There is a Steve Martin movie making waves (at #7) on the Netflix streaming service but this one is a rarity in the illustrious career of Mr. Martin.
Home is the film, and it represents one of only three times that Steve Martin has performed in an animated feature. In this film, Martin takes his comedic skills to a different medium, portraying one of the film’s “big baddies”, Captain Smek.
Home begins with an alien race called the Boov who, led by Smek, invade Earth in order to call it home. They relocate humans to remote parts of the planet while taking over the more robust areas.
Oh (Jim Parsons) is a Boov, a freethinker who finds himself in trouble when after the invasion, he decides to invite some Boov members over for a housewarming party. The problem – the Boov don’t care much for Oh as he is so different.
Tip (Rihanna) is a 14-year-old human girl who has been on the run, avoiding capture, trying to find her mother Lucy (Jennifer Lopez) with whom she got separated from during the invasion and relocation.
Oh’s trouble starts when he sends out his invitation to his party. At first, he accidentally sends out a mass invitation to every living Boov on Earth but when he hits the “send all” button, the invitation actually goes to every alien race in the galaxy to include Boov’s mortal enemy, Gorg.
Gorg is a planet destroyer and has been after the Boov ever since the failed peace treaty between Smek and Gorg that saw Smek run away with an object called “The Shusher.”
Once they realize exactly what Oh did, the Boov begin chasing him down. During his escape is when Oh runs into Tip and the pair reluctantly team up. Oh needs to hide someplace and Tip needs help tracking down her mother.
It’s an uneasy alliance at first. Oh secretly wants to go to Antarctica, the only place on Earth the Boov haven’t claimed and where he feels he can survive. But Tip needs to go to Paris, which is the Boov Command Center in order to find her mother’s whereabouts.
With Oh giving in, the pair reach Paris where they are able to track down Lucy, who is in Australia, also looking for her daughter. Barely escaping from more Boov, Oh and Tip head to the land down under.
When Tip and Oh reach Australia, they see that the Boov, fearing the worst, have begun to evacuate to their mothership. Oh wants Tip to evacuate with him but Tip is determined to find her mother. Life becomes even more precarious when Tip and Oh go their separate ways and Gorg arrives.
Home is based on the 2007 children’s book, The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex and comes from DreamWorks Animation, the studio behind such big, animated hits like the Shrek franchise, the Madagascar franchise, Kung Fu Panda, and The Croods.
Tim Johnson directed Home from a script by scribes Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember and although the film wasn’t a critical hit, Johnson turned his $135 million budget into a $386 million box office. In fact, the film was popular enough that Netflix developed their own original animated series based on the film that took place after the events of the movie. The series ran for four successful seasons.
Here is a fun fact that may come off more as shocking than fun. Actor/comedian/writer/musician Steve Martin is 76 years old. While that may not resonate with some, it will with a whole generation that grew up watching Martin.
Ever since Steve Martin became that “wild and crazy guy” in the late-70s, his name has been synonymous with comedy. From stand-up to feature films to even the small screen, Martin has had a hand in some of the best moments in entertainment.
Immensely talented, Steve Martin got his start writing sketch comedy for shows like The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, and The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour. In the mid-70s, Martin began to work as a standup comedian, using his banjo-playing talents to enhance his comedy. It worked and two huge platinum albums followed, Let’s Get Small and A Wild and Crazy Guy.
Comedy had found a new leading man. Steve Martin created two huge catchphrases that took over America with “Excuse me” and “Just a wild and crazy guy.” He even had one of the top-selling singles in America with a song he wrong and sang called “King Tut” backed by the Toot Uncommons.
His first big feature came in 1979 with the highly popular Carl Reiner film, The Jerk. Steven Martin then tried to side-step comedy by making the feature Pennies from Heaven, a musical that showcased his dancing talents. The film didn’t fare well as fans wanted only one thing from him – to make them laugh.
Over the years, that is exactly what Steve Martin did. Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, All of Me, The Three Amigos, and Little Shop of Horrors were just the beginning. His other big hits included Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Parenthood, My Blue Heaven, and not to mention his Father of the Bride films, his Cheaper by the Dozen films, and his take on the Inspector Clouseau character made famous by the late Peter Sellers in The Pink Panther movies.
Let’s not forget that Steve Martin has appeared on Saturday Night Live over 25 times and has been the guest-host 15 times, second to only Alec Baldwin.
Steve Martin is a legend. That should go without saying. Even in an animated film like Home, his comedy shines through. The good news from all this? Steven Martin isn’t slowing down. Up next for the comedian is a re-teaming with longtime friend and fellow comedian Martin Short for Hulu’s original series Only Murders in the Building, along with co-star Selena Gomez.
For now, you can catch Steve Martin’s vocal performance in Home on Netflix.