A Christmas film produced by Sony Pictures Animation in association with Walden Media, The Jim Henson Company, Affirm Films (Sony's religious film unit), and Franklin Entertainment, with animation duties given to Cinesite, released by Columbia Pictures on November 17, 2017.
The film is a retelling of the Nativity of Jesus, as outlined in the New Testament in The Bible... except told in the perspective of the animals who accompany Mary and Joseph before and during Jesus' birth. The group of animals, led by a Donkey named Bo (Steven Yeun), become unlikely heroes as they embark on a journey to protect Mary and Joseph as they reach to Bethlehem.
Featuring an All-Star Cast of sorts, boasting Yeun, Kelly Clarkson, Kristin Chenoweth, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Tracy Morgan, Kris Kristofferson, Keegan-Michael Key and Christopher Plummer among many, many others. The teaser trailer, first released by USA Today, can be viewed here. It is the first religious-themed animated film to be released to a wide audience since The Prince of Egypt.
The Star contains examples of:
- Animal Talk: The animals can speak to each other, but not to the humans.
- Big Bad: King Herod, for obvious reasons. Though he's more of an Overarching Villain, while his Dragon, the "royal dog walker," acts as the primary threat to the protagonists.
- Butt-Monkey: Dave the Dove is the target of most of the jokes and slapstick.
- Joseph suffers some of this just about anytime he and Bo share a scene.
- Cassandra Truth: Deborah the Camel is full of them.
- Casting Gag:
- Chekhov's Skill: Ruth teaches Bo how to descend cliffs. This new knowledge comes in handy during the climax.
- Disney Villain Death: The royal dog walker who pursues the holy family throughout the movie falls to his death off a cliff.
- The Dragon: Herod's hunter, who is sent to kill Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus.
- The miller, who owns Bo and the older donkey is a secondary antagonist for Bo.
- Friend to All Living Things: Mary, who accepts the help of a jerboa, and shows kindness to Bo by bandaging his leg in a splint.
- HeelFace Turn: The hunter's dogs Rufus and Thaddeus, after Bo saves them from falling to their death with their master (who had let go of them before he fell).
- Human Ladder: The camels do this a number of times while theyre at the palace.
- Huge Rider, Tiny Mount: When the camels first encounter the guard dogs, they bark at them to make them pile up on each other. Cyrus hops onto Debra, and Felix climbs onto the top of the stack. Naturally, Debra loses her footing and topples over, especially since Cyrus is much bigger than her.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Bo, preparing to face down a pair of angry dogs determined to get to the holy family.
- Bo: "If you want them, you'll have to go through me!"
- Lighter and Softer: Most of the "adult" scenes from the Bible passages are toned down. The birth uses Scenery Censor and cuts away to the fight between Bo and the "royal dog master." Later, one of the end credit backgrounds shows the family travelling to Egypt. (For the reason, check the Bible passage.)
- Light Is Not Good: The Star of Bethlehem's light drove the barn animals insane with insomnia.
- Look, a Distraction!: Bo uses this quite effectively on a vicious dog.
- MacGuffin Title: The Star just lights the way to a certain stable in Bethlehem. Most of the action is done by the donkey Bo.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Bo the donkey, Dave the dove, Ruth the sheep, Leah the horse, Zach the goat, and Edith the cow. After being deserted by the hunter, Rufus and Thaddeus join the group at Bethlehem.
- Saving Christmas: The premise as described in previews: "On November 17, one donkey, three camels, a dancing bird, and one pygmy gerboa are teaming up to save the first Christmas."
- Scooby Stack: The camels are overly fond of this trope.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Given that his motivation is infanticide, King Herod is naturally not portrayed as lightly as most of the other characters.