DreamWorks’ new animated film Home is almost too cute.
There’s the squishy misfit Oh (voiced by Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory) who talks in baby, broken English -- even though he’s suppose to be more advanced than humans -- and shows emotions by changing the color of his skin like a mood ring. Within his species of “Boovs,” Oh is bit of mess. He’s made constant mistakes that threaten the destruction of his kind and he’s naturally prone to run away from his problems. As he says, “I don’t fit in. I fit out.”
Then, there’s his counterpart Gratuity “My friends call me Tip” Tucci (voiced by pop sensation Rihanna) who is a bright-eyed seventh grader. She’s a feisty go-getter whose world is rocked when the Boovs invade Earth to hide from their nemesis -- the Gorg. The one thing she and Oh have in common is they both feel misplaced. Her mom just moved her to another country from Barbados to make a better life so Oh’s had to contend with a new school filled with mean girls.
When Tip and Oh meet cute in a convenience store, they must work together to work out their problems, and the film becomes an Odd Couple road trip. Along the way they are thwarted by Boov leader Captain Smek (voiced by a giddy Steve Martin) and Kyle (voiced by Matt Jones, Breaking Bad).
The music, both pop and eclectic alien sounds, helps to set the right tone for the bouncy, bubblelicious world. And director Tim Johnson (Antz) has capitalized on DreamWorks’ proprietary animation platform, Apollo, (also used in How to Train Your Dragon 2) to create a rich, intricate setting right down to Tip’s luscious head of curls. But the technology doesn’t save the film from falling flat on other levels -- the story fails to convey the emotions it promises and the few bits of humor degenerate to toilet talk.
When you factor in the cuteness, Home is just an adequate family matinee outing.
Maricar Estrella, 817-390-7720
Director: Tim Johnson
Rated: PG (mild thematic elements)
Running time: 94 minutes