7 Times Home Sweet Home Alone Paid Homage to the Original Home Alone

Archie Yates takes over for Macaulay Culkin in Home Sweet Home Alone, the Disney Plus remake of the 1990 classic. Check out all the nods to Home Alone, including what Kevin is up to now.

By Tierney Bricker Nov 13, 2021 12:00 PMTags
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Who says you can't go home again? 

Twenty-six years after Home Alone turned Macaulay Culkin into the world's most famous child star and became a Christmas staple, the classic movie's Disney Plus remake is finally here.

Home Sweet Home Alone finds JoJo Rabbit standout Artie Yates filling Culkin's iconic puffer jacket and beanie as Max Mercer, Gen-Z's Kevin McCallister. The British 10-year-old is tasked with defending his Chicago home from robbers (Ellie Kemper and Rob Delaney) after he is left alone for the holidays when his family departs for a vacation in Tokyo. In this version, they're tripped up by the fact that they were split up onto separate flights. Naturally, hijinks and bodily harm ensue. 

Directed by Dan Mazer and written by Mikey Day and Streeter Seidell, Home Sweet Home Alone adds modern touches to the story—Max constantly talks to his Alexa-esque device and the house doesn't have a landline—but still finds ways to pay homage to the original film, including the return of a fan-favorite character and an update on what Kevin is up to now. 

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Home Alone

So go on, grab two scoops of ice cream, you're not driving, and check out seven ways Home Sweet Home Alone paid homage to the OG movie:

Buzz Is Back!

Or should we say Officer McCallister? That's right, Kevin's torturous older brother Buzz (Devin Ratray) makes a small but memorable appearance as a cop called to the house Max (Archie Yates) shares with his family after Jeff (Rob Delaney) and Pam (Ellie Kemper), the Fritzovskis, first attempt to break in. Alas, the couple is able to dupe him and get away. Buzz, your detective skills, woof!

Thirsty For More Kevin?

While Macaulay Culkin did not reprise his iconic role, we do get an update on what Kevin is like as an adult, courtesy of Buzz: He designs home security systems, starting McCallister Home Security. Looks like someone found a healthy way to deal with his childhood trauma.

Buzz also reveals that it's an annual holiday tradition for Kevin to send in a prank call about a kid being left home alone to mess with Buzz, which is 1. Such a little brother move. 2. A pretty awful use of police resources! As Buzz once again sighs, "Trout-sniffer."

Grab a Slice

Like in the OG, both families featured in this movie decide to order pizza for dinner from none other than Little Nero's, which Kate paid $122.50 plus tip for back in 1990. Glad to see business is still a-boomin!

A Remake Within a Remake

It seems even fake gangster movies are getting remakes these days as Jeff's brother Hunter (Timothy Simons) is unimpressed while watching a sci-fi reimagination of Angels With Filthy Souls, the R-rated movie Kevin isn't allowed to watch.

"This is garbage,'" Hunter says. "I don't know why they are always trying to remake the classics. They're never as good as the originals."

Tooth Fairy, You Up?

While Joe Pesci's Harry lost his prized gold tooth during his kerfuffle with Kevin, Jeff unfortunately loses a real canine when he flies into a tree thanks to one of Max's tricks.

Uncle Trouble

Listen, living up to Uncle Frank's delightfully demented turn—"Look what you did, you little jerk!"—is no easy task, so Home Sweet Home Alone brought in two actors to serve as Max's relatives: Chris Parnell as Uncle Stu, who is constantly in the bathroom and suffers from sleep apnea, and Pete Holmes as Uncle Blake, who threatens to shave a child's head if they miss their flights and has a penchant for three-foot Toblerone bars from the duty-free shop at the airport. 

Musical Callbacks

Naturally, the movie uses John Williams' original score, which earned him an Oscar nomination. The sentimental tune kicks in for the first time just as Max realizes he's home alone. Meanwhile, the mischievous music comes in as Max is setting up his house for Jeff and Pam's arrival. 

And in the church scene, the Fritzovski's daughter is part of the children's choir. The song they perform? "O Holy Night," the same holiday carol a group sings in the original. (Remember, Old Man Marley's estranged granddaughter was in the choir and it was the only time he could see her. Tears!)

An Iconic Line

While the screenwriters mostly resisted the urge to have Max repeat some of Kevin's most memorable quotes, they did include one: "Given up yet or are you thirsty for more?"

Home Sweet Home Alone is streaming on Disney Plus. 

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