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The Star (2017) Reviewed by Jay

Jay´s Review

We join a sturdy little donkey as he trudges his way around and around and around a village mill. Of course our little hero has aspirations to be part of something important, which involves maybe a king or someone equally grand. It's clear that his dreams aren't very practical

As the animated PG-rated story unfolds, we see that we will be treated to a respectful, involving critter's-eye view of the classic Christmas story of the nativity with animals taking an active role.

Timothy Reckart, directing his first feature film, works from a script by Carlos Kotkin ("Rio 2"), who has taken his well-known story and made it appealing and instructive for children. Looking at this familiar tale from the animals' point of view is brilliant.

The cast:

* Kristin Chenoweth (LOTS of TV) Abby the Mouse begins and ends the story. She's full of energy and information. She makes her entrance via a delightful Rube Goldberg series of devices.

* Steven Yeun (LOTS of TV) is Bo, our hardy little hero, who dreams of a world outside of that mill, where he can be part of something important.

* Kris Kristofferson ("Joyful Noise") Old Donkey wants to see Bo get away from the daily grind and pursue his dream.

* Gina Rodriguez ("Jane the Virgin") Sweet teenager Mary has a visit from an angel and her life will never be the same.

* Zachary Levi ("Tangled") Joseph is a young carpenter who has found the love of his life. Problem is, Mary has something to tell him...

* Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey and Tracy Morgan are the three quarrelsome camels who carry the Magi to Bethlehem.

* Christopher Plummer ("Remember") King Herod thinks the gifts from the Magi are for him.

* Keegan-Michael Key ("Keanu") Chatty Dave the Dove is Bo's trusty eye in the sky.

* Aidy Bryant ("The Big Sick") Ruth the Sheep wants to be a leader, even though sheep are usually followers. The chase scenes are delightful for the children, although those dogs are sometimes scary. The script contains suspense (will they find a place to stay in time?) and snippets of many familiar holiday songs: I Sing Because I'm Happy (His Eye is on the Sparrow), What Child is This?, The Little Drummer Boy, and O Holy Night. It also includes an original written by Mariah Carey, The Star.

Mary, Joseph and the Bo are all seen praying and the screening audience was quiet and respectful. (I think God's voice sounds like Liam Neeson!) This was satisfying and authentic.

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See the trailer:
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