RATING |

Home is an energetic, obvious animated comedy packed with the sort of low humor and silly laughs that drive very small children wild.

It's a lesser DreamWorks product, no more ambitious than those later Madagascar movies. There's not much here for anybody over the age of 8.

Jim Parsons voices Oh, a six-legged nuisance member of the Boov, an alien race that is the "best species ever . . . at running away." They change planets at the first hint of danger. No stretch to think of Parsons, famed as the robotic, socially inept Sheldon on TV's The Big Bang Theory, as a socially inept, English-mangling alien.

Captain Smek, a very funny Steve Martin, is the head coward, the one who drags the Boov to Earth, where they relocate all the humans to "Happy Humans Towns" in Australia, and take over. But teen Tip (Rihanna) has hidden out. When Oh ineptly sends an e-vite to a party to the entire universe (thus giving away the Boov's hideout to their enemies, the Gorg), he is on the lam from his own people. They need his password to stop the e-mail from being delivered.

Tip (short for Gratuity, hmm) wants only to find her mom (Jennifer Lopez). Handily, she and mom croon a few tunes on the sound track while their characters seek each other out.

Toss in a few 3D sight gags - not enough to justify making this in 3D - the odd "lactose intolerant" flatulence joke, restroom humor ("A number one? A number two? Or a number three?") and you've got a kids' movie.

Just not a great one.

Home **1/2 (Out of four stars)

Directed by Tim Johnson. Voiced by Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez. Distributed by DreamWorks Animation/20th Century Fox.

Running time: 1 hour, 34 mins.

Parent's guide: PG (mild action, some rude humor).

Playing at: Area theaters.EndText