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Movie Night – Animation brings 'Home' message of friends, family (April 8, 2015 issue)

Have you ever felt like you don’t belong? Like you’re not part of the crowd or no one really wants to be your friend? That’s exactly how a cute little alien named Oh feels in “Home,” the latest animated offering from Dreamworks.
Oh (voiced by Jim Parsons) is part of an alien race called the Boov. The Boov are a cowardly race, they spend their entire lives hopping from planet to planet. They are always on the run from their mortal enemy, the Gorgs. No matter where the Boov flee, the Gorgs always find them. Rather than stand and fight, the Boov simply pack up and zip off to a different planet.
In the course of their many flights and planet hopping the Boov eventually locate Earth and decide to make it their new home. The Boov aren’t violent invaders, they simply institute a mandatory relocation of all humans to Australia while the Boov take over the rest of the planet.
Oh is the least liked of all the Boov. He keeps making good-hearted mistakes that land him in trouble. When he accidentally sends an email message into space that will most likely alert the Gorgs that the Boov are on Earth, Oh goes on the run from his own people while vowing to stop the message before it reaches the Gorgs.
At the same time Tip (Rihanna) is a teenage girl in hiding in the apartment she shared with her mom until the Boov arrived. The Boov relocated her mom but they didn’t find Tip. Tip is determined to find her mom no matter what it takes. Nothing will stand in her way, not even a planet filled with Boov.
Tip and Oh, two kindred souls both on the run from the Boov, run into each other and make a pact to help each other. Oh promises to take Tip to her mom, but he is more concerned about stopping the transmission he sent into space. Together Tip and Oh get involved in all manner of hijinks on the way to becoming best friends.
Jim Parsons has a voice that’s made for animated films. He is able to convey emotions through tiny inflections in his voice. He was the perfect choice for Oh, the sweet and lovable troublemaker who only wants the best for his people.
Rihanna was an unexpected (at least in my mind) choice to voice Tip, but she gave the character just the right combination of moxie and compassion. Steve Martin was very good as the voice of Captain Smek, the leader of the Boov who possesses even less brains than courage.
If you are a fan of the television show “The Big Bang Theory” then you know Jim Parsons’ character Sheldon Cooper. Sheldon is a genius among geniuses but doesn’t understand many of the conventions of social interaction. Oh is a similar character. Both Oh and Sheldon act like aliens in a strange land, unable to understand the actions or motivations of others.
“Home” isn’t the funniest movie ever. There are several parts that will make you laugh out loud, but those moments are not nearly as frequent as you might expect. It’s a good movie, but where most animated movies are geared toward kids and adults alike, “Home” is intended for the entertainment of children.
While a movie about an alien invasion may sounds scary to young children, the filmmakers handle the invasion in the least threatening way possible so that it is palatable even to young children.
“Home” is about good friends and family and how you never give up on either. It’s about how home is not a building or a place. It’s a where you find the people you love, where you are loved for being yourself.
Grade: B+
Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor.