Friday, April 25, 2014

Almost Home Adoption Movie Guide

Almost Home is a short animated film that has played in front of (so far) Mr. Peabody and Sherman and Rio 2. It’s also a short introduction to Home, a film that is slated for a November 2014 release.

In Almost Home, a community of small aliens travel through space looking for a new home “Where we will forever be safe from our enemies.” The leader proclaims on multiple occasions that they have arrived home. However, danger soon resurfaces, and the group tearfully moves on in search of a new place to call home.  The short film ends as the aliens set their sights on Earth.

How Does This Connect to Foster Care and Adoption?
I’ve seen Almost Home twice, since I reviewed both of the movies it was paired with. It’s a cute, quick, and not-very-deep picture of a group of people travelling from potential home to potential home in search of a permanent place to be safe. I couldn’t help but see a parallel to the experience of many kids in foster care, who are also often shuttled from home to home.

Almost Home is intended as an introduction to an upcoming film. The feature film doesn’t seem likely to have the same intense dynamic of rapid home-to-home moves. The short does, though. Some kids may relate to the sadness, poignant frustration, and despairing resignation that the aliens express when yet another home turns out to be unviable. The short ends with the aliens hopefully moving toward one more possibility.
There is one significant difference between the experiences of the aliens in this film and the experience of kids in foster care: the aliens appear to be a multigenerational community travelling together. Perhaps kids travelling through foster care with their siblings could relate to this dynamic. Also, kids who are adopted from foster care may struggle when there are changes to the stability they have come to trust – moves, school changes, and changes in family composition can be particularly challenging times for some kids.
Almost Home is so short that you might miss it while you’re in line for popcorn. If you and your kids do see it, though, it might be a good idea to have a quick check-in conversation about stability and the sense of safety and permanency that hopefully permeates your home.

Almost Home seems geared towards kids who would want to see Mr. Peabody and Sherman and Rio 2, so probably ages 5-9. Kids of that age who have been in foster care will probably resonate with the emotions voiced and shown by the characters. I can imagine some kids being blindsided by the unexpected themes of loss and instability. Some of those kids might be consoled by the aliens’ hope at the end of the film.
Questions for Discussion after the Film

How do you think the aliens felt as they moved from home to home? Have you ever felt that way?

How do you think the aliens feel as they are moving toward Earth?

What makes a place a good home?

Want to Watch it Now?

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