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REVIEW: ‘Home’ teaches the importance of accepting others

home posterAn alien species called the Boov aren’t known for their individuality. Instead, they are distinctively known for being the “best species ever – at running away.” Constantly on the run form their enemy the Gorg, the Boov decide to invade Earth and relocate the humans to Australia. One very different Boov named Oh (Jim Parons), however, finds himself on the run from his own people after accidently sendingan email invitation for his house warming party to the Gorg.

Through hints of immigration commentary, DreamWorks Animation’s 31st feature film “Home” tells the story of how different species must interact and learn from each other. Oh and Gratuity “Tip” Tucci (Rihanna), a lone human in the newly Boov-inhabited Earth, team up to find Tip’s relocated mother, Lucy. All the while, theBoov must deal with the consequences of Oh’s email.

Unfortunately, “Home” is one of DreamWorks Animation’s least ambitious films to date, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  The story line is kept simple. We have a girl looking for her mother and a misfit trying to find his place in the universe. Like many children’s films,“Home” teaches a generic message – no matter how different we may seem, only when we are comfortable in our own skin it is possible for people to truly appreciate each other for their uniqueness.

On a stronger note, “Home” promotes girl empowerment and teaches its young audience members to stay true to themselves. It is great to see DreamWorks make its lead character a black female. This is only the third female lead we have seen in a DreamWorks animation title, and it is rather refreshing.

Jim Parsons is the life of “Home.” Speaking funny Yoda-like phrases such as “What for you did this?” and calling Tip’s mother “my mom” throughout the film, I found myself laughing at his character’s broken English. Steve Martin as Captain Smek, the leader of the Boov, is also quite funny, bringing much life to the troubling alien monarch.

In contrast, Rihanna as Tip is passible. The singer is no actress. Her dialogue is treated more like sets of line readings the emotion filled acting. It seemed like they cast her only to acquire use of her music anthology.

The animation, much like the story line, isn’t spectacular. Rather, the film is kept visually simple. The Boov essentially all have the same shape, so the animators looked to color to keep the visuals more stimulating. The Boov change color depending on what emotion they are feeling – purple (neutral), red (angry) and yellow (nervous).

All-in-all, “Home” is most charming when the characters interact with each other. There is a very interesting dynamic that takes place between all of these species. It is fun watching them discover what makes their species distinctive. This all adds up to a very uplifting climax which exemplifies the importance of diplomacy.

3/5 stars

Grant Fitzgerald is a senior film production major. The review reflects the view of the writer only.

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