“HOME” is where the Wooden Leg is.


Home (2015)

Directed by Tim Johnson

Written by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember, based on a book by Adam Rex.

Took the kids to see HOME on Sunday, the latest family animation from Dreamworks. It is a fun tale about Oh, the accident prone Boov (the alien race who have recently occupied Earth) helping a young girl, Tip, find her mom while avoiding the other Boov who are trying to erase him for revealing their location to an evil predatory enemy.

It’s not up there with a couple of my favourite recent animations, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train your Dragon, but it is a lovely film with a great heart and a female, Barbadian lead.

However, the reason for posting about this film (other than recommending it to you) is that it made me think of a recent post from Shaula Evans about Wooden Legs. What this post recommends is to “find the biggest problem you face in putting your story on the screen, and then put it right at the start, up front, an essential part of the story.” Wave it like a wooden leg – check out the post to have that make sense!

Go and read it if you haven’t! I’ll wait…

HOME does this effortlessly with an introductory scene that explains the actions of the Boov and sets up the theme of the film… what is Home, and what do we mean by family? The very title of the film is pretty much ramming it’s wooden leg down your throat (in a good way) and it would be hard to go and see this film without some idea of what it was all about.

This also makes it very clear to the viewer what the theme of the story is, where it’s heart lies, and this feeds into this week’s Pixar Rules of Story post which will discuss theme. The post will explore the concept of theme and how, for me, it IS the heart of the story, and how we figure out what the theme of our story is. A strong, universal theme will draw your audience in and encourage empathy with your characters. In the case of HOME, I am sure we can all easily recognise and reflect on the concept of family and “coming home.”

I can imagine that the writers of HOME were pretty sure of their theme from an early stage, but it would be interesting to know when, in their process, the opening scenes of the film were decided upon and compare them to the original book. A good excuse to look for a copy!

If you go and see the film, I hope you enjoy it! Go and read Shaula’s post and check back on Wednesday for more discussion on theme.



Posted on March 23, 2015, in Films, theme, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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