Did you know that a new Children’s animation has just been released about the very first Christmas?
It’s called “The Star” and it claims to accurately portray “the greatest story ever told” – the birth of Christ. Interestingly though, in this film the familiar story is told from the perspective of the animals (primarily Bo the donkey). This has given the filmmakers some artistic license to tell a funny, sweet and entertaining story outside of the story of the birth of Christ.
Intrigued, and having read a glowing review written by a Christian mum, I (Cathy) took our three year old to the cinema to see it.
Overall, I was really impressed.
It’s really well made and it has all the ingredients required for a Hollywood hit (a strong cast, great script, beautiful animation, lovable characters and plenty of slapstick humour).
The story of the birth of Christ remains true to the gospel accounts of the events (although the timing in the film is not quite accurate, for example the prompt arrival of the Magi at the stable). The baby is unapologetically referred to as the Messiah, the Son of God, the King of the Jews and Jesus. God is assumed to be real, sovereignly at work to fulfil his plan, and Mary and Joseph are depicted as people of faith but who sometimes struggle with the enormity of the task they’ve been given.
It’s an artistic representation and exploration of the birth of Christ; and it does a good job of both being an entertaining film and stirring awe and wonder at the birth of Jesus.
Because the film makers have used artistic license, you may need to explain to your children that the animals are just fictional but the birth of Jesus was historical. For my three year old it’s important to make this distinction because he’s too young to understand this for himself.
It’s a personal choice, but for our family I think it’s a keeper. I love the idea of watching Christmas films together year after year. It’s a good addition to Home Alone, Muppet’s Christmas Carol and Stickman, and it’s the only one that actually represents the birth of Jesus.
It’s no substitute for actually reading the Bible, or going to church to hear the Christmas story through hymns, talks and children’s teaching. But in a world where there are a million distractions from the true meaning of Christmas, this movie is a useful and fun tool in the belt for helping to keep the reason for the season front and centre.
Below is a trailer of the film.
Have you been to see it? If so, we’d love you to leave a comment with your thoughts!