7 tech score
“The Star” (Sony Animation)
Sony Animation presents audiences with an early Christmas gift. It is the animated film “The Star” which tells the Christmas story one more time. What is special about this film is that the story is told from the perspective of a donkey. Well it is not just any old donkey, but the one Mary rode to Bethlehem. This gives the movie a special slant, which is combined with solid animation and great voice work. There is also an overall sweet spirit to the entire production. All of these added ingredients should be enough to make it a holiday hit.
Bo, the donkey’s (Steven Yeun), job is pulling a grinding stone. It is a monotonous chore but he does it day after day. He confides to his friend Dave the dove (Keegan-Michael Key) that he has bigger dreams. Those dreams do not include being the donkey Mary rides to Bethlehem, That is God’s plan, and seeing how it all comes about are the fun and entertaining factors of the movie.
An animated movie telling the Christmas story should be a film with limited appeal. However the characters of Bo and Dave make it especially appealing. Add in Ruth the sheep (Aidy Bryant) and three camels (Oprah Winfrey, Tracy Morgan and Tyler Perry) the Magi ride and you have a film full of humor and heart.
It also helps that Mary and Joseph are shown as two people who are very young. They project an innocence and a naiveté’ that is totally appealing and endearing. They are voiced by Gina Rodriguez and Zachary Levi. As you can see the makers of the film went all out to engage an all star voice cast.
My one disappointment in the film was the lack of use of the music. There are songs galore by talented artists such as Mariah Carey, Kelsea Ballerini and Jake Owen but they are not front and center. I would have liked if they had filled the screen with this music.
The film is rated PG for adult situations.
“The Star” is a much better film than I ever expected it to be. I went with a “been there, know that story” attitude. I was totally surprised by how infectious the story of Jesus’ birth was when told from the animal’s perspective. Everything came together in just the right way to give it all a freshness that was serendipitous.
Don’t write “The Star” off as just another version of the Christmas story. It is unique. You will be amazed at how much you and your family will enjoy it.
I scored “The Star” a brightly shining 7 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper