What is the true meaning of “home”? Not surprisingly, it varies, to a degree, from person to person. But the shared connective tissue for all is always, emotion.
“Home is the emotional place where you feel like you’re not away from it,” confirms respected actor Steve Martin.
“It’s wherever I feel safest, really,” notes Grammy winner Rihanna. “Anything and anywhere that feels familiar and comfortable, is home.”
“It’s where you feel unjudged, and where what I do isn’t necessarily stupid or wrong,” adds Emmy winner Jim Parsons.
Welcome to DreamWorks Animation’s “Home” - when Oh, a lovable misfit from another planet, lands on Earth and finds himself on the run from his own people, he forms an unlikely friendship with an adventurous girl named Tip who is on a quest of her own after being separated from her mom Lucy (Jennifer Lopez). Through a series of comic adventures with Tip, Oh comes to understand that being different and making mistakes is all part of being human, and together they discover the true meaning of the word home. Steve Martin is the voice of Captain Smek, the vain and weak leader of an alien race called Boov where Oh belongs.
Director Tim Johnson calls “Home” the first “post-apocalyptic, alien invasion buddy comedy, road trip, animated movie.” But above all, says Johnson, “Home” is about two characters who don’t fit in their respective worlds, but together find the true meaning of acceptance and ever-surprising commonalities. “It’s very much a buddy movie, and it’s also about a clash of cultures coming to an incredible understanding and blossoming into a fun and beautiful friendship between Oh and Tip,” he elaborates.
Bringing HOME to the big screen began in Tim Johnson’s …home, when he began reading author Adam Rex’s novel The True Meaning of Smekday to his young sons, then ages five and seven. The youngsters enjoyed the story, which made an even greater impact on their father, who recalls: “I read the boys two chapters and tucked them in, and then ruthlessly cheated on them by reading late into the night and finishing the book at 2 a.m. It’s such a powerful story of friendship with a comic and crazy edge, and the characters are crisp and fun.”
At the core of both the book and the film is the friendship between Oh and Tip. Oh is a Boov, hive-minded beings who value conformity and think true happiness is achieved through the healthy suppression of individuality. They’re enthusiastic visitors to our planet, which they’ve graciously decided to conquer.
Jennifer Lopez, who had previously worked with Johnson on the director’s animated box-office hit Antz, voices Lucy. “To work with Jennifer again, after 17 years, was such a treat,” he says. “She brings the warmth and power you’d expect in a mother separated from her daughter. Jennifer’s performance becomes the emotional center of the movie.
“One of the film’s most emotional moments,” Johnson continues, “was talking with Jennifer about families separated and then reunited, and sharing some of her ideas and experiences to make the moment where Tip and Lucy reunite really profound. Jennifer is the full bandwidth – entertainer, actor, filmmaker and producer.”
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Rihanna is another fan of her onscreen parent. “Everybody wants J-Lo to be their mom!” she exclaims. “Her voice is so sweet and vulnerable; you feel safe just hearing her voice and performance. You believe she’s Tip’s mother.”
Intergalactic adventure awaits when “Home” arrives in theatres on March 26 (2d and 3D) nationwide from DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox.