Children films have been known to push the envelope for its audience. Pixar’s “WALL-E” had the entertaining, cute factor to appeal to its targeted demographic but at its core it was enriched with adult subject matter that compelled its story for an adult audience. That’s always been the goal of any studio that takes on an animated endeavor. It’s one that Dreamworks Animation has done successful in the past with “How to Train Your Dragon” and its sequel. With its newest feature “Home,” featuring the voice talents of Grammy-award winner Rihanna, Emmy Award winner Jim Parsons, and American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez, the film hits most of the entertaining notes to be accessible to its young audience. However, it lacks any rich or vibrant themes to truly transcend beyond that targeted demographic.
“Home” tells the story of “Oh” (voiced by Parsons), a lovable being from another planet who lands on Earth with his entire species. When he meets a girl named “Tip” (voiced by Rihanna), who is in search of her mother (voiced by Lopez) after the alien invasion, the two form an unlikely bond that will have them finding the family they both desperately are searching for.
From the creative dynamics of animation, the film is a gorgeous endeavor to behold. Vivacious colors and beautiful creations of characters, backgrounds, and sets are one of the film’s best qualities. From the vision of storytelling, there’s nothing new or interesting about its story or characters. Anything that remotely resembles a plot twist or character arc can be sniffed out from nearly minute one. Outside of that, you have a very, and I do mean VERY simple story that will appeal to any kid on the planet but leave a parent looking at their watch.
The “cute” factor was revved up to a million. The problem when its done that much is that it loses its effect on the audience. “Put my hands in the air like I do not care” is funny the first time. When its a constant bring back afterwards, there’s nothing left to admire. It’s just silly. The film does its job on humor here and there. You’ll get a few chuckles and perhaps if you’re easily moved by animated films trying to get you to cry because of the imminent danger to its hero then you could even shed a tear.
“Home” is a fine selection for second quarter film and a great choice for your children. I brought my 4-year-old (her first movie theater experience), and the film proved to be a happy time for her. That’s a bare minimum, an appreciation. It’s a terrific family film.
“Home” is currently in theaters.