“Home” is an energetic, obvious animated comedy packed with the sort of low humor and silly laughs that drive very small children wild.
It’s a lesser Dreamworks work, in other words, no more ambitious than those later “Madagascar” movies. There’s not much here for anybody over the age of 8.
Jim Parsons voices Oh, a six-legged nuisance member of the Boov, an alien race that is “Best species ever … at running away.” They change planets at the first hint of danger. No stretch to think of the actor most famous for the robotic, socially inept Sheldon on TV’s “The Big Bang Theory” as a socially inept, English-mangling alien.
“What for you did this?” And “You have in nick of time SAVED us!” That’s the sort of thing Oh says.
Captain Smek, a very funny Steve Martin, is the head coward, the one who drags the Boov to Earth, where they relocate all the humans to “Happy Humans Towns” in Australia, and take over.
But teen Tip (Rihanna) has hidden out. And when Oh ineptly sends an Evite to a party to the entire universe (thus giving away the Boov’s hideout to their enemies, the Gorg), he is on the lam from his own people. They need his password to stop the email from being delivered.
Tip (short for Gratuity, hmm) only wants to find her mom (Jennifer Lopez). Handily, she and mom croon a few tunes on the soundtrack while their characters seek each other out.
Toss in a few 3D sight gags – not enough to justify making this in 3D – the odd “lactose intolerant” flatulence joke, restroom humor (“a number one, a number two? Or a number three?”) and you’ve got a kids’ movie.
Not a great one. But the voice actors are engaging. Martin stretches out vowels and brings back the mock incredulity that was his comic trademark back when he did comedy albums, not movies.
“The Internet does not lie!”
But if you’re old enough to surf that Internet without adult supervision, “Home” is entirely too familiar, and too childish to visit.
C+ CAST: The voices of Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin.
DIRECTOR: Tim Johnson.
WRITERS: Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember, based on a book by Adam Rex.
RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes.
RATING: PG (mild action and some rude humor).