Review: Home

The short animated film Almost Home was used as a sort-of prequel trailer for this DreamWorks Animated feature. With Steve Martin voicing the leader/dictator/head jerk of a race of dumpy purple aliens called The Boov, the short was pretty darn funny with snappy, slapstick humour that could have come straight from the Looney Tunes vault. You can’t help but feel bummed that the full movie – with its insistence on tired toilet humour, forced dancing and crowbarred-in pop songs – rolled downhill into the DreamWorks dump of forgettable family-friendly films (right next to Bee Movie and Shark Tale).

It’s frustrating, given the strength of its two lead individual characters. Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) is pitch perfect as Oh, a well-meaning but socially naïve Boov who just wants a friend. Rihanna also continues her not-that-bad acting streak as the voice of Tip, a Barbados girl who’s confident, mellow and charismatic – qualities that are rarely seen in animated child characters outside Studio Ghibli.

Unfortunately, when the film places these two together, which is very often, it cares more about making them seem hip (“move your Boov thang!”) than making us care about their friendship. They don’t share the witty banter of Shrek and Donkey, the camaraderie of Kung Fu Panda’s furious five, or the affectionate bond of Hiccup and Toothless. They do share a selfie, however.

Aside from a rather cool topsy-turvy action scene, Home does very little to be interesting or original. It’s like a cardboard box: it may entertain your kids for over an hour but it’s still a simple, hollow shell of a thing that could easily be mistaken for other cardboard boxes.

‘Home’ Movie Times (also in 3D)