Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Home

You know where you stand with Disney films. 9 times out of 10, you know from the offset that a Disney film will be of immense quality. But with non-Disney animated films like this, they can go either way. Most are just painfully drawn out franchises like Madagascar, Shrek and Ice Age, with very few quality exceptions like How To Train Your Dragon and The Lego Movie. So, with this in mind, where does Home stand? A fresh and original effort, or just another shit Disney wannabe?


Directed by Tim Johnson and brought to us by Dreamworks Animation and out now on Blu-Ray and DVD comes Home, the story of alien race known as the Boov. When they overtake the Earth, one young human girl (Rihanna) evades the aliens and goes on the run, looking for her mother who didn’t escape the Boov. But as she gets close to the clumsy and unpopular Boov known as Oh (Jim Parsons), she realises these misunderstood aliens aren’t so bad after all. There’s a bit more to the story, but let’s not kid ourselves – it doesn’t matter what the story is. Films like this succeed or fail on animation, humour and heart. Home falls somewhere in the middle of success and failure. For those interested, the story is based upon Adam Rex’s children’s book The True Meaning of Smekday.


The voice acting is decent, despite a rather sub par cast. Everyone in it seems like they’re not really that relevant anymore, but they all bring enough to the table. However, The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons puts a little too much Sheldon into his portrayal of Oh. Great for fans of his, but for people like me it got rather tedious. Still, he was nowhere near as bad as I expected him to be and actually made me chuckle a few times, so I suppose I mustn’t be too critical! Rihanna was an odd choice for the character of Tip, and seemed like an excuse to play her songs in EVERY. BLOODY. SCENE. The soundtrack was rather painful – and to think the character of Tip had the audacity to say how bad Boov music is. Steve Martin (oh, I forgot he was still alive) puts a little too much effort in as Captain Smek; leader of the Boov race, and Breaking Bad’s Matt L. Jones basically reprises his role as Badger here as Boov Kyle. Throw in Jennifer Lopez as Tip’s mum, and you’ve got your voice cast. See what I mean about them not being that relevant anymore?

But voice acting aside, I was about ready to hate Home within the first 10 minutes. I don’t know why, but something about it bugged me. Maybe it was Jim Parsons (I’ve never been a fan of The Big Bang Theory – sorry), maybe it was the mediocre animation, maybe it was the childish feel. But something irritated me. Surprisingly, this passed! Home is not a bad little animated film. A simple and entertaining narrative, some good characters, some good laughs. You can’t really ask for more. I’ll be honest - Home feels slightly more aimed at a younger audience than other animated films, and quite frankly I cannot recommend it enough to younger viewers. Delightfully colourful, simple and funny; there’s a lot to like in Home for a young’un. 15 years ago, I would have absolutely loved it. But otherwise, you need to be in touch with your inner child to enjoy this one. There’s not a huge amount in it for the older viewers as you might find in Disney, by way of intellectual gags or narrative.


So in conclusion, is it worth making yourself at home with this one? If you want a colourgasm and a few laughs, or if you’re 6 years old, then absolutely. But if you’re a bitter old sod (or someone with taste who appreciates the finer things) then you’d probably be better off spending your time on other things. Citizen Kane this ain’t, folks. But at the end of the day, Home is aimed at youngsters and they’ll bloody love it.

As such, this one gets a solid 3/5. Home, sweet Home.

★★★★☆

Sam Love


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