Director: Tim Johnson
Starring: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez
Once a year we get an animated film that comes out of nowhere, takes us completely by surprise and goes away without causing much of a ruckus. This year the Dreamworks Animation's 'Home' takes that slot.
Poster of 'Home'. Pic/Santa Banta
'Home' is directed by Tim Johnson who earlier made 'Antz', 'Sinbad' and 'Over the Hedge'. This film shares something in common with all of his previous work – that it feels like a secondary project in a slate of primary projects headed by various animation company. It neither has the marketing push of the likes of Pixar nor does it have the buzzword of other Dreamworks titles.
Regardless, 'Home' has an interesting story. A colony of aliens named Boov are wary of an attack by Gorg, another colony of aliens. They have no choice but to flock to another planet, Earth. Here's the fun thing – the film subverts the alien invasion trope by making the aliens into lovable creatures who first abduct the humans, but take utmost care to place them in a nice and hospitable area in Australia surrounded by their favourite things. The aliens then make Earth their home. A child named Tip is left alone on Earth, meanwhile one of the aliens named Oh bungles up and sends the location of the Boovs to the Gorg and is on the run. Tip and Oh bump into each other and set off on a journey to find Tip's mother and somehow stop the Gorgs from attacking Earth.
Rendering celebrity voices to animation films has been the norm for Dreamworks forever, and this time it's no different – we get the likes of Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Steve Martin and Jim Parsons in the lead roles. The latter lends his voice to Oh, and is the perfect fit for the warm hearted fumbling over technicalities. It's certainly not very different from his 'Big Bang Theory' persona but that's why he's there in the film.
The film breezes by its plot, throwing in pop songs along the way and a platter of jokes, courtesy of the bumbling Oh. The animation itself is beautiful, although not so much in 3D. There's one terrific sequence where Tip and Oh run away from the Eiffel Tower falling over threatening to squash them. The ending is surprisingly effective, and the film tucks in a nice little message of friendship and love. Overall this is a cute little film that's short and sweet, built specifically for kids. Adults may skip it, but they'll score brownie points if they get their kids tickets.