Home (2015 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tim Johnson|
|Based on||The True Meaning of Smekday
by Adam Rex
|Music by||Lorne Balfe
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$249.4 million|
Home is a 2015 American 3D computer-animated buddy comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is based on Adam Rex's 2007 children's book The True Meaning of Smekday and stars Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, and Steve Martin. Tim Johnson is the director of the film, Chris Jenkins and Suzanne Buirgy are its producers, and the adaptation is by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember. The story takes place on planet Earth, where an alien race called the Boov invade the planet. However, a teenage girl named Tip manages to avoid capture and goes on the run.
The film was released in theaters on March 27, 2015. Home was promoted with the release of a four-minute short film, titled Almost Home, and premiered at the Boulder International Film Festival on March 7, 2015. Besides lending her voice to the film, Rihanna also created a concept album of the same name. The soundtrack includes guest vocals from Jennifer Lopez, among others, was supported by two singles, "Towards the Sun" and "Feel the Light", and was met with moderate success on music charts. Home received generally mixed reviews from film critics, but mostly positive reviews from film audiences.
On the run from their enemy the Gorg, the Boov find our planet, Earth, suitable for a place to call 'home'. Led by Captain Smek (Steve Martin), they commence their friendly invasion of the planet, relocating the humans to other parts of the planet while the Boov inhabit their homes. One of the Boov, named Oh (Jim Parsons) is a more excited, free-thinking member of the species, who decides to invite all the other Boov to his apartment for a housewarming party. Not far from Oh is a teenage girl named Tip (Rihanna), who drives away through her home city after being separated from her mother Lucy (Jennifer Lopez) during the invasion, leaving her with her pet calico cat Pig and fueling her hatred for the Boov.
Oh runs into the street to find a Boov cop named Kyle (Matt L. Jones), who, like the rest of the Boov, are aggravated with Oh. He invites him to the party, and then decides to send a mass invite to every Boov on Earth. Oh hits "reply all", which actually sends the invite to absolutely every alien race in the entire galaxy, including the Gorg. After being declared a fugitive, Oh runs into a convenience store to grab supplies, just as Tip and Pig are doing so. They come across each other, and after Tip's car fails to start, Oh transforms it into a fantastical, hovering craft that literally runs on slushies. Oh hitches a ride with Tip when he promises to help her find Lucy, but unfortunately, they must to go to the Boov Command Center in Paris and locate her from there.
After reaching the Boov Command Center, which is in the now-floating Eiffel Tower, Oh manages to get into his account, and deletes the message just seconds before it reaches the Gorg. He then plugs in Tip's brain to help her find Lucy. They eventually trace her location to Australia, where she is actively looking for her daughter. The other Boov then find the two and try to "erase" Oh, while Tip grabs the gravity manipulation system and flips it over, causing the whole Tower to tilt upside down, thus allowing ample time for her and Oh to escape and head for Australia.
When the two wake up, they see other Boov riding by them in fear, and realize that a Gorg ship is close behind them. Tip and Oh manage to knock it down, but in the process a chunk of it hits them and they lose their slushie fuel. They come across the fallen Gorg ship and find out that it is actually a drone. Oh recovers a special chip and uses it to get their car up and running.
Tip and Oh make it to Australia and see the Boov evacuating to their mothership. When they land the car, Tip starts to run for her mother, but Oh insists on evacuating with the other Boov instead. Tip gets angry at him for trying to break the promise again, and she declares that they were never friends. Heartbroken, Oh returns to the ship. The Gorg mothership come close to the Boov ship, but Oh pulls out the Gorg chip and uses it to fly the ship further away from the Gorg. The Boov become astonished at Oh's plan. Smek becomes upset and reminds everyone that he is the captain. Kyle grabs Smek's "shusher" (a scepter with a rock on top of it) and gives it to Oh, declaring him the new captain.
Tip rushes aimlessly around the city to find Lucy, but no one can help her. Oh returns to her side and helps her track down Lucy. The mother and daughter finally reunite and thank Oh. The Gorg mothership descends upon the planet, and Oh realizes that they want the rock on the shusher, since Smek had previously stolen it from them. Oh runs to the ship to try and get its attention, locking Tip and Lucy in the car for safety. Tip breaks out of the car and shines a light in the Gorg Commander's face to bring his attention to Oh as he holds the rock up. The Gorg Commander (Brian Stepanek) halts the ship as it crunches down on the ground, with Oh in its path. Tip rushes to rescue him, but Oh gets seemingly crushed beneath the machine. It backs up and Oh is revealed to be unharmed. The Gorg Commander emerges from his armor to show that he is actually a harmless starfish-like creature. Oh returns the rock to him, which turns out to contain millions of developing Gorg larvae; the next generation of Gorg, revealing that this Gorg is the last of his kind. He thanks Oh and eventually departs.
