Home is the latest animated feature from Dreamworks. It is available in 3D, but it is totally unnecessary to see it that, unless you specifically want to. The animation style does not depend on it for telling the story.
The race of Boov are about to settle on a new planet. They are on the run, and have chosen their newest home. Their typical method of colonizing involves collecting all the native sentient species on whatever planet they choose, displace them to some less desirable location on said planet, and move in to whatever homes that species had. This time, they’ve chosen Earth, and they vacuum everyone up and deposit them in the Australian Outback, in organized communities.
The film focuses on the exuberant Boov, named Oh (Jim Parsons), who clearly doesn’t fit in. Most Boov are self-centered, and Oh is most certainly not. Oh was given his name due to when he greets other Boov, they roll their eyes and grumble, “Oh…” After finding his new home, he sends out an evite for a house-warming party, but mistakenly does a “send all”, which could reach the mortal enemy of the Boov, aka The Gorg. The Gorg keep chasing The Boov, destroying worlds along the way. The Boov’s leader, Captain Smek (Steve Martin, yes, that one), puts out a worldwide alert, and the Boov-hunt for Oh begins.
Meanwhile, a human girl, Tippy (Rihanna) was overlooked when the human culling began, thanks to her cat, named Pig. She was separated from her mother and is trying to figure out how to get to her, wherever she is. Oh and Tippy bump into each other at a convenience store, and an unlikely alliance is formed when Oh promises to reunite Tippy and “my mom”.
The Boov are a cowardly race, and avoid confrontation wherever possible. The trust that forms between Oh and Tippy is what drives this movie forward. It is a fish-out-of-water story, as Oh tries to understand Tip’s drive to be reunited. Some of the better jokes are spoiled in the trailer, but definitely not all of them. This film is clearly for children, but there’s enough of a story to keep parents and guardians happy, as well as adults who see the film non-ironically (like yours truly). Tip is trying to explain humanity to Oh, and it’s done with a childlike quality. There are plenty of jokes based on the Boov not understanding simple human culture and fortunately, it’s not too blatantly pandering. The behavior of the Boov is very fitting for Steve Martin, who plays his role almost as if he were Navin from The Jerk, a more or less benevolent fool, but this time, he’s in charge.
I found Home entertaining, and amusing. The title, however, really doesn’t work, for me. If given the opportunity, I’d change it, but I have no idea of what to change it to, though.