There have been some excellent animated films released recently.
From the joyful, comic book spectacle of Big Hero 6 to the understated beauty of Princess Kaguya, some filmmakers are very keen to push the boundaries of the medium.
However, relentless innovation isn’t for everyone and there are some films that just aim to entertain.
Home, the latest DVD release from DreamWorks Animation, is a good example of this.
It tells the story of the Boov, a friendly alien race who have somehow become the enemies of an aggressive species known as the Gorg. The Boov survive by constantly running away and pick Earth as their next home, relocating the planet’s inhabitants to Australia.
However, the Boov fail to capture one American teenage girl called Tip (voiced by Rihanna). At the same time, a well-intentioned but annoying Boov called Oh (Jim Parsons) accidentally sends Earth’s co-ordinates to the Gorg.
The two misfits cross paths and team up to set everything right.
Home is a fun, colourful, yet predictable adventure about the importance of friendship and family.
Unlike recent offerings from Disney and Pixar, DreamWorks’ story seems to target a specifically young audience, relying on silly dances, wacky slapstick and toilet humour for its big laughs. Literally four or five gags are set in lavatories. The film also shies away from issues that adults might find appealing and gets rather schmaltzy during its more emotional moments.
This doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie though.
There are some awesome sequences, including one great scene where a floating Eiffel Tower gets turned upside-down.
The characters are undeniably appealing too. The filmmakers manage to keep Oh – a cuddly, purple squid-like creation – likeable to audiences while showing how irritating he is to every other character in the film.
Meanwhile, Tip offers an admirably sensible heroine. She doesn’t have a head full of dreams, like some Disney princesses, but seems firmly grounded in reality, presenting a confident girl that kids could look up to.
The slick animation (with its angular character designs) is also very easy on the eyes. Home’s visuals may lack warmth but they create a pleasant, slightly old-school, sci-fi aesthetic that’s beautiful to behold.
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