Two weeks later, the humans have returned to their original homes, and Oh finally gets to have his party at his apartment, with humans and Boov in attendance. Tip plays her music and gets the rest of the Boov to experience dancing for the first time, while other Boov, including Smek, party on the moon, and thousands of ships from other planets head to Earth for Oh's party upon receiving his invite.
- Jim Parsons as Oh, a banished Boov who befriends Tip.
- Rihanna as Gratuity "Tip" Tucci, a teenage girl who befriends Oh.
- Jennifer Lopez as Lucy Tucci, Tip's mother.
- Steve Martin as Captain Smek, the leader of the Boov race.
- Matt L. Jones as Kyle, a Boov police officer.
- Brian Stepanek as Gorg Commander, the leader of the Gorg.
- April Lawrence as Boov Announcer
In 2008, DreamWorks Animation optioned the book's rights to adapt it into an animated feature film. On his blog, Adam Rex announced that DreamWorks renewed the option of the adaptation in 2011. On June 20, 2012, it was revealed that the title of the film would be Happy Smekday!, Jim Parsons and Rihanna would star in the lead roles, and the film would be released in the fourth quarter of 2014. In September 2012, 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation announced a release date of November 26, 2014. In June 2013, the film was retitled from Happy Smekday! to Home.
On October 3, 2013, it was announced that Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez had joined the cast. On May 20, 2014, the film's release date was pushed back to March 27, 2015, switching places with DreamWorks Animation's film Penguins of Madagascar. Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation's CEO, reasoned that Penguins, coming from one of DWA's most successful franchises, would more easily stand out during Thanksgiving time, while Home would try to take advantage of the less competitive spring release window, and repeat successful spring launches of some of DWA's original films, including The Croods and How to Train Your Dragon.
In addition to her voice role, Rihanna created a concept album for the film (also titled Home) which was released on March 24, 2015. It consists of 8 original songs. The soundtrack's lead single, Rihanna's "Towards the Sun", premiered on BBC Radio 1 on February 24, 2015, and was made available for digital download the same day, via the iTunes Store. It was sent to contemporary hit radio in the United States on March 17. The second single, "Feel the Light", recorded by Jennifer Lopez, was released on February 25, 2015 via the iTunes Store.
A 4-minute short film called Almost Home was attached to theatrical showings of DreamWorks Animation's Mr. Peabody & Sherman in early 2014 and 20th Century Fox's Rio 2 that same year. It was directed by Todd Wilderman, and features a score composed by Lorne Balfe. The short shows The Boov and their leader Captain Smek in a sequence of unsuccessful attempts at finding a hospitable planet, before they finally come across the Earth. The film itself premiered at the Boulder International Film Festival on March 7, 2015.
Home opened in the U.S. and Canada simultaneously with the comedy Get Hard on March 27, 2015. Though the latter earned higher in its Thursday late-night run, estimates were showing that Home was heading to No. 1 in its opening weekend. It scored one of the biggest opening days for a DWA non-sequel ever with $15.6 million, behind Kung Fu Panda ($20 million) and Monsters vs. Aliens ($16.75 million). Home debuted at the top of the box office, with $52.1 million, which exceeded predictions of a $30 million to $35 million opening and was also DreamWorks Animation's best opening since the $60.3 million debut of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, as well as the company's third highest opening weekend for a non-sequel (behind Kung Fu Panda and Monsters vs. Aliens).
Outside North America, Home was released in 10 countries on March 20, 2015, a week ahead of its U.S. premiere. It earned $20.1 million, coming in third place at the international box office behind Cinderella and The Divergent Series: Insurgent. The following weekend, it expanded to 55 additional countries and grossed a total of $24 million from 11,250 screens in 64 countries. Its largest openings occurred in the UK, Ireland and Malta ($9.12 million), Russia ($5.17 million), Mexico ($3 million), Brazil ($2.3 million), Australia ($2.42 million), and Spain ($2.24 million).
