Since 1995 animation studios have been trying to re-create the magic of Pixar’s “Toy Story”. While others were content to find a franchise that would print money. Fox found theirs in the “Ice Age” series while DreamWorks had the “Shrek” films and its spin-offs. Now that those are done and with the “How to Train Your Dragon” series still running strong, DreamWorks is looking out for it’s next big series in their latest film “Home”.
Oh (Jim Parsons) is a Boov, a race of aliens whose key attribute is running away. Yet their technology has allowed them to politely relocate every human on earth against their will to Australia while they inhabit the rest of the planet, making it their own. Their leader Captain Smek (Steve Martin) assures his people that no harm will come to them from their dreaded enemy. That is until Oh accidently sends them a message as to their whereabouts. Now an outcast Oh is on the run when he meets Tip (Rihanna) a resourceful little girl who has evaded capture and is looking for her mother. The pair decide to help each other and thus begins the road trip to find mom and save the planet.
Maybe it’s my age and slightly jaded viewpoint when it comes to animated films. I don’t expect them all to be early Pixar level good to be worth watching, I was actually one of the few who really enjoyed DreamWorks last few originals ( Rise of the Guardians, Turbo, and Mr. Peabody & Sherman). “Home” however is not nearly at the level of the above mentioned films. It’s a jumbled mess, and has more endings that the last “Lord of the Rings” movie. It has some funny visuals that can be missed in a blink, but there is enough there for kids to enjoy, or be distracted by. It tries to say something about friendship and having courage, but it gets lost by the “Independence Day” ending. “Home” imitates and flat out steals from other better animated films and falls flat on most of its beats. Plus, there was just something about a more powerful race relocating another race at the command of a misguided leader with a strange mustache that just didn’t sit well with me. But it’s okay because the main character talks like a goofy Yoda, and looks like a Minion that can change colors so as to make a variety of stuffed toys. Sounds like a winning combination.
–Robert L. Castillo