Heads up: It’s on Netflix. It’s always been on Netflix, somewhere, underneath piles of shows trying to capture your attention this Christmas season. I highly recommend you look up The Star.
Animated Film, 2017
In case you don’t know, “The Star” is an animated movie inspired by the birth of Jesus, as told by a donkey named Bo.
I’ve never heard of The Star until last summer when I was routinely browsing Netflix to add shows to Dawn & Rain’s watch list. (Mostly filtering out shows we don’t want them to watch.)
I was just going to scan through it, to be honest, but something about the first 5 minutes that got hooked quite easily. I ended up watching the entire film, laughing and wiping tears and totally falling in love with the characters. Granted I’m a cryer and I may be a tad too easy to please, I was still surprised at how much the story moved me and spoke to me in a deeply personal way.
I appreciate that it does not stray away from the biblical story of Jesus’ birth, even as they’ve modernized the dialogues to make it more relatable, and even as it centers the plot around a fictional donkey and his animal friends.
More so, I’m glad The Star is not part of a seasonal setlist that disappears after Christmas. In fact, the twins and I have watched this movie multiple times throughout the year, and every time we do, I still find myself bawling my eyes out.
Have you seen The Star yet?
If you haven’t, go watch it and come back here when you’re done.
Because I want us to talk about Bo the Donkey, and how he lets go of his dreams to follow the still small voice in his heart, and how he ends up doing something that’s even bigger than his biggest dreams!
I want us to talk about Mary and Joseph, and how the film aptly depicts their relationship with each other and with God, their hesitations, their humanity, their honesty, and their courage to obey anyway even when it doesn’t make sense.
I want us to talk about all the little side stories, of Ruth the Sheep going against the flock; and Dave the Dove being the absolute sidekick; the trio of camels and their hilarious banter; the animals’ collective effort to save Mary; the villain dogs who are given a chance to be set free.
There are many bits and pieces of the story that I love talking about with my kids, while also pondering upon timely (and adult-friendly) insights for myself.
Can you guess which parts of the story have me bawling? :)
As “Oh Holy Night” plays softly in the background, Bo realizes that the baby he helped save is Jesus, and it dawns on him that his dreams (of carrying a king on his back and being part of something important) have come true after all.
Deborah, the wise camel, voices over and wraps up the Christmas story into a nice little bow.
“You know, I think people are going to remember this night. What happened here around this manger will be celebrated for thousands of years. Families will come together to exchange presents and sing carols, all to remember the grace of this moment that we are witnessing right now.”
The movie ends with a familiar snapshot of the manger scene, the north star (“The Star”) beaming brightly in the background, leaving you with a warmth in your heart you want to carry with you throughout the year.
So go ahead and gather the whole family, load up Netflix, type in “The Star” in the search box (because it won’t just show up in popular lists), and watch the Christmas story unfold in a whole new way.
Looking for more holiday movies to watch? Here’s my (annual) classic Christmas movie list!