The birth of Jesus Christ - the singular event that changed the course of history and the future of mankind - is easily the most famous story ever recorded. So, when faced with the challenge of telling the story of the Nativity in a fresh, yet biblically accurate way, the filmmakers behind "The Star" came up with an unconventional idea: They'd tell it from the point of view of the animals.
"The Star," the first faith-based animation film to hit theaters on a mass scale since 1998 with "Prince of Egypt," first introduces viewers to Bo, a spirited donkey who yearns for life bigger and more exciting than the village mill - in fact, his dream is to one day carry a king on his back. With the help of a fellow donkey, he breaks free - not without a few slapstick setbacks, of course - and encounters a young newlywed couple, Joseph and his pregnant wife, Mary.
Mary, a soft-spoken and kind woman, takes Bo under wing, much to the chagrin of Joseph, who doesn't see the need for a stubborn donkey in their already-tight quarters. Soon, Mary and Joseph are forced by royal decree to travel to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register for the census. Unbeknownst to them, they are being followed by an armor-clad soldier sent by Herod and his two bloodthirsty dogs, Thaddeus and Rufus, who are on a mission to find and kill the prophesied king. Three Wise Men and their camels, voiced by Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, and Tracy Morgan, are also seeking the unborn king, hoping to honor him with gifts.
Bo, along with some animal friends, Dave the dove and Ruth the sheep, embark on an action-packed adventure of their own, following a bright star that lights up the entire sky. Along the way, the animals are reunited with Mary and Joseph, and together, they arrive in Bethlehem. Because there's no room in the inn, the couple and their animals friends are forced to find shelter in a stable, positioned directly under The Star. There, they meet even more animal friends, including a sarcastic cow and a musical horse, and together, they prepare for the birth of Mary's baby.
Between the star-studded cast including Gina Rodriguez, Oprah Winfrey, Kelly Clarkson, and Patricia Heaton, and mesmerizing animation, "The Star" will appeal to audiences outside faith community, despite being an overtly biblically-focused film. Both a devout Catholic and Academy Award®-nominated writer/director, Timothy Reckart expertly balances the lightheartedness of animated movies with the reverence associated with the Nativity story. The film is chock-full of teachable moments and biblical messages, focusing on themes of family, faith, and friendship. Overall, "The Star" is a lighthearted Christmas film that will delight audiences of all ages.
The film's soundtrack is spectacular, including both classic and modern Christmas songs from Kirk Franklin, Casting Crowns, and Pentatonix. Mariah Carey performs the powerful theme ballad, appropriately titled "The Star."
"The Star" opens Friday, November 17. For more information and resources, including Bible studies and outreach kits, click here.