Dreamworks has put out some solid hits but they don’t have nearly the track record of Pixar. Most notably, they’ve won me over with How to Train Your Dragon and Kung-Fu Panda. Is Home going to be another addition to that category?
We meet an alien race called the Boov. They end up on Earth and relocate all the humans to these little cities, while the Boov now inhabit the former human cities. However they miss one, so we stumble upon Tip (Rihanna) and her cat Pig. She’s doing her best to hide from the Boov when she meets Oh (Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory) and together, this odd couple goes on an adventure to save the planet and reunite with family. The voice cast is boosted by Steve Martin as the famous Boov commander Smek.
The best aspect of this movie is the story that will tug at your heartstrings for sure. That’s what I loved about both How to Train Your Dragon and Kung-Fu Panda, is that they had solid stories with emotional cores, even though they might’ve been catered to a younger audience. The same is true for Home. The last twenty minutes, I was crying like a baby. Maybe it just hit home for me or something, but there were definite feels in this film’s climax.
In terms of voice talent, both Jim Parsons and Rihanna did fine. Parsons has a very unique voice and he plays it almost identical to his character Sheldon from Big Bang Theory, so it’s not a stretch for him. Rihanna, however, I didn’t even recognize. I wouldn’t have guessed that she played this young girl, so I guess that’s kudos to her.
What doesn’t work?
While it has an emotional core that adults can relate to, the rest of the film is incredibly targeted towards kids, including fart and burp jokes. With other Dreamworks films, I enjoyed them without having to consider their target demographic, but here… it was a struggle for me to enjoy portions of the movie that were just way over the top. The humor was almost nonexistent for me, with everything aimed at kids. If this movie didn’t have the layered emotional storyline, the score would be way lower.
And while the visuals are colorful, I don’t think they stand up to current standards in today’s animation.
Home is intended for kids. If you have kids, they’ll love it. It’s bright and flashy and the humor should appeal to them. As an adult, the only thing that resonated with me was an emotional arc that culminated in the climax, but I don’t think that arc alone was enough to redeem Home and make it worth seeing on the big screen.