Home makes ideas like alien invasion, forced relocation, family separation, and placating the masses with bread and circuses fun again. If they were ever fun to begin with, that is. DreamWorks Animation’s latest colorful and kid-friendly film explores some decidedly adult themes in a playful, lighthearted manner, though certainly some of its most basic story undercurrents could be construed as more than a little troubling, if one wanted to approach the movie from that (more than likely) unintended angle.
On its surface, and watching as would a child, the movie still has a few things to say on ideas like friendship born of mistrust and chaos, differences bringing individuals together, and the consequences of happy accidents and running from trouble rather than facing it head-on.
More than most of its kind, Home seems packed with allusions and themes and subtext, but as otherwise simple and visually resplendent kid-centric moviemaking, it more than holds its own and satisfies with the usual barrage of cute and cuddly (and colorful; there can never be enough color) characters and shenanigans for the duration.
Review Home (2015)
Review Home (2015)
An alien species known as the “Boov” are on the run from a dangerous race called the Gorg (mix of “Borg” and “Gorn”?). They’re in need of a new planet far from Gorg territory and they settle on, where else, Earth. They relocate Earth’s citizens en masse from the cities into small prefabricated communities. In the confusion, a family is separated. Tip (voiced by Rihanna) and her cat Pig the Cat are left alone when Tip’s mother, but not she, is sucked away in one of the aliens’ machines.
Tip and her cat flee and hide from the invaders, but she bumps into a Boov named Oh (voiced by Jim Parsons) who is also on the run, but from his own kind. He just wanted some friends to attend his party, but his invitation accidentally sent to the entire galaxy, not just his newest neighbors. That means that the Gorg will receive the message and track the Boov to Earth. Tip and Oh team up — she a bit more reluctant to do so than he — and share their quests, she to reunite with her mother and he to atone for his mistake before it’s too late.
n that way, it’s all relatively simple stuff. It’s nowhere near as heartwarming, genuine, or original as the best Sci-Fi animated films like WALL•E. Instead, it’s more on par with movies like Planet 51 and Escape from Planet Earth as second-tier but nonetheless entertaining fare fit for the whole family. Where Home does distinguish itself from more middle-of-the-road movies and inches closer, and in some ways overtakes, the big boys is in its technical prowess. It seems to be the rallying cry for just about every animated film released these days, but Home really is a visual spectacle, a technical marvel that amazes even after all these years of Ice Age and Cars and Toy Story dazzling audiences with the latest thad greatest in precision digital construction.
Home gets it all right; it’s as seamless as they come, with incredible attention to detail to rival even the best the medium has to offer and colors that are too numerous to count and as bright and cheery as the eye can see. Home is good enough, though, to ensure that all of that blends in, to make it part of the attraction rather than the main event. While the story isn’t fully original there’s enough heartwarming tenderness and large-scale theatrics to pull the audience’s attention to the movie rather than its technical wonders, which is itself something of a marvel in the age of “bigger and better” being the norm.