It’s the oldest story ever told, the story of the birth of Christ. And in The Star, filmmakers take a decidedly respectful, but lighthearted tone to telling this story again. But it’s not like any other version you’ve ever seen. This story is told through the eyes of the animals surrounding the birth of Christ.
Channing is at the age now where she’s getting really excited about Christmas and everything that comes with it. The presents, the food, the presents… But I want her to get excited about another part of the season, the reason for the season if you will. Christmas, at its core, is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. I think we often forget that when we get caught up in all the commercialism of the holiday and this movie is a great way to recapture the essence of Christmas.
In Sony Picture Animations THE STAR, a small but brave donkey named Bo (Steven Yeun) 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 (Aidy Bryant), a lovable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave (Keegan-Michael Key), 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 unlikely heroes in the greatest story ever told – the first Christmas.
No Christmas story would be complete with out Joseph and Mary. They are voiced by Zachary Live and Gina Rodriguez. Both tell me this was a special story for them to be involved with because of their own religious leanings.
“It’s a story I’ve been hearing since I was itty bitty so for me it was very much an honor”, Rodriguez said.
The pair was ever-so charming during our conversation and they were clearly having a lot of fun together. It was interesting to learn they actually never did any of their voice work at the same time. But you wouldn’t know it because they clearly had a lot of chemistry. Levi explains he has wanted to work with Rodriguez for a long time and was excited to finally get the chance.
“We worked on Hollywood Game Night years ago and I said, dude that chic is cool. We gotta work together!”, Levi said.
The Star brought them together along with Steven Yeun who voices the main character of Bo, the donkey full of hopes and dreams. The themes in The Star revolve around biblical principles but I really believe there’s something for non-Christians in this film. It tells the story of persistence, hope, and love. And who doesn’t need a little bit of that these days?
The director Timothy Reckart says they made the film in just 2 years. And the filmmakers made it a priority to be respectful of the story. He says even if you’re not a religious person, anyone who celebrates Christmas can enjoy this film.
“It’s a lesson that can be enjoyed by anyone who celebrates Christmas even if they’re not related to the faith aspect of it.” Reckart said.
You won’t find a Christmas tree, or beautifully wrapped gifts and caroling in this Christmas movie. But you will find a sweet story with a message of hope during a time when the world needs a little hope. It’s great for young kids because as Chan said, there are no potty words, and the music will have them in the holiday spirit as well. Songs from Kelly Clarkson (Leah) and Mariah Carey lend to the warm feeling surrounding this story. I have a feeling this will become a holiday tradition for many families, including mine.
The Star opens on November 17th. It was directed by Timothy Reckart, produced by Jennifer Magee-Cook and executive produced by DeVon Franklin, Lisa Henson, and Brian Henson.
The cast includes Steven Yeun, Gina Rodriguez, Zachary Levi, Keegan-Michael Key, Kelly Clarkson, Anthony Anderson, Aidy Bryant, Ving Rhames, Gabriel Iglesias, Patricia Heaton, Kristin Chenoweth, Christopher Plummer, Tracy Morgan, Tyler Perry, and Oprah Winfrey.