The Star (originally titled The Lamb) is a 2017 American computer-animated Christian comedy film directed by Timothy Reckart. Based on the Nativity of Jesus, and off an original idea by Tom Sheridan, the screenplay was written by Carlos Kotkin and Simon Moore. It was produced by Sony Pictures Animation, The Jim Henson Company, Franklin Entertainment, Walden Media and Affirm Films. The film features the voices of Steven Yeun, Gina Rodriguez, Zachary Levi, Keegan-Michael Key, Kelly Clarkson, Patricia Heaton, Kristin Chenoweth, Tracy Morgan, Tyler Perry, and Oprah Winfrey. The Star had its world premiere in Los Angeles at the Regency Village Theater on November 12, 2017 and was released by Columbia Pictures through its parental label Sony Pictures Entertainment on November 17, 2017 in the United States.
A small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day, he finds the courage to break free, embarking on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a lovable sheep who has lost her flock, and Dave, a dove who has lofty aspirations. Along with three camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told -- the first Christmas.
- Despite the movie taking place around the time of Jesus' birth, it doesn't focus much on the important story it should tell. Instead, it tends to rely more on comedy and barely touches on the setting and concept, if at all.
- Stereotypical and annoying characters, especially the camels.
- It doesn't stay true enough to the Bible.
- Cringeworthy attempts at getting laughs from the audience. For example, one scene uses a prolonged closeup on an old donkey's anus, which is apparently so funny to the filmmakers that they needed to show it twice.
- One of the animals literally uses twerking as a distraction, which is spoiled by trailers.
- All the comic relief characters have to rely on being annoying to be funny, especially with Ruth and Dave.
- The movie's primary physical antagonists are just one unnamed Roman "hunter" and his two dogs, rather instead a group of Roman soldiers to finding Jesus to preventing of destroying Herod as the 'New King' of Jewish people, as if, he that concerns about his regime. While King Herod himself, the minor real antagonist in the New Testament and the main background antagonist in the Birth of Jesus story, is treating as the only supportive antagonist in the film.
- They got Oprah Winfrey, a false teacher, in the cast just so the film could appeal to the tween demographic itself.
- Plot hole: When the Hunter looks into the manger where Mary and Joseph are out of sight, the goat, horse and cow can't be seen either. It looks completely empty. Bo never spoke of the Hunter or the dogs to the manger animals, but they hid? Plus when the pygmy jerboa comes in warning everyone, tho three animals don't react, as if they know they know the threat is gone, without ever being told about it.
- The film does such a poor job at staying true to the Bible that some could say the film actually mocks the story, since Deborah is repeatedly called insane for believing in the son of God.
- "THE STORY OF THE FIRST CHRISTMAS" is much too arbitrary of a slogan.
- It continued The Jim Henson Company's downfall.
- Decent animation.
- Great voice acting, with one major standout being Zachary Levi as Joseph.
- The score from John Paesano and music (especially Mariah's Carey's "The Star") is really good.
- Mary and Joseph are good characters.
- There are some funny moments.
- The concept of using talking animals in a American animated Biblical film is somewhat new for once, even its badly executed.
The Star was met with mixed reviews by critics and audiences. On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an average rating by critics of 42% based on 52 reviews, with an average rating of 4.94/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Star may not leave audiences singing 'Hallelujah', but its offbeat yet sincere approach to the nativity story makes for acceptably diverting holiday viewing.".
- This is Sony Pictures Animation's first theatrical release to not include the Columbia Pictures logo at the beginning.