In Sony Pictures Animation's THE STAR, a small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a lovable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told - the first Christmas.Written by
Saw the film with my parents, who are Catholic, and they both liked it.
'THE STAR': Two and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
A computer-animated Christian family film, about the story of the Nativity of Jesus, told through the eyes of a donkey and other animals. It was directed by Timothy Reckart, and it was written by Carlos Kotkin and Simon Moore (based on an original idea by Tom Sheridan). The film features the voice talents of Steven Yeun, Keegan-Michael Key, Aidy Bryant, Gina Rodriguez, Zachary Levi, Tracy Morgan, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Christopher Plummer, Ving Rhames, Gabriel Iglesias, Anthony Anderson, Kelly Clarkson, Patricia Heaton, Kristin Chenoweth, Kris Kristofferson, Mariah Carrey and Delilah. It's received mixed to negative reviews from critics, and it's also a modest hit at the Box Office as well. I found it to be a little too kid friendly, in sometimes a pretty silly way, but religious families will probably enjoy it.
The story revolves around a donkey, named Bo (Yeun), who's tired of his life of slavery, milling wheat for his owner, and dreams of joining a traveling caravan. His father (Kristofferson) helps him escape, and he ends up at the home of Mary (Rodriguez), and Joseph (Levi), who let him stay at their home, despite him not wanting to stay there. Mary, being pregnant with Jesus, and Joseph, later leave their home for Bethlehem. Bo, and his dove friend Dave (Key), try to escape, but they end up on an adventure, with other animals, to protect Mary and Joseph instead. The birth of Jesus, and the first Christmas, becomes the result of their efforts of course.
I saw the film with my parents, who are Catholic, and they both liked it. I can see why other Christians, especially those with kids, would enjoy it too. For me the storytelling, and filmmaking, are a bit too basic and routine though. There's also an excessive amount of silly kids humor in it (but kids should like it at least), and I didn't really care for the animation either. I did like that it's all told from animals' points of view though, and there's even some animal rights/vegan messages in there (that I really appreciated). I think the film accomplishes what it set out to do, and it should please it's target audience at least.
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