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Ros Hull

Oh, an alien on the run from his own people, whilst they are currently taking over the earth, hides out in a convenience store and makes friends with the adventurous Tip, who is on a quest of her own.” imdb – ish

Dreamworks, the other animation studio that isn’t Pixar, make animated films that aren’t Disneyesque. They are often more sophisticated in their scripts and more complex in their plots. They are usually quite awesome (How the Train Your Dragon – the hippest animated film, possibly ever) or completely crazy (Madagascar – I just can’t look at lemurs the same way now). Some even change the cultural landscape – Shrek.

This does the first two but I don’t know if it will have the cult appeal of Dragon, the universal appeal of green ogres or sink like Jar Jar Binks. That is for people younger and way cooler than me to decide. I can only give you my opinion.

I liked it.

The voice talent is very, very good. Led by Jim Parsons as Oh and Rihanna as Tip, their voices fit the animations really well. Steve Martin is practically hollering for a straight jacket as the Boov (invading aliens) leader but even he does not grandstand in his role, letting the character have centre stage rather than the famous voice behind it. Much as I will always love the late and undeniably great Robin Williams, his voice work was his schtick first and the characterisation second.

The look of the film is gorgeous and the beautiful colours help play down the whole invasion for the littler audiences. These aliens use bubbles to pop holes in buildings, bubbles to hold their luggage and bubbles to do just about everything. They suck earthlings up into spaceships kitted out like giant ball pits, where they are fed ‘frozen bovine secretions’ (ice creams). The Boov come in all the traditional colours of Easter eggs and I just don’t see how anyone that uses slurpees to power a hover car could seem threatening enough to get a PG rating. Maybe it’s the toilet humour, or the separation of Tip and her mother?

The toilet humour is really funny.

All the humour is good, the adults in the audience I saw it with were laughing just as much as the kids. It is incredibly clever – Oh’s language alone has given me one-liners for months. So not surprisingly, it is based on a novel – The True Meaning of Smekday – the author of which (Adam Rex) is switched on enough to have created a website to help us humans cope with the invasion. It’s fun, and actually meant for kids, but now I am going to have to read that novel. Interesting tidbit – in the book Oh is called J.Lo…and in the film J.Lo voices Tip’s mum.

It looks like a wet Easter so maybe a trip to the movies could be a good idea. If so, this is my best bet to entertain everyone – older children and even young teens will enjoy the adventure and the humour and the younger ones will love the look and the movement…and any nerdy adults in the family (like me) will get a kick out of the whole thing.

Ros Hull

Ros saw Star Wars and immediately wanted to fly the Millenium Falcon. Unable to do that she became a Jill-of-all-trades as her army husband whirled her around the world – and back to Canberra 10 years ago. She has worked in public programs and museum education ever since. She gained an MA in writing whilst getting two daughters through high school - both are now at university and undeniably fabulous (according to her). She can worry as an Olympic sport so she sees lots of movies instead. More about the Author

  • Michelle B

    I really want to see this, looks so cute!!

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