MPAA Rating: PG
For some thematic elements.
Runtime: 86 minutes
Directed by: Timothy Reckart
Cast: Steven Yeun, Kristin Chenoweth, Zachary Levi
Before I watched The Star I had no idea what it was about. Then the movie started, and I realized it was the animated story of the birth of Jesus. Within minutes I was laughing and just stunned at the animation.
After Mary is alerted she will birth the King of the Jews the humor is non-stop. This faith-based viewpoint of the Mary and Joseph Nativity story unfolds in a unique and heartwarming perspective that is entertaining for all ages (young kids, parents, grandparents) and the perfect movie for families.
What could be more fun than unveiling this story through the eyes and humor of animals. When Mary (voice of Gina Rodriguez) and Joseph (voice of Zachary Levi) are on their way to Bethlehem, Bo (voice of Steven Yeun) a funny and brave donkey who wants to be free, gathers some friends for an adventure to follow the Star in the sky not realizing they will be an important part of history.
While Mary and Joseph worry about finding a place to birth their baby Bo’s friends: Abby the mouse (voice of Kristin Chenoweth); Cyrus the camel (voice of Tyler Perry); Dave the Dove with lofty aspirations (voice of Keegan-Michael Key); Edith the Cow (voice of Patricia Heaton); Old Donkey (voice of Kris Kristofferson) Deborah the Camel (voice of Oprah Winfrey);
(Thaddeus the Dog (voice of Ving Rhames); Zach the Goat) voice of Anthony Anderson); Ruth the loveable sheep who has lost her flock (voice of Aidy Bryant); Leah the horse (voice of Kelly Clarkson) and Goat (voice of William Townsend) all tag along. Sometimes they are helping like letting Mary ride on Bo’s back, or just having fun to be on their own or keeping other animals that are not nice away from this special couple.
While this adds enormous funny moments to the story there are a few occasions of some bad animals; two intimidating attack dogs that do no harm, and a large kind-of-scary animal that charges people; but no one is hurt.
There is of course some tension when Mary and Joseph are confronted by King Herod’s (voice of Christopher Plummer) men as he fears the new baby Jesus will replace his position. However when they find the manger, and wise men show up with gifts, the shepherds follow the Star to honor the birth, and sweet animals stand by the birth with pride, it’s an inspiring moment.
Sony Pictures, Director Academy Award-nominee Timothy Reckart, executive-produced by DeVon Franklin (Miracles From Heaven, Heaven is For Real), Lisa Henson and Brian Henson (The Jim Henson Company); Carlos Kotkin and Simon Moor’s screenplay, and Digital animation by Cinesite Studios, have brought a beautiful film to the theaters that will be unforgettable with themes of compassion and integrity, beautiful animation, lovely music, lots of laughs and a reminder of what this season is really about.