|Lowest Recommended Age:||Kindergarten - 3rd Grade|
|MPAA Rating:||Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor|
|Movie Release Date:||March 27, 2015|
“Home” is a cute and colorful movie about an alien invasion with an important safety tip concerning one of the most destructive forces in the universe, something devastating to every known life form. Yes, it is hitting the dreaded “send to all.”
This is the catastrophe that strikes Oh (Jim Parsons), part of an alien invasion by the Boov, a civilization known for their primary cultural attribute — running away from danger, from problems, and from learning that some of what they believe about the universe may not be right. They are led by the egotistical Smek (Steve Martin), never in doubt and always willing to cut off any disagreement by smacking his fellow Boov with his “susher,” a staff topped by a rock he grabbed during his last unsuccessful negotiation with a terrifying armored alien Commander of a race called Gorg. The Gorg want to destroy the Boov, so the Boov are constantly seeking planets where they can hide. Earth seems homey, so they vacuum up all of the humans and send them off to Australia and settle into their new domicile.
The Boov are not much for socializing, but Oh wants to make friends. He sends out invitations to a housewarming party, but accidentally hits “send to all,” and “all” somehow includes the Gorg. Oh has just alerted their worst enemy to their location. This is one too many mistakes for him (Boov are allowed just three and he is well over that), so he runs away. And that is how he meets Gratuity “Tip” Tucci (Rihanna), a plucky middle-schooler with a cat named Pig. Tip was missed by the Boov vacuums because Pig was on her head so she was not identified as human.
When Oh fixes Tip’s car and promises to help her find her mother, the two of them (plus Pig) go off on a wild ride that includes an upside-down floating Eiffel Tower, plugging themselves into the Boov brain trust network (with a very funny joke about passwords), and, of course, learning a little bit about each other and themselves.
It’s nice to see a person of color as the lead in an animated film and Rihanna gives a warm, spirited vocal performance as Tip, who shares her West Indies heritage. The character design is cute but uninspired. Same for the storyline. But it is bright and colorful — literally. The Boov turn a crayon box of colors to show their emotions. And the briefly glimpsed Gorg add some zingy sharp angles. Playful touches start right at the beginning, with Oh fishing off the Dreamworks logo. The Slushious car, decked out with convenience store staples, is a hoot. And kids will enjoy seeing Oh learn about life on earth, something they know a little about.
Parents should know that this film has some potty humor, mild peril, and cartoon-style violence, and some sci-fi-style scary images.
Family discussion: When do you feel “sad-mad?” Why did Tip decide to be friends with Oh? What was the best thing about the Slushious car?
If you like this, try: “Monsters vs. Aliens” and “Megamind” and the book that inspired this film, The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex.