In “Home,” the latest adventure from DreamWorks Animation, the misfit alien at the center of the movie is called Oh. That’s because “Oh” is everyone’s reaction when this character (voiced by Jim Parsons of “The Big Bang Theory”) makes one of his desperate, over-the-top attempts to fit in and make friends with humans.
The film, adapted from Adam Rex’s beloved kids book “The True Meaning of Smekday,” tells the story of an isolated alien race — the Boov — whose members stage elaborate, friendly takeovers of planets throughout the galaxy while on the run from an intergalactic enemy.
Led by the cowardly, arrogant Captain Smek (Steve Martin), the Boov are six-legged creatures with wide-set eyes and pig-tail ears, who change skin colors with their moods and speak in a bizarre, jumbled version of English.
For the most part, the Boov are an ornery bunch who keep to themselves. Oh is an exception. After their invasion of Earth, all humans are forcibly moved to a new settlement so the aliens can occupy their homes. Oh sets the plot in motion by accidentally emailing a party invitation to the entire galaxy, including the enemy.
Suddenly a fugitive from his own people, Oh eventually teams up with Gratuity “Tip” Tucci, (Rihanna), a 12-year-old girl who got separated from her mother, Lucy (Jennifer Lopez). Along with Tip’s cat (named Pig), they set off in a flying car, powered by slushie machines, to find Lucy.
Director Tim Johnson (“Antz”) has brought together so many appealing elements — the source material, the voice cast and a bouncy Rihanna-heavy soundtrack.
“Home” is a bit repetitious at times, but overall, thanks to its trio of stars, it is an entertaining 90-plus minutes of laughter and love.
The 3-D effects should tickle kids with frequently flying objects that seem to whiz within reach. Even more satisfying are the multicultural characters and the way Tip is drawn, in a way that better reflects the female body than animated characters usually do.
Rated: PG, for mild action and some rude humor
Voice cast: Jim Parsons, Steve Martin, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez
Director: Tim Johnson
Running time: 1 hour,