From the Creators of popular animated movies such as How To Train Your Dragon (2010), DreamWorks present us with Home; a touching yet predictable tale that follows the adventure of two not so unlikely companions. The story presents us with two protagonists ‘Oh’ (Jim Parsons) and ‘Tip’ (Rihanna) who are brought together by a series of unfortunate events.
Initially the casting of this film created somewhat a feeling of excitement as to what would come from it. Both ‘Oh’ and ‘Tip’ were well suited to their voice actors in terms of their mannerisms but it felt as though DreamWorks were merely trying to borrow an already funny and well-established character. This of course, I mean Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory (2007). Obviously the character was animated in accordance to his flamboyant and over-friendly tone but the character itself lacked a unique impression. Visually, however, his appearance would offer traits that viewers would not easily forget. That being said, the case was not the same when it comes to the character of Tip. She did not possess any mannerism which stood out at any point. It was like watching a poorly chosen child actor being placed in the shoes of just another child protagonist trying to fix the damage that someone else has dealt. In other words, I found it difficult to see an animation of a character; it was an animated projection of Rihanna herself. This was not helped by most of the soundtrack featuring her as an artist. This in itself isn’t an issue but the poor use and placement of the songs was. A large proportion of the film felt as if it was a huge product placement designed to sell her albums. However, there were some moments that the songs were fitting to the visual narrative; mostly when upbeat audio was used combined with exciting action scenes. Occasionally, one or two of Rihanna’s songs were used appropriately but these were during the more “tear-jerking” scenes of which there were little as it is a film mostly directed at children.
Being a family film, one would expect there to be several adult-themed jokes that would easily surpass a child’s imagination but possibly make the film worthwhile for another parent that has been dragged to see it by their demanding child. However, these were virtually non-existant and when the rare occasion did occur, it may as well have been followed by the noise of tumbleweed. This was not entirely, but partially due to poor timing which is crucial when trying to create laughter. Although, seemingly, the film didn’t appear to be trying to achieve that kind of audience reaction at all.
Narratively the film was predictable and pretty slow to take off (especially for a 94 minute film) but provided an easy-to-follow storyline for children. Although captivating for the younger audience and probably thoroughly enjoyable considering the fact that they were exposed to the same “funny segments” twice before even watching the film. As a result, when the time finally arose for the film to be showcased, we, as an audience already knew the “funniest” moments the film had to offer. It is almost as though it relied on the repetitiveness of these moments to sell itself to its target audience. Had the film not featured most of its funniest moments in the trailer as well as before the film, the audience reaction; the adults one at least, could have been a more positive one.
One strength that film did possess however, was that it was very visually pleasing through the use of vibrant colours and captivating cinematography. However this alone was not enough to hold up the film by itself and as a result, caused a pretty disappointing experience.