As we all know, I hated the movie “Frozen” and I feel no shame about it. I hated the way the females were portrayed, I disliked the vagueness of her “powers,” and I felt it was ultimately misogynistic which is not the same as empowering women. Hated it.
I took my boys to see the Jim Parsons/Rihanna animated film, “Home” this weekend. I am sure you’re not surprised that we loved it, and not just because we were texting the star of it from the theater minutes before it started.
Here’s why it worked for us:
1. A truly strong female lead.
This “Tip” character is resourceful. She is playful. She is brave. She is honest. She has complicated and conflicting emotions, and she learns from her mistakes. She is loving and she is loveable. She doesn’t need to declare how “rough and tumble” she is or disparage boys or men; she just IS the embodiment of a strong and confident and “normal” girl.
2. Morals up the wazoo.
Don’t judge people until you know them. It’s okay to come from a single parent home and to have an imperfect life. Don’t run from new things because they are new; take on troubles head on and find ways to solve problems. Don’t judge a book (villain) by its cover (i.e. villain-y appearance and scare tactics; inside, this villain is a big sweetie!). Find the humor in difficult situations. Never give up. These are the things I teach my kids. And they were in this movie! Hallelujah.
3. Funny but not gross or “dumbed down.”
This was a well-written smart movie. The references were often for a savvy audience member but kids didn’t feel left out of a joke. There were a few scatological jokes, but no farting or burping–which isn’t really my thing in movies. Nothing gross, no eyeballs falling out of heads, no violence; just smart writing and well placed physical comedy.
4. Jim is awesome.
Even if he wasn’t my buddy, I would have fallen in love with the voice and persona of the character Oh. He is flawed. He is an outcast; most people find him annoying. He doesn’t read social cues well at all. He is left behind a lot. But he’s sweet. He wants to learn to be in relationships and he loves interaction. He is devoted and gentle and straight-forward.
Besides the fact that the lead character is from a single mom apartment, she is from Barbados, and she is a brown-skinned child with light eyes and a head full of awesome curly hair. The “atmosphere” characters in the movie are more often than not made of all colors, shapes, and sizes. No one is weirdly skinny, and most characters don’t look like Barbie and Ken dolls. They look like a cross section of any major city and maybe even a few minor ones. I loved that. It’s important for our kids to see movies with people who look like what a lot of people look like!
6. Fred said it best.
My 6-year-old said it best when he summed up why he loved this movie (despite it being a little sad at times when she is looking for her mom, and a little scary when the villain tries to invade): “If it were a Disney movie, the mom would have died.” I laughed out loud when he said this! And I love a lot of Disney movies; don’t get me wrong. But this movie hit so many things right on the head, and the mom not dying was clearly one of them for my kid.
Out of the mouth of my babe, we highly recommend “Home”!
Watch the trailer here: