JEANNE'S REVIEW

 

A-list stars Jim Parsons and Rihanna come together for the first time each in an animated production. Parsons voices Oh, a Boov, an alien who has invaded Earth with all of his brethren in an effort to find safety from Gorg, the enemy of all Boov.

 

Rihanna voices Gratuity "Tip" Tucci, a girl who becomes separated from her mother, Lucy (Jennifer Lopez) when the Boov take over the planet. She and her cat, Pig, are desperate to find Lucy.

 

Oh has made a major blunder, and is being hunted by Captain Smek (voiced by Steve Martin) and a beleaguered Boov traffic cop, Kyle (voiced by Matt Jones). He escapes with Tip in her car, much to Tip's dismay. The two of them forge an unlikely friendship, while dodging Boov of all manner, and minions from Gorg.

 

Director Tim Johnson could not have chosen a better Oh than Parsons, and he states "His voice is gorgeous to animate." I am a huge fan of Parsons myself, and his voice and Oh's animation are perfectly synched. Parsons is so totally delightfully and sweet as the Boov who desires friends and family.

 

The relationship that develops between Oh and Tip is precious, and, oh so real. Tip resists Oh's overtures, at first, but grows to love and appreciate him, which is a wonderful lesson for children of all ages. "Home" is also beautifully colorized --- its palettes are stunning and add a great deal to the overall experience.

 

Rihanna, too, is a terrific casting choice for Tip's voice. Like Parsons, she is obviously very lyrical, and projects the feisty, loving traits which make Tip so endearing. She and Pig, the cat, are inseparable, and Pig is a wonderful catalyst for their adventures.

 

Based on the novel "The True Meaning of Smekday" by Adam Rex, which Johnson read to his young sons, "Home" is a truly lovely and adorable film to attend with children, though doing so is not a requirement. I have a feeling Oh will be with us for a long time.

 

Opinion: See It Now!

 

DAVID'S REVIEW

 

If you've ever thrown a party and nobody came, you can put yourself in Oh's shoes, er, padded feet. Oh is a member of an alien race called Boov that abducts all the humans on Earth, save one, and inhabits the planet. But the Boov populace does not believe in friendship or individuality, only conformity. So when Oh lands on Earth, he craves friends, and finds one in the only human to avoid abduction. Her name is Gratuity "Tip" Tucci.

 

Tip is in dire straits because her mother, Lucy (voiced by Jennifer Lopez), is among those who were sucked up like dust into a vacuum cleaner, only to wind up in Australia in cookie cutter homes. So Tip and Oh fly around in her car --- the Boovs have eliminated gravity --- fueled by Slushy ice drinks, in search of mom. They are accompanied by perhaps the cutest animated cat ever, Tip's pet feline she calls "Pig".

 

This all happens in the latest DreamWorks animated feature, "Home". Based on Adam Rex's children's book "The True Meaning of Smekday", director Tim Johnson ("Antz", where J-Lo also lent her voice talents) has made a film that young kids will cherish, and adults will appreciate its message of love and friendship.

 

Oh is brought to life by the distinctive voice of Jim Parsons (easily recognized if you watch "The Big Bang Theory"), and Tip is voiced by none other than pop music star Rihanna. The other big name voice is provided by Steve Martin as Captain Smek, the questionable leader of the Boovs.

 

Oh mangles the English language, but in a sweet, endearing manner. In one scene when the duo is out of danger from the pursuing Boov, he asks Tip "Are we safety now?" I found Oh, Tip and Pig to be consistently entertaining, As Oh latches on to Tip's culture, however reluctantly, he finds himself grooving to her music, unable to control his little body. "My hands are in the air like I just do not care", he says.

 

A Boov can change color at will, depending on its mood --- fear (yellow), anger (red), sadness (blue) and lying (green). Their normal tone is a shade of lavender. Oh is a regular Boov chameleon.

 

Our screening was in 3-D, but I didn't feel it was necessary, and added very little to the movie. Savor "Home" for its vibrant colors, animated effects, like the upside-down Eiffel Tower floating over Paris --- yes, they travel all around the world --- and the rapidly building, feel-good relationship between Oh and Tip.

 

There is one scary element for toddlers, another alien race called Gorg, enemy to Boov. But like the "The Wizard of Oz", what you see is not necessarily what you get. Take your kids, your nieces and nephews, the neighbor child down the street.

 

Opinion: See It Now!