Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Releases March 27th, 2015
1 hr 34 mins
Rated PG


Director: Tim Johnson
Writers: Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember (based on book "The True Meaning of Smekday"
by Adam Rex)

Rihanna as Gratuity "Tip" Tucci
Jim Parsons as Oh
Jennifer Lopez as Lucy Tucci
Steve Martin as Captain Smek
Matt L. Jones as Kyle

Reviewed by Stephen M.

Home is your perfect family animation this season.  With a grooving soundtrack, humor that will amuse both kids and adults and lovable characters, there are few things to fault on this adaptation of the book "The True Meaning of Smekday" by Adam Rex.  We have gotten glimpses of the alien race the Boov before from shorts prior to various Dreamworks Animation films.  In their first full feature film we see them hilariously take over Earth and teach us about family and friendship over the course of the movie.

Besides the beautiful animation, the lightheartedness of the film is what really takes a hold of you at the creativeness of the filmmakers.  With underlying themes of world conquest, separation, and isolation, you would think that the film would be depressing.  Jim Parsons plays the naive but free spirited lead character, Oh.  So named because every time he enters a room, his "friends", go "oh", as "oh, it's him..."  Jim does a good job as Oh, helped by witty yet straightforward dialogue.  He reminds me a lot of Baymax of Big Hero 6 or even Chappie as they were first getting acclimated to our world.

While the movie is good, it is not really distinctive which is the only gripe I would have with this film.  While many of the ideas of the film are not necessarily new, it is the way Dreamworks packages it together that makes up for it, making the film enjoyable.  Using adult actors Jim and Rihanna as the leads instead of a younger actor or actress is an interesting choice.  Perhaps just to add a bit of star power to the veteran comedian Steve Martin.

Overall, I would highly recommend this film that makes you "put your hands in the air and wave them like you just don't care."  The movie is appropriate for the whole family including very young kids.  While you do not necessarily need to re-watch the short films of the Boov, they are definitely worth catching and just add to the enjoyment of the film.


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