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"Home": An Animated Alien Flick With Rihanna and JLo 

Wednesday, Mar 25 2015

They're not yet nipping at Pixar's heels, quality-wise, but every so often, DreamWorks produces a really good animated film. (Let's forget that the one with the penguins happened.) In Tim Johnson's fun and often heartwarming Home, Oh (Jim Parsons) is a good-hearted but unpopular member of a squat alien race called the Boov who travel from planet to planet, exiling the residents into well-tended internment camps and moving into their homes. A young girl in New York named Tip (Rihanna) manages to avoid capture, and while searching for her mother (Jennifer Lopez,) she reluctantly teams up with Oh, who has accidentally alerted the Boov's enemies to their presence on Earth. There are many previous properties it thematically resembles — Disney's Lilo & Stitch and Jhonen Vasquez's Invader Zim, and even the Boov's habit of gathering the humans' objects into huge floating balls evokes theKatamari Damacy games – but Home is commendable by family film standards because, much like the studio's Turbo from 2013, it puts people of color in the foreground. Not only is the hero a smart, brave 7th-grade girl — indeed, there are no human males with significant speaking parts — but she's also an immigrant from Barbados, and a self-described nerd who got an A in geometry. She's even a cat owner. Well done, DreamWorks. SC


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Sherilyn Connelly


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