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Home (2015)

Some animated movies are just good enough for a Friday night family time, but are not remembered in the next few months (or even weeks). Sadly, Home falls into this category.

It starts out showing us a fleet of some of the most cuddly creatures since Gizmo in Gremlins. These are the Boov, and they have one thing they do better than any other: run away. One of the most enthusiastic of them is Oh (Jim Parsons). We learn he is called Oh because that is the response everyone gives him when he greets them. The Boov conduct what is undoubtably the nicest invasion of earth in recent memory: they take all humans and transport them to another place (Australia, which I may be wrong, but can that hold all the people of earth?) They then stay until the monster (the Gorg) finds them, and they run again.

Oh, oblivious to the fact that he annoys people, accidently sends a message to the whole universe inviting him to his house party. This includes the Gorg, which means all the other Boov chase him to make him pay for his mistake. Their leader is the zany Captain Smek (Steve Martin).  To escape, Oh hitches a ride with a girl left behind named Gratuity (nicknamed Tip), voiced by Rihanna. She is on a search for her mom (Jennifer Lopez).

The vocal work by the actors is decent (mainly Jim Parsons, who is good at playing the outcast as he has shown on the TV show The Big Bang Theory). It delivers some small laughs (such as Oh saying he has to go number three). The movies message is clear: don’t runaway from your problems. However, it is portrayed rather weakly here mainly due to the story. It is based on the book “The True Meaning of Smekday”, which is a better title. I am not bashing movies with one title (something Hitchcock loved to do so the audience could remember the name easier), but Home? I had a problem even remembering it before I saw the movie.

Parents, this movie is fine for any age, but the main thing it lacks is any nourishment or wit for anyone over the age of 8. I think of the quote from Jerry Seinfeld: “Nothing in life is ever fun for the whole family”. While I know there are many movies that can be good for everyone in the family (E.T., Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Wizard of Oz, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, WALL-E, Toy Story, etc), Home does not work for every member of the family.

Overall: Two Stars **

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