This week I finally saw Dreamworks' HOME, starring the voice talents of Rihanna, Jim Parsons, J. Lo and Steve Martin. It took me almost a month and I had reservations about it I still had to support it. This is the first time a Non white (Hiro from Big hero 6 is half white half Asian) but more specifically a Black character, a Black girl has been the leading character in an animated feature movie. I went into this with an open mind to the best of my ability. Overall HOME is a really cute, standard family friendly film that is 100% filled with merchandise ready to be sold everywhere. I know Black and Brown Girls are loving Tip and Oh and Tip's pet cat have to be selling well as plushies.
In regards to the story, Dreamworks handled it very well. HOME has a few story arcs within the main plot and the resolutions did not feel rushed or abrasive. However, the character development was a little flat. They were not one dimensional but it seemed as if they withheld aspects of the characters (most likely scenes were cut due to budget or something similar) and this made them seem a sort of distant. Also Captain Smek is pretty much exactly the same character as King Julian from Madagascar, which made it difficult for me to get passed this similarity.
Director Tim Johnson told Animation Magazine writer Tom McLean that the chemistry between Tip and Oh (he is the alien) "has to be very rich and we don't have the easy chemistry of a sexual relationship" This is probably why it seemed to me that their relationship was a little shallow, because it was more "difficult" to have a platonic connection on screen?? Maybe?
The character design falls in line with Dreamworks' standard human caricatures. To me they had a really good opportunity to push and stretch how they as a studio depict humans and they didn't go for it.
The animation style was very fun, energetic. Definitely no qualms about that. Of course I have to also acknowledge how they handled Tip's hair and various hairstyles, I believe she had 5 hairstyles throughout the movie and I am definitely interested in learning more about the hair system that was created for the animators to work with.
I'm not sure how I would rate HOME, I'm not even really sure what I can compare it to. It was good for what it was. I don't think it was their strongest movie in recent times but I definitely don't feel like I wasted my time or money watching it. Plus the music was really enjoyable!
Here's the trailer;