November 22, 2017

The Star Review

Steven Yeun voices Bo the donkey

Ever want to see what the Nativity looked like from the POV of the animals? Probably not, but that has not stopped Sony Pictures Animation, which irresponsibly released The Emoji Movie, from teaming with the faith-based film producer of Heaven Is for Real. (The Jim Henson Company is involved as well.) Audiences are expectedly familiar with the central story—Mary, an angel, Joseph, Bethlehem, a manger—but all the animal bits are new, if not a bit fresh. 

Steven Yeun (Glenn from AMC’s “The Walking Dead”) appealingly voices a mill donkey named Bo, who winds up being instrumental to Mary giving birth in the famed manger. Fortunately, the titular heavenly body lures three wise men, whose donkeys are fortunately voiced by Tracy Morgan, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey; this trio easily provides the movie’s few remarkable moments. 

Even with the star-riddled voice cast that also includes Keegan-Michael Key, Christopher Plummer, Kris Kristofferson and Ving Rhames—the rest of the cast may be familiar, but they are not notable—The Star is no more than a downloadable dud waiting to be cued up to entertain bored kids at grandma’s house.