The world of faith-based movies has taken off in recent years, and an animated film hit over the 2017 Christmas holiday surrounding the birth of Christ. What separates The Star from other faith-based movies is that this is a cute talking animals movie, as they witness the birth of Jesus.
There are humans in the movie, consisting of Mary and Joseph as they prepare for the birth of Christ, a soldier sent out by King Herod to kill the new King, and a miller who owns a donkey. While he seems the least significant character out of those four, it is the miller that sets the story in motion.
After an angel visits Mary and tells her that she will give birth to the Messiah, the story moves on a small building where two donkeys work tirelessly to mill the wheat. The younger donkey has dreams of one day eclipsing his station in life and possibly leading the Royal Progression. While the older donkey tells him not to have false hope in a better life, his buddy, a bird named Dave, continues to fuel his dreams.
When the older donkey realizes that the dreams are crushing the youngster, he stages a plan to help the younger donkey escape. With the miller in pursuit, the young donkey hides out in the yard of Mary and Joseph. Seeing that the young donkey injured his leg, Mary patches him up and names him Boaz, or Bo for short.
It is here that Mary tells Joseph that they will parent the Messiah and they set out for Bethlehem, not knowing that King Herod’s soldier is coming to kill them. The only ones who can warn them, and save them from death are Bo, Dave, and a sheep they meet along the way named Ruth. There are also three camels named Felix, Cyrus and Deborah that are added for comic relief, as they exist merely to make kids laugh and show the three wise men as they approach.
The voice cast is excellent in the movie. Steven Yeun (Glenn from The Walking Dead) is Bo, while Keegan-Michael Key is Dave. The three camels have very recognizable voices, with Tracy Morgan, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey lending their voices to the project. Add in some other big names like Anthony Anderson, Kelly Clarkson, Zachary Levi, Kristin Chenoweth, Christopher Plummer, Mariah Carey and Ving Rhames, and it is clear that The Star spared no expenses for their voice talent.
As for the movie, it is what one might expect from a faith-based animated film. The Star is a kid’s movie, first-and-foremost, and while there are some low-brow jokes, the central theme of the story — keeping the faith and finding one’s place in life — are at the forefront.
The story is about the birth of Jesus, but the actual plot is about Bo and his mission to find his higher purpose. It is a harmless holiday faith-based movie that teaches positive lessons to the young ones and isn’t overly cheesy for adults to sit through.
The Star DVD Special Features
The DVD has a few special features, but they are almost solely aimed at the younger children. Most of the bonus material is based on the music from the movie. There is a sing-a-long feature, so kids can sing songs with Bo, Dave, Ruth and the camels. There are also dance-along features to other songs.
There is a feature on making star-themed cookies and another that teaches kids how to make a craft. Up next is a children’s faith-based sermon with DeVon Franklin. Finally, for the adults, there is a special feature that focuses on the voice-cast assembled for the film.
Honestly, the special features offer nothing for adults, so only those with young kids should worry about whether those features are worth getting the DVD over a digital copy.