- Directed by Timothy Reckart
- November 12, 2017 (Regency Village Theater) / November 17, 2017 (US)
- Mary-Gina Rodriguez
- Joseph-Zachary Levi
- King Herod-Christopher Plummer
- Bo the Donkey-Steven Yeun
- Dave the Dove-Keegan-Michael Key
- Leah the Horse-Kelly Clarkson
- Edith the Cow-Patricia Heaton
- Abby the Pygmy Jerboa-Kristin Chenoweth
- Felix the Camel-Tracy Morgan
- Cyrus the Camel-Tyler Perry
- Deborah the Camel-Oprah Winfrey
- Thaddeus the Purebred Wolf-Ving Rhames
- Rufus the Alaunt-Gabriel Iglesias
A brave donkey and his animal friends aid the Holy Family during the first Christmas as they travel to Bethlehem.
Upon hearing about it, I really thought The Star was going to suck. A kid friendly film with talking animals inserted into the Nativity Story? Forget the whole issue with having talking animals in a Biblical story. I am talking about how bad “this is the OTHER story” stories tend to be.
I bought this film because it was cheap (Black Friday sales are great!) and I figured what do I have to lose? The Star was a surprisingly entertaining family friendly movie that I feel could not only appeal to children but to the adults that would be watching it with them. The jokes land well, and you will actually laugh at them rather than just smile. This film has the DOVE seal on the cover and those films tend to be as entertaining as room temperature water.
This is a retelling of the Nativity Story but from the perspective of animals that are involved. At least the animals they decided are involved. The story centers on Bo, a young donkey who along with his dove friend Dave has dreams of joining the Royal Caravan and seeing the world but after escaping from his miller owner Bo finds himself in the care of Mary and Joseph.
There are plenty of moments in the story to keep the kids entertained and at moments quite honestly I can empathize with Joseph as portrayed here. He is a stressed father to be and the world around him seems intent on giving him irritants to compound his stress-specifically in the form of Bo with whom he clashes like any dad would with an unwanted pet.
Aside from the religious themes (which are softened) there are the usual themes of friendship as well as a theme of duty. Bo wants to go off and live his life and have his adventure, but he constantly finds himself having being pushed towards helping Mary and Joseph on their journey. Ultimately he comes to realize that that particular task is much more important than going off and living his dream.
There is also a bit of a redemptive story present. Two of the heavies in the film are a pair of dogs named Thaddeus and Rufus sent out to track down the newborn King of Kings. They are loyal to their master who works for Herod but by the end of the story they realize that they were on the wrong side and that what they believed was wrong and in a show of kindness and mercy Bo welcomes them to view the newborn baby Jesus.
The Star gets its point across without beating you over the head. You get a little religion along with more standard stuff without ever realizing. Lessons and points are wrapped up in a bouncy story and gets past any walls you may have. It is sweet and endearing and unusually reverential given the cast of characters and how they handle the narrative.
This movie isn’t that old and the CGI animation has not done too well. I’m not calling it terrible but I really wish companies would stop using CGI and move back to hand drawn animation. It lasts indefinitely and just looks better.
The Star is a better-than-expected Christmas animated film. It has entertaining characters and a good story. I recommend this to the religious and the non-religious alike!