Sometimes you have to wonder about an animated film – clearly made for children – that’s released during school term time. Either it’s not very good so they’re just chucking it out there, or they’re getting a bit of extra business in before the (Easter) holiday period arrives. If Empire magazine’s review is anything to go by, it’s the former; but a quick look at IMDb tells a slightly different story, where Home scores 6.8 from (currently) 1,066 users. If you’re more prone to look at the overall picture, and Rotten Tomatoes is your bag, we’re at 39% rotten from a decidedly light batch of 23 reviews.
I have to admit, I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy with the prospect of spending 90-odd minutes in the company of such an average/ poorly reviewed film. But these are the things us parents have to do for our children; and ever since my 13-year-old daughter saw the trailer, she wanted to go. Big whoop! In all fairness we see a lot of stuff together, and despite her thinking Transformers 4 was utterly brilliant (I beg of you, don’t even go there!) she’s got fairly good taste. I was the picture of interested, sitting with my arms firmly folded from the very beginning, thinking to myself “this is going to be a car crash. Empire only gave it 2 stars!” I have to admit, I only look at the score these days, I don’t read reviews any more so as to avoid spoilers and not cloud my own opinion before seeing anything. Clearly that last part kind of works baring in mind what I’ve just written. There’s logic in there somewhere!
So there I was, arms crossed, ice running through my veins, daring this not-well-reviewed piece of children’s cinema to warm me and entertain me. Jim Parsons was doing his very best “cute alien” version of Sheldon Cooper, all doe-eyes and colour-changing demeanour; while Rihanna attempted to erase the calamity that was Battleship from our consciousness, chipping in with upty-squiddly-upty numbers of her own songs to enhance the experience. Badger from Breaking Bad provided the audience with a character that was almost as stupid (intellectually speaking) as “is that really Steve Martin‘s” really stupid (intellectually speaking) Captain Smek. And the cynic in me was rolling my eyes (figuratively speaking) wondering when it was all going to end. Then I realised…
All that stuff is true. Jim Parsons doing Sheldon Cooper, lots of Rihanna songs being used throughout the film, simplistic premise, yadda-yadda-yadda. But does it really matter? Everyone likes Sheldon and Rihanna’a songs are very listenable. It’s always good to hear those dulcet, distinctive tones of Matt Jones and who doesn’t like Steve Martin “doing wacky“? There’s certainly nothing negative that can be said of this level of animation these days. As I touched upon with Big Hero 6, the level of detail is eye-watering and the look and feel of the environments created are great. As for the story, well I finished watching Home with my arms unfolded, wondering “why was someone behind me chopping onions?” Sometimes you’ve just got to let go and embrace what’s put in front of you. There’s a strong message inside Home, one that is hopefully understood by the younger members of the audience and not snorted at by those that have taken them to see it.
Thank you for reading 🙂