“Home” – Fox(NEW YORK) — Dreamworks’ newest animated feature, Home, isn’t exactly a world-beater, but it is does revolve around a world invasion. Our world, to be exact.
The Boov are intergalactic nomads, who look like the Scrubbing Bubbles and Despicable Me’s Minions procreated. They speak English but the way in which they arrange their sentences is ridiculous. The silly Boov leader, Captain Smek, voiced by Steve Martin, is great at one thing: running away! When we first meet him, the Boov are running away from their mortal enemy — to Earth, a planet they’ll take over by moving all humans to Australia.
One Boov in particular is excited about the their new beginning. That’s Oh, voiced by Jim Parsons, whose voice is perfect for any animated character. Oh’s issue is the rest of the Boov don’t like him, but since he’s blissfully unaware of how he’s perceived, he continues to try to ingratiate himself the rest of the Boov. Then he makes a major mistake that could put every Boov in peril, and finds himself on the run.
That’s when he meets a young girl named Tip, who has a lovely singing voice. OK, we don’t really hear her sing, but since her voice is supplied by Rihanna, let’s just assume she sings like Rihanna. Tip agrees to help hide Oh, and Oh agrees to help Tip find her mother.
On the heels of Disney’s Frozen, Tip is another strong, young, intelligent female character. Making her even more compelling and important is she’s black. I don’t think I need to tell you about the lack of young, black female characters in animated movies, because there pretty much are none.
Your kids will likely enjoy Home from beginning to end. For adults, however, Home feels like two different movies. The first 45 minutes are almost intolerable: the writing isn’t particularly strong, and the story isn’t particularly compelling — it’s annoying, and the chemistry between Tip and Oh is awful. You stick with it, though, because there’s something inherently good about both characters.
Thankfully, your patience is rewarded. The second half of Home works with a solid and emotionally-satisfying ending. If only the whole movie was that way.
Three-and-a-half out of five stars.
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