Dreamworks Animation’s new film Home follows the story of an alien called Oh (Jim Parsons) of the species Boov, and his unlikely friendship with a human girl Tip (Rihanna), who has been separated from her mother during the Boov’s benign take-over of Earth. The plot is fairly unexciting and it lacks the originality and quirkiness of more classic animations such as Shrek or Monsters Inc, however it works for what it’s trying to do; it’s funny, it has good visuals and a pretty decent moral message that family and friends are everything, perhaps with a somewhat subdued comment on the evils of colonialism.
The plot falls a bit by the wayside as we follow the pair in a flying car powered by slushies. Their journey allows for the blossoming friendship of Oh and Tip, interspersed with some heavy dance beats as supplied by Rihanna and J-Lo. They head for Australia, where the humans have been fixed up in their own communes, bringing to mind more sinister associations of refugee camps and enforced segregation, though the film never allows the colonialist aspect to become too heavy-handed, showing the Boovs as pretty adorable settlers who placate the humans with fairground rides so they soon become settled in their new homes.
Although Oh’s muddled English is grating at times, and the storyline wears a little thin, the overall atmosphere of the film is so bubbly and fun it is surprisingly lovable – although admittedly the humorous parts may be due to a personally childish sense of humour rather than any moments of true wit on the part of the film. The difficulty in watching this film as an older viewer is that the voices are so familiar it is as if you’re watching Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory on an adventure with Rihanna, daughter of J-Lo. However as a younger viewer, which is the target audience after all, the film pretty much has it all, and though it’s not one of Dreamworks’ finest, if you feel like indulging the child in you, it’s not a bad one to choose.