Home has received generally mixed reviews from critics. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 47% approval rating, based on 100 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10. The site's consensus reads, "Colorful, silly, and utterly benign, Home is a passable diversion, but there's no shortage of superior animated alternatives." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a score of 55 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". In CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, cinema audiences gave Home an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter said, "There may be no place like home, but there are a lot of places like Home, an animated adventure about the unlikely friendship between a lonely girl and an alien misfit that can't help but feel familiar." James Rocchi of The Wrap gave the film a positive review, saying "As animated sci-fi for small fry, it's a success whose modest but well-executed ambitions are no small part of its charm." Stephen Whitty gave the film two out of five stars, saying "The Gummi-colored animation is imaginative, but director Tim Johnson's ho-hum 3D cartoon remains strictly 1D." Rafer Guzman of Newsday gave the film two out of four stars, saying "The film moves quickly and keeps the jokes coming, which only means that Home would rather keep young viewers occupied than give them something to think about." Ben Sachs of the Chicago Reader gave the film a negative review, saying "Aggressive and cynical approach to children's entertainment, pummeling viewers with mechanical-looking action sequences (which suggest video game demos), unfunny one-liners, and overly loud pop songs and sound effects." Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film two out of five stars, saying "Key characters are admirably diverse, but the fast-paced tale is thoroughly predictable."
Soren Anderson of The Seattle Times gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "It works moderately well thanks largely to the voice talents of Jim Parsons and, to a lesser extent, Steve Martin. Two droll dudes who put a fair share of funny into this animated picture." Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times called the film "A charming concoction with positive messages for younger children about conquering fears, understanding outsiders and knowing yourself." Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a negative review, saying "Tension is one of Home's biggest issues. There just isn't nearly enough of it. Story is another. Even a kids' movie needs more complexity and more invention." Linda Barnard of the Toronto Star gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "Aside from Parsons' initially amusingly mangled Yoda-like English, which gets a tad repetitive, Home doesn't stand out as fresh or particularly funny." Dana Rose Falcone of Entertainment Weekly gave the film an A-, saying "The combination of Home's layered message, fun score, and clever comedy make it a colorful choice for moviegoers of any age." Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice gave the film a mixed review, saying "If director Tim Johnson -- adapting Adam Rex's book The True Meaning of Smekday -- can't do much with the story's confused, if well-intentioned, agenda, at least he's got some charming, vivid characters to work with." Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a C, saying "Anyone over 10 will see the plot twists a mile away. Kids will probably enjoy the goofy Boovs, the rainbows of colors and the music. Call me a traditionalist, but I still say the world was a better place before those darn Boovs invaded."
Peter Debruge of Variety gave the film a negative review, saying "From a creative standpoint, this is the studio's least exciting feature yet - hardly its worst, execution-wise, but entirely lacking in the risk-taking spirit that has spawned such successful franchises as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Dragon." Sara Stewart of the New York Post gave the film two out of five stars, saying "It’s refreshing to see a nonwhite lead, and the husky-voiced pop singer is likable as a brave-hearted kid searching for her mother. But man, is there a lot of Rihanna in this movie: She also provides what seems like the entirety of the film’s soundtrack, making it feel like a vanity project (is “vanimation” a thing?)." Barbara VanDenburgh of The Arizona Republic gave the film two out of five stars, saying "For all its energy, razzle-dazzle and whiz-bang technology, it doesn't know how to tell a simple story or cobble together three-dimensional characters, and that's a problem not even the best of 3-D glasses can fix." Susan Wloszczyna of RogerEbert.com gave the film two out of five stars, saying "I kept thinking about Lilo & Stitch while watching Home, a decidedly disappointing effort based on the popular kid-lit book The True Meaning of Smekday from the already embattled folks at DreamWorks Animation."
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Home is an outrageously funny buddy movie about a hilarious, yet inept, alien race and their equally inept invasion of Earth.
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Together with her world-class songwriting creative team, Rihanna has been collaborating with us for over the last 2 years to create an innovative musical movie event that features an entire concept album of brand-new songs and we couldn't be more excited about it.
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- Official website
- Official website at DreamWorks Animation
- Home at the Internet Movie Database
- Home at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Home at Box Office Mojo
- Home at Rotten Tomatoes
- Home at Metacritic