This past weekend, a new animated movie on the birth of Jesus hit the theaters right in time for Christmas. As a pastor with a young kiddo, I couldn’t pass up the chance to load up the CR-V and take the Strickland family for a viewing. It was also miserable outside. And we loaded up on popcorn and candy. And I talked most of our small group into joining us.
So, while I don’t have the time or the talent to give you a full review, here are my bullet point thoughts:
- This movie is a ton of fun. I thought the voice acting was spot on, highlighted by an over-the-top dove (voiced by the always funny Keegan-Michael Key), an oft-confused camel (none other than Tracy Morgan), and a ridiculous little mouse (Kristen Chenoweth).
Add these comedic elements to a host of entertaining chase scenes, silly animal hijinks, and an enjoyable journey story and it manages to keep the attention of the toddler to the adult.
For the Christian, however, this movie is more than just a fun hour and a half at the theater. It’s the rare Christmas movie that actually focuses on the biblical story of Christmas and not our cultural, consumerism-driven version. The movie is ultimately about Jesus, His birth as the true King.
And The Star really does take you through a relatively faithful account of His birth. Sure, it falls prey to many of the subtle adaptations made by most nativity scenes (i.e. the wise men are present at the birth), contains some necessary embellishing on the narrative, and inserts a whole additional storyline with the animals. But, for the most part, it’s loyal to the heart of the story and all the adaptations and additions are more humorous than heretical.
All of this to be said, this movie isn’t Pixar, at least not when Pixar was good. There’s no “wow” factor in the animation, the dialogue contains little of the wit we might expect from say a Dreamworks film, and the story is pretty formulaic. It’s a fun movie, but it’s not amazing.
What you really want to know:
- You should see it. Your whole family will enjoy it. And it’s a fun way to help your kids focus on Jesus this Christmas. In just the past few days, we have already said to Carson numerous times: “Buddy, do you remember that scene, character, event, etc. from The Star?”
I might not be the best person for such things, but there wasn’t anything crazy objectionable in the movie. It wasn’t scary (there is, though, a rather ominous soldier with some mean dogs). No iffy language or content that I can remember.
It’s short. 1 hr and 26 mins. And it’s playing in Crawfordsville.
As always, I’d love to hear your questions, comments, and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org or @jstrick16 on Twitter. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Jeff Strickland-I am the Discipleship Pastor at Rock Point and a current PhD student at Southern Seminary. I am the father of an energetic, slightly crazy, talkative, and hilarious little man, Carson Nolan. Thankfully, he has an incredible mom, my patient and truly kind wife, Stephanie. Expect my posts to reflect our parenting endeavor and to often be a little on the nerdy side.