I saw this trailer as one of the many trailers shown before How to Train Your Dragon 2, and was immediately hooked. An adorable Black protagonist, multicolored squishy aliens, and a cat named Pig??? Sign me up. And yes, I’m well aware of my propensity for kids’ films, but this one looks like it’ll be more than worth it.
Although the trailer is fun, it’s hard to get an idea of the plot unless you also watch the Steve Martin-narrated prequel short, Almost Home, found here on YouTube. Basically, an alien race called the Boov are searching for a new planet on which to live, and they finally stumble upon Earth after many mishaps and mistakes. They take over (not sure how, given their incompetence), and decide to relocate the human population already living on the planet. Gratuity Tucci, called Tip by her friends, is running from this aforementioned relocation when she meets a Boov called Oh. Together with Tip’s cat Pig, they try and escape the other Boov while figuring out what’s really going on.
This movie is actually based on a children’s book called The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex. I haven’t had the chance to read it, but now that I’ve found out about it, I really want to read it. The New York Times, in a book review, even has this to say about it:
Although it’s a book for children, adults will find this page turner, really a satire about the conquering of foreign cultures, entertaining as well.
Guys, it’s a satire about invasions and colonialism. If Hollywood doesn’t wipe out that theme entirely, this movie could do a lot of good while being really funny to boot. It’s Earth that’s been conquered, but it’s a Black girl who will, presumably, be teaching the moral lessons, not a white man. That’s already leaps and bounds better than any other alien colonization movie I can think of. Unfortunately, knowing Hollywood, I’m sure they’ll find some way to mess it up, and they’ve already pushed back the premiere from later this year to early next year. But I’m still going to look forward to seeing Home in theaters in 2015.
As a longtime Smekday fan, I made koobish (the main Boov livestock) noises upon reading this post, because it was the first I’d heard of a Smekday movie. I cannot wait for it to come out.
As someone who’s actually read the book, here are some things:
1. I can confirm that if the movie stays true to the book, it will be everything you hope it is.
2. “Chief Shouting Bear”, AKA Frank Jose. Probably one of the most realistic First Peoples characters you will read, anywhere; probably a Navajo code talker; and definitely a badass ninety-three-year-old man.
3. It is incredibly fun and funny, and worth anybody’s time.
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