‘The Star’ shines bright this Christmas

The animals who saved the holidays


photo from Star.com

Story by Jackson Cheney, staff writer

In Sony Picture’s latest animation film, “The Star,” everyone is reminded of the true reason for the season: kindness, giving and its biblical roots. An unlikely group of animals come together to ensure Mary and her companion, Joseph, have safe travels to Bethlehem. A donkey named Bo, Ruth the Lamb and Dave the Dove work together to protect Mary and her baby from the power-hungry King Herod.

The movie is based on the biblical teachings of Christmas and depicts angels visiting Mary, the star appearing in the sky where Jesus is to be born, three wise men visiting the newborn king and King Herod’s attempt to kill the baby after hearing about a threat to his throne.

This film starts by showing Bo, the donkey trapped working for a grain mill. He has dreams of walking with the king as he travels the country, but is stuck at the mill. Along with his friend Dave, he makes plans to escape. However, once doing so, their plans are sidetracked. After finding Mary bearing a child and having new dreams of following the star, Bo, Dave and Beth the lamb go with Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.

I enjoyed the film’s entertaining portrayal of the Christmas story which held the interest of viewers and taught the audience the core concept of the Christian beliefs of Christmas. Many forget that this is how the holiday came to be, and this movie reiterated that fact in a fresh and delightful manner.

I also enjoyed how, despite their differences, the animals were still able to work together and achieve their goal of protecting Mary and Joseph all the way to Bethlehem. An especially touching moment was when the animals forgave their remorseful enemies — two of Herod’s dogs who hunted down Mary and the travelers. Seeking redemption, they sincerely apologized for all they had done. The animals accepted their apology, and everyone came together in the end. It is a positive message that everyone can learn from and shows that there is good in everyone.

One part I disliked, however, was the film’s overly simplistic nature. Although the target audience is children, I do not feel that Sony Pictures dug deep enough into the actual plot. At times, it felt like the movie focused more on the subplot of the animals than its main storyline — the Christmas story. Some of the characters felt shallow, as did the depth of the story presented.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. The director’s approach on looking in from the animal’s perspective kept interest throughout the film and provided entertainment with jokes and mishaps. It is a great family-friendly film to see for the holidays and is a great reminder for everyone what the season is all about.