First Christian Animation Release in 20 Years: 'The Star' Set to Be Christmas Classic (Interview)
NEW YORK — The Christian Post recently attended an early screening of the upcoming Sony Animation picture, "The Star," and the films director said they are gearing up for the film to be a Christmas classic for this generation.
"The Star," directed by Academy Award-nominated writer/director Timothy Reckart ("Head Over Heels"), hits theaters nationwide on Nov. 17. The film is the first faith-based animation film to hit theaters on a mass scale since 1998 with "Prince of Egypt."
"Because it's the first one in [almost] 20 years, hopefully, this is a movie that can be a classic," Reckart told The Christian Post.
The film, according to its synopsis, follows "a small but brave donkey named Bo [who] yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes 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 with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking 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."
The film offers many timely lessons and Bo's quest for a greater purpose will inspire many. The telling of the birth of the King of Kings will also serve as a reminder for viewers in the midst of much unrest in the world, that Jesus is the hope of the world.
"It's divisive times that we're living in right now, and stressful too, all the violence that we read about all the time. The power of this story is that you have so many people from all different walks of life [involved]," Reckart commented.
The young director pointed to the "three kings," calling them upper-class foreigners from another land, and the local shepherds "at the bottom of the working class," making note that Jesus brought people from all walks of life together.
"The Star" features Steven Yeun ("The Walking Dead") as Bo the donkey, singer Kelly Clarkson as Leah the horse, Anthony Anderson as Zach the goat, comedian Gabriel Iglesias as Rufus the dog, Kris Kristofferson as the Old Donkey, Gina Rodriguez ("Jane the Virgin") as Mary (mother of Jesus), Zachery Levi as Joseph, Oprah Winfrey as Deborah, Tyler Perry as Cyrus and Tracy Morgan as Felix.
"We got all of our first choices. They see this as an opportunity to be a part of something that's important," Reckart explained. "I think that their participation will help raise the profile of this project because we want people of faith to come to the movie and we want people who have a more tenuous relationship with their faith to come see the movie also."
Reckart maintained that he signed on to the film because growing up he never had films about the birth of Jesus that kids wanted to watch.
"Finally, we can have the movie that I never had when I was growing up," he stated.
"The Star" was executive-produced by DeVon Franklin ("Miracles From Heaven"), and Lisa Henson and Brian Henson (The Jim Henson Company). The screenplay was written by Carlos Kotkin with digital animation by Cinesite Studios.
For more information about the film, click here.