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Kids’ movies come in all styles, ranging from wild, wacky cartoonish comedies to smarter, more sophisticated tales. The latest animated adventure from DreamWorks, Home, falls somewhere in the middle: light and entertaining but not much more memorable than its generic title.

Home begins as an alien race called the Boov arrives on Earth—the latest stop in their ongoing mission to run away and hide from their enemies, the Gorg. After all of the residents have been relocated, the Boov begin settling in. An especially bumbling Boov named Oh (voiced by Jim Parsons) is eager to make new friends on the new planet—but when he accidentally emails invitations to his housewarming party to everyone in the galaxy (including the Gorg), he ends up on the run. He soon connects with Tip (Rihanna), a daring human girl who was left behind with her cat when her mother was relocated. And as the two outsiders work together to avoid the Boov while searching for Tip’s mom, they build an unlikely friendship.

  
 
Home isn’t an especially sophisticated movie. It isn’t deep or meaningful or profound, and it sometimes relies on bodily functions for its humor. It’s just a silly little movie with some striking animation and a simple message about being brave and taking chances—even if that means making some mistakes in the process.

The film certainly isn’t without its share of issues. Many of the conflicts aren’t as catastrophic as they’re made out to be, which means that much of the story involves the Boov leaders blowing an issue way out of proportion, panicking for a while, then coming up with a simple fix before moving on to the next not-so-disastrous disaster. After a while, the rambling story loses some of its appeal—and that happens not long after the Boov’s misuse of the English language stops being funny.

Fortunately, though, the characters help to balance out the other faults. Oh and Tip are an adorable pair of fugitives. While Oh may make a mess of pretty much everything, his lovable bumbling is often endearing. And Tip is both sweet and spicy—a headstrong little girl with a whole lot of heart. She’s lonely and scared, and she sometimes takes her fears and frustrations out on those around her (leading Oh to the realization that it’s possible for humans to be “sad-mad”)—but that’s all a part of her charm. She’s scared but determined, likable but flawed—the kind of character that anyone can understand. And, together, the awkward alien and the troubled little girl make Home a fun (if forgettable) animated adventure.

This isn’t the kind of movie that your whole family will be eager to own on Blu-ray. It isn’t as obnoxiously wild and crazy as some kids’ movies, but it simply isn’t that memorable, either. With its quirky characters and gorgeous 3D animation, though, it’s sure to keep your kids entertained.


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