Home combines the best and worst aspects of animated features

David Han, Contributing Writer

DreamWorks studios has a stellar track record of family-friendly films that go beyond what people expect from animation.  From Shrek to How to Train Your Dragon, their movies have been on par and at times better than what studios like Pixar have churned out.  With their latest movie Home, the studio’s track record gets a minor hiccup.  Home feels incredibly average in its plot line and is 100% geared towards children.  It is a family-friendly animated movie that is a great film choice for young kids, due to its promotion of healthy relationships between friends and family and a dumbed-down plot.  The plot is aided by a celebrity-filled voice cast, colorful scenery, and silly characters that kids will fall in love with.  Unfortunately, the child-oriented plot style, toilet humor, and excessive use of pop music make the film unbearable for the rest of us.

The main plot of the story starts with the invasion of an alien species known as the Boov, who invade Earth in order to escape from their main enemy, the Gorg.  The Boov take over certain parts of Earth, causing many humans to relocate their homes to other parts of the planet.  Well, everyone except for a teenage girl named Tip (Rihanna) who managed to hide during the alien invasion, leaving her separated from the rest of humanity.  Not surprisingly, there is also an outsider of the Boov race named Oh (Jim Parsons) who seems to be quite playful, unlike the rest of the Boovs whose personalities seem quite dull.  Oh meets up with Tip, who is trying to find her mother from whom she was separated during the invasion.  Although they do not really trust each other at first, Tip realizes that Oh is more emotional and friendly than the other Boovs.  When Oh becomes a fugitive after accidentally sending a call for the Gorg to come, he and Tip team up in order to find Tip’s long lost mother, Lucy (Jennifer Lawrence).

Adults and teens should know that the movie is fully targeted towards younger children.  For example, there are some toilet jokes and color-shifting aliens that kids would enjoy listening to and watching.  It also contains a lot of pop music throughout the movie in order to grab younger kids’ attention, which is fully acceptable since the movie is geared toward children.  However, to any teen or adult, the movie can be cringe-worthy.  jokes fall flat, and its overly simple story makes every plot twist visible from miles away.

What the movie lacked in plot and writing it made up in a star-studded voice cast.  Parsons, now famous for his Emmy-winning role as Sheldon Cooper on the hit TV show The Big Bang Theory, was one of the best aspects of the movie.  His distinct and goofy voice made Oh come to life.  In addition, pop star Rihanna voices the human antagonist Tip, who is notably the first black lead character in a 3D animated movie.  To top it all off, the popular Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence voices Tip’s mother Lucy.

Home has a very friendly tone that stresses the importance of being with your family, as well as sticking with your friends when the going gets tough.  It teaches young kids to be friendly towards outsiders and to cope with the fact that it is okay to be an individual who stands out.  For all you babysitters out there, I highly recommend this movie.  Your young charges will learn some valuable life lessons and shut up for a couple of hours.  Just try not to die of boredom while they do that.