It’s the season for candy canes, gift exchanges, festive meals, decking the halls with boughs of holly, church pageants, and holiday themed films. Among several new holiday themed films to hit theaters is the computer-animated “The Star”, a story of the events around the birth of Jesus Christ.
The story begins with Mary being visited by an angel telling her she will bear the Messiah, which is overheard by a mouse she was sharing a bite of food with. The mouse shares the information with other animals just as a star begins glowing brightly in the night. The film then flashes forward 6 months with the introduction of a young donkey who is unhappy with this job of milling wheat. He longs to leave his job and join a royal caravan, but he knows the task will be difficult. Eventually, thanks to help from the elder donkey who helps him mill wheat, he escapes and heads out, along with his dove friend Dave, to find the caravan. However, due to injuring his ankle, he ends up at the house of Mary and Joseph, where Mary names him Boaz, Bo for short, and helps nurse him back to health.
During this time King Herod has gotten wind of the pending birth of the Messiah, and intends to stop the “new King” from being born. Herod sends a solider, along with two dogs, after Mary and Joseph, who have left for Bethlehem due to a census. Bo is left behind and discovers the solider is in pursuit of his new family, and begins the trek to warn Mary and Joseph. Along with Dave, the two begin the perilous journey, and pick up a sheep friend, named Ruth, along the way. Eventually the animals catch up to Mary and Joseph and make the final leg of the journey with them. However, the solider and his fierce dogs are still hot on tail of the travelers, but thanks to help from various animal friends and eventual hero Bo, are not able to catch Mary and Joseph. Bo also happens to be the donkey that carries Mary the final few miles into Bethlehem. The animals in the manager where Mary and Joseph ended up are soon introduced to the baby Jesus, and the course of mankind is forever changed. The film also features the shepherds and the three wise men as we know from the story. I know kids will love the films talking animals and will come to really love Bo, as he leaves his selfish desires behind to help Mary and Joseph.
The film also has several lessons for kids including never giving up, and thinking of others first. The animation is beautiful and is a great family film, especially for those with wee ones. The film features the vocal talents of Tyler Perry, Steven Yeun, Kelly Clarkson, Kris Kristofferson, Mariah Carey, Ving Rhames, and Christopher Plummer, among others. Mariah Carey’s song “The Star” has been nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, and I can see why as the song is truly beautiful and moving. “The Star” will leave you with a warm and hopeful feeling in these challenging times, and is a wonderful way to celebrate the Christmas season.
(Rated PG) 4 Stars (out of 4)