Just like Pixar, DreamWorks has been in a bit of a slump lately. They’re a very hit or miss type of studio. One minute, you’ll get a treasure like “How to Train Your Dragon 2” and the next, you’ll get a dud like “Turbo.” With DreamWorks, you’re never really sure what you’re going to get. They have some exciting projects coming up such as “Kung Fu Panda 3” and “How to Train Your Dragon 3.” But, until then, the mediocrity of “Penguins of Madagascar” and “Home” is what we have to look back on until those releases.
Fearing annihilation from a superior race, the Boov arrive on Earth in their mothership ready to take the planet for themselves. In no time, they successfully relocate most of the humans to Australia. That is, except for Tip [Rihanna], a teenage girl who only hopes to find her mother [Jennifer Lopez]. Determined to find her, she recruits the help of a lonely Boov by the name of Oh [Jim Parsons] who doesn’t really fit in with his kind.
From the trailers alone, “Home” looked like a film that won’t win any awards, but will entertain small children nonetheless and that’s pretty much what I got. The animation is very plain and simple but bright and colorful at the same time. Long story short, this is not one of Dreamwork’s best.
Oh is voiced by Jim Parsons from “The Big Bang Theory” and he basically plays Sheldon if Sheldon was a bit more ecstatic. He’s annoying but he’s supposed to be annoying. It would at least be tolerable if he spoke in real sentences. The thing that irritated me the most was that most of his dialogue is in the form of an LOLcats meme. “It should to hover much better now” is one of many, many examples. I know that children are smarter than that, but I can’t help but believe that some of them will imitate him.
As for Rihanna, she plays the role fine. There’s not much to say about her other than she plays it very straightforward. It was nice to see a minority take the role of the protagonist for once because it’s rarely done. I love the decision to tell the story through the perspective of a black teenager but I feel like it would have been better utilized in another film.
Steve Martin is the only other voice worth talking about as he plays the leader of the Boov. Out of all the characters, he has the best lines in the entire film for the few times he’s on-screen.
Otherwise, this is a very basic and straight-forward story that we’re used to seeing time and time again in buddy comedies.
To be honest, the prospect of humanity being placed into camps is horrifying in a darkly comic way and, yes, I get the irony of sending humans as prisoners of their own planet in Australia. You have a simple story with a number of scenes to move it along. The chemistry between Oh and Tip isn’t terrible but it’s not memorable by any means.
Overall, “Home” is a bunch of colors and bright noises that will keep your children entertained for an hour and a half. Those looking for an animated film with something new, should look elsewhere.
Matt Bilodeau can be contacted at email@example.com