Alien invasions, unlikely friendships and a whistle-stop tour across the globe, with a few intergalactic interactions on the way. And all to discover one simple truth: there’s no place like Home.
Standing knee-high to a grasshopper and definitely more Minion than Phantom Menace, the Boovs are a race of aliens who pride themselves on staying safe, at all times. So much as a sniff of danger and they’re on a relocation drive to find the next safe haven quicker than you can say skedaddle, and this time Earth is their destination.
Led by Captain Smek, a pompous figure who silences any doubters with a shake of his shusher (so called as it “sshhes” any backchat), this is not exactly the kind of hostile takeover to give children nightmares, but their arrival does herald chaos for humans when gravity is switched off and families are separated in the ensuing melee.
Caught in the chaos is one young girl Gratuity Tucci – Tip to her friends – who is left with only her pet cat, contrarily named Pig, when her mother is whisked away to who knows where. But Tip is a determined and resourceful gal, who manages to team up with Oh, an alien on the run from his fellow Boovs after accidentally giving their arch enemy the Gorg their location (oops, see what happens when you advertise your party to all and sundry on Facebook!)
Oh is adorable, with his endearing back-to-front way of talking: ‘I do not fit in. I fit out’. Cheerfully optimistic and naive to the ways of the human world, he’s right up there with ET and Stitch in the League of Loveable Aliens
Initially, theirs is a reluctant alliance: Tip doesn’t trust Oh. Fortunately for her, it’s pretty easy to know when he’s telling lies, because his skin changes from its usual purple to green! As they set off to find Tip’s mother, their friendship blossoms. Oh proves how handy his engineering skills are as he redesigns Tip’s mother’s motor into a zipped-up hovercraft with a piece of ‘Gorg super chip’ and learns that Boovs can groove in an amusing scene where he feels his limbs (that’s six legs and four fingers) movin’ to the rhythm (for which Rihanna provides the vocals).
Their search for Tip’s mother also gives the excuse for a world tour, catching a glimpse of various famous landmarks that have been Boovified until they finally find Lucy in Australia. All would be hunky-dory – except for the fact that the Gorg are still on the warpath and the rest of the Boov tribe are doing what they do best: running away!
Now Oh faces his biggest ever challenge: should he stay or should he go?
Raised in a world where flight always trumps fight, can Oh muster the courage to go against the Boov habit
of a lifetime and stick around when
the going gets tough?
A surprising turn of events makes Oh reassess the motivation of the Gorg. Maybe they aren’t menacing at all: they’re just out to reclaim something that is rightfully theirs. What’s more, their ominous appearance is only a disguise and inside, they are cuter than cute little starfish shaped aliens (cue mass “aaaaw” from the audience).
At its heart, this is a buddy movie, where two misfits are thrown together by circumstance in an unlikely friendship and discovering that, actually, they have a lot in common. Tip (voiced by Rihanna) is a feisty mix of bravado and blustering banter who tries hard to hide her vulnerability, while Oh uses his happy-go-lucky extrovert exterior to hide the fact that he’s an outsider. Even his name ‘Oh’ has come about because everyone signs an ‘Oh’ (as in ‘oh no’) when they see him coming.
Happily, this little underdog has the last laugh that sees him transformed from zero to hero in the Boov world.
Themes Family values, friendship, loyalty, being different, facing fear and being brave in the face of adversity.
Feel-good factor Oh is an endearingly chirpy little fella and the alien-human friendship with Tip is heartwarming. There’s a lot of bigging up of mothers, too, which we like!
Scare score The Boovs themselves are possible the most scarediest-cats to ever roamed the universe. All flight and little fight, they see danger everywhere. They are not scary themselves, but they are a bit mean and bullying to Oh. The dark figure of the Gong certainly casts a menacing figure but there’s a clever twist in the tale that proves that things are not always what they seem.
Biggest laugh There are lots of funny moments, mostly centred around Oh’s comical turn of phrase and his unconventional use of everyday objects from the human world. The old brushing of teeth in the toilet water trick may be a little hackneyed (Paddington Bear does it to great comic effect in his latest movie) but it still produces giggles. And we couldn’t help but laugh at Tip’s Knock, Knock joke. (Knock, knock. Who’s there? The cow who interrupts. The cow who interr- Mooooo!) The cow’s interrupting the joke! Geddit?
The Moral of the Tale Home is where the heart is.
Parenting Motto “Nobody’s perfect. Mistakes are what makes us human.”