Fox, PG)

home 75Oh and Tip travel the world together, exploring the facets of human emotion, friendship, and defining the word “home.”

home 500

Home takes us on a journey of epic proportions when an alien race called the Boov invades the Earth to hide from its mortal enemy. Oh (voiced by Jim Parsons), a Boov, though yielding the best of intentions, makes a grave mistake that puts him on the run from his own species. While on the run, Oh meets Tip (voiced by Rihanna), a young human who was separated from her mother during the human relocation process. Oh and Tip travel the world together, exploring the facets of human emotion, friendship, and defining the word “home.”

This movie gives you everything you’ve come to expect from DreamWorks Animation: adorably lovable characters, a story with a positive overarching theme for kids, and amazing graphics. That being said, Home pales in comparison to previous DreamWorks Animation films, such as How to Train Your Dragon and Turbo.

Animated films require a certain suspension of disbelief. For example, if a man falls off a building in a live action film, depending on the genre and assuming he does not have superpowers, you would expect the man to die. If a man falls off a building in an animated film, he can walk away from that without the audience questioning his lack of injuries. So I didn’t have a problem with Tip and Oh driving a flying car, but there were many questions I had about the story throughout the film that I just couldn’t shake. Where is Tip’s father? Are there other animals in the city besides Tip’s pet cat? What are the humans doing in the newly decreed “Happy Human Town” while the Boov move into the humans’ previous homes? Why aren’t the humans staging an uprising?

Home is a cute movie. If your kids beg you to see this, don’t worry about being bored, because the plot moves along at a decent pace. You know going in that this is more geared toward kids, but while the major plot points are predictable, there are lots of surprises so you aren’t constantly predicting the next scene. A lot of the humor will make kids laugh out loud, but parents are likely to react by smiling and thinking, “How cute,” or, “I see what they tried to do there.” Again, I wouldn’t say Home is one of DreamWorks’ best, but it’s still a good movie.

If you’re a fan of Rihanna’s music, there is a plethora of it in this movie. I’m talking every other song. I like Rihanna’s music just fine, but I still found it annoying to hear her so often. It was almost impossible to separate the character Tip from Rihanna because she was constantly reminding you that she was Tip. I honestly can’t recall another artist’s song being played besides Jennifer Lopez, who is the voice of Tip’s mother Lucy.

Another member of the all-star cast is Steve Martin, who voices Captain Smek, the leader of the Boov. He’s worth mentioning because Captain Smek is one of my favorite characters and got the most laughs out of me.

I have to commend the use of a minority for the lead character. Tip’s ethnicity is not explicitly divulged. Her mother, Lucy, is more obviously of Hispanic descent, but Tip’s father is not in the film. As I think about it now, it may have been a deliberate decision not to include him to keep Tip’s ethnicity less specific, allowing wider range of minority children to identify with Tip.

Of course, all children can relate to Tip in some way or another, and the theme of friendship and learning what makes a true home is touching and heartwarming. | Samantha LaBat

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