Home Blu-ray Review
It’s moving day for the Boov, a species who is constantly on the hunt for a safe habitat. The latest selection is Planet Earth, because apparently they’re oblivious to global warming, war and Donald Trump. The Boov take over by picking up people and homes and relocating them to a sole location dubbed as Happy Human Land. With humans out of the way, the Boov can live in a section of the planet designated solely for them and their strange little bodies.
One of the Boov, Oh (Jim Parsons, ABC’s THE BIG BANG THEORY), who earned his name from the way everyone reacts when he enters the room (it’s said in more of a groan, if that helps), calls it “best day ever.” He’s a bit giddier than the rest of the Boov and so has made a reputation for himself as the one no one likes. It doesn’t help that he accidentally invites enemy species the Gorg to his housewarming party.
To make matters a bit more difficult, a young human named Tip Tucci (singer Rihanna, who also provided a couple of songs for the soundtrack), who was separated from her mother, Lucy (Jennifer Lopez, who previously voiced a sabretooth tiger in 2012’s ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT), is still living in the sector. Of course, Oh and Tip become pals and set out on a journey to join daughter and mother.
HOME is the latest release from DreamWorks Animation, whose most recent efforts include PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature) and MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN. Unlike the studio’s best efforts, HOME just isn’t fun. The animation is colorful enough to keep the attention of little ones (the Boov change colors depending on, um, how bored the animators got that particular day?), but there just isn’t enough here to make it stand out. Even they might grow tired of the remarkably irritating way the species talks, as they say things like, “Can I borrowing a cup of sugar?” and “You are always saying the funny things.”
Although Parsons is charismatic enough to make Oh a fitting mascot for the movie, the rest of voice cast, which also includes a wasted Steve Martin (who has not done voice work since 1998’s THE PRINCE OF EGYPT), Matt L. Jones (who had a voice role in 2014’s PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE) and Brian Stepanek (Nickelodeon’s NICKY, RICKY, DICKY & DAWN), is lackluster and never seems to be doing much other than reading their lines.
HOME is directed by Tim Johnson, whose previous credits include 2006’s OVER THE HEDGE and ANTZ. Still, his crowning achievement is the “Homer3” segment from THE SIMPSONS’ “Treehouse of Horror VI.”
Video: 1.85:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. This high-definition transfer offers wonderful details and a range of colors that pop and will surely delight the younger crowd.
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; English Descriptive Audio 5.1; Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1; French Dolby Digital 5.1. Subtitles in English, Spanish and French. The audio is also without flaw, with stellar sound effects and a lively soundtrack.
Best Party Ever! (1:01): Oh offers a preview of the special features.
Oh’s Shake Your Boov Thing (2:56): Oh and other Boovs demonstrates the sort of “involuntary physical response” that comes from hearing human music.
Party Tunes includes a Music Video and Lyric Video for Jennifer Lopez’s “Feel the Light” and Oh’s Boovy Jukebox.
Oh’s Party Planning Tips (4:04): Oh lets humans in on how to throw a Boov/“humanspeople” shindig.
Oh’s Costume Party lets viewers dress up Oh and Smek.
Short Boovies: There are three here: THIS IS BEING BOOV (2:53), ALMOST HOME (4:08) and TESTING LAB (2:04).
Deleted Scenes (26:05): There are seven here, which can be viewed separately or as a whole. They are: “Introduction with Tim Johnson,” “What a Dump,” “Hide and Seek,” “Oh’s Apartment,” “Empty Earth,” “The Swamp Chase” and “The Key Fight.”
Be an Artist! (22:41) is divided into four sections which show how certain characters are created. They are: “Intro,” “Oh,” “Tip” and “Pig the Cat.”
Stars of HOME (1:32): Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and Steve Martin offer brief thoughts on the characters.