There’s obviously such a thirst for family-friendly animated films that even this lackluster diversion attracts crowds at the multiplex. When their planet is threatened by the dreaded Gorg, the Boovs decide to move to Earth. In preparation for this diversionary tactic, Earthlings are vacuumed up by giant Boov spaceships and relocated to a candy-colored theme park, dubbed “Happy Humantown,” in the Australian desert. But 13 year-old Gratuity Tucci (Rihanna) – a Bahamian immigrant called “Tip” – and her Calico cat were able to avoid capture. Desperate to find her mother, Lucy (Jennifer Lopez), plucky Tip goes looking for her. Read on…
Meanwhile, there’s this bumbling young Boov named “Oh,” as in “Oh, no” or “Ohhhh.” Oh (voiced by Jim Parsons) becomes a fugitive after he inadvertently hit “send all” on a galaxy-wide housewarming party invitation that reveals the terrestrial location of the new Boov habitat.
Tip and Oh ‘meet cute’ when they’re spied by a security camera in the same convenience store. Trapped in a freezer, Oh promises to help Tip. Utilizing his advanced technology, he transforms her mother’s car into a Slushy-powered hovercraft – equipped with Rihanna’s Caribbean-infused music tracks.
Off they go – only to discover that the entire threat was caused by a small Gorg rock mounted on the “shusher” scepter belonging to the Boov’s egotistical leader, Captain Smek (Steve Martin), who stole it.
Based on Adam Rex’s popular children’s book, “The True Meaning of Smekday” (2007), it’s adapted for the screen by Tom J. Astie and Matt Ember (“Epic”) and directed by Tim Johnson (“Antz”).
While Tip is the first black protagonist in a DreamWorks Animation feature, the plot bears an uncanny resemblance to “Lilo & Stitch,” which was filled with Polynesian kitsch.
Jim Parsons (a.k.a. Sheldon Cooper on TV’s “The Big Bang Theory”) and pop singer Rihanna make welcome debuts in voice-over animation, but it’s disconcerting is how much the Boov creatures look like blue-hued Minions with stubby tentacles.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Home” is a familiarly fanciful 5, featuring the most benign aliens ever to invade Earth.