The Boov Couple
Antz man puts a new spin on alien invasions
With cinemas dominated by endless sequels and reboots, DreamWorks’ Tim Johnson believes that contemporary sci- fi has lost its way. Describing it as “the first post- apocalyptic/ alien invasion/ buddy comedy/ road trip animated movie,” the director addresses that apparent lack of creativity with his latest film, Home.
“I’m a huge science fiction nut and one of the things that I think is turning into a little bit of a crisis is that it’s beginning to imitate itself a lot,” he tells Red Alert. “What’s been so exciting about this project is that we’re trying to have a bit of unexpected fun with all these sci- fi tropes that we all take for granted. My first statement to the whole crew was ‘ No laser beams!’ and from the start we tried to really have fun with the conventions of sci- fi but passed through a very humorous filter.”
Based on Adam Rex’s novel The True Meaning Of Smekday, Home centres around young Gratuity “Tip” Tucci ( voiced by Rihanna), who forms an unlikely bond with a renegade alien who goes by the name of Oh ( The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons). “In the movie, they have a really profound friendship,” explains Johnson. “They begin at odds and then find a lot of truth from one another.”
According to Johnson, Home is one of those rare occasions where you get to see an alien invasion from the aliens’ point of view. “That works especially well with a humorous kind of attitude where they look at Earth and go, ‘ We’re so much more sophisticated and advanced than them, so we’re going to make their lives so much better. Lucky humans!’”
Admitting that “I’d like our version of this guy to sit on my desk”, the distinctive look of Oh and his fellow members of the Boov race was inspired by the numerous vinyl toys that Johnson saw at Comic- Con. Having worked together on Antz, Steven Spielberg ’s extraterrestrial films were another reference point. “One of the first things we did was to watch several important sci- fi films, starting with ET, but also including more hardcore versions of an alien invasion with War Of The Worlds,” he reveals. “I also went back to some favourites from my canon like The Day The Earth Stood Still, which has some of the most elegant design with the interior of that spaceship. I would love our movie to be watched 50 years from now and for the technology to still feel just as vital.”
Home is in cinemas from Friday 20 March.
Home shows an alien invasion from the aliens’ point of view.