Home is where the kids are 

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You hear the most peculiar things when three children aged 8-12 are seated side-by-side in a movie theater and given sugar and 30 minutes of wait time until a featured presentation.

“I need a booster seat! If we're at the top we can see everything!” said one.

“You taste like pastrami! You're just like your mommy!” responded another.

“Look!” exclaimed a third. “I'm a plastic popcorn girl! I'm a dinosaur!”

Such imagination is stupefying. Just as important as paying mind to a movie's scripting, casting, plot and cohesiveness is how the narrative activates the brain noodles of young spirits holding unintelligible conversations such as this.

There are certainly some easy critiques of Home (3D), the latest DreamWorks animated film, which follows a young ethnic girl as she is separated from her mother by an alien invasion and must enlist a dopey alien outcast (a Boov) to assist her. The first of which is that this is Lilo & Stitch meets the Despicable Me minions; it's familiar. Naggingly.

The voice casting also gives pause. In theory, a wonderful cast of able actors including Jim Parsons, Rihanna (does she even have a last name?), Jennifer Lopez and Steve Martin should be indubitable.

There's an awkward discordance when Rihanna's character Tip begins dancing and singing along to Rihanna's own music. Sure, it's an injection of modern youth culture. It's a hip alternative soundtrack that may increase the target demographic for the movie. It's just too obvious.

But as soon as the critic in your head starts gaining, three little voices drown him out.

“Oh no! He's so sad! That makes me so sad!” chimed one.

“Look at him! The purple one is sooo funny!” adds another.

“I love Tip!” said the third.

The emotions, the colors, the energy and the familial love start to affect you. If not directly by way of the movie, then by way of how those sitting in aisle eight, seats 3 through 5, intuitively appreciate it.

Given this consideration, the movie does manage to take a very scary idea – being separated from your mother (and only parent) because of an alien invasion – and make it into an entertaining and never-too-dark tale of adventure. The comedy and cartoonish violence render the frightening plot toothless, while reinforcing the idea that if you don't do bad things, bad things won't happen to you.

There were lots of bubbles, Slush machines, palettes and landscapes. There were faraway locales like Paris, France and Australia. A young girl travels the world over, challenges herself and finds family near and far.

As a little girl said, bouncing out of her seat, “That was fun. Let's go home.”

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