By Australian Council on Children and the Media
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Still image from animated movie The Star (c) ​Sony Pictures
© Sony Pictures
 
 
This movie at a glance Move mouse over icons to see their meaning
Rating
  • Suitable for viewing by general population
Recommendations
  • Not recommended for children under 5
  • Parental guidance for children under 8
  • Suitable for children over 8
Warnings
  • Contains frightening scenes
  • Contains violence and scary scenes
Genre Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Length 86 minutes
Release Date 30/11/2017

Story

The Star is the story of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, told from the perspective of the donkey. Bo (voice of Steven Yeun) is a common mill donkey in Nazareth. He’s fed up with his daily tasks, and longs to escape and see the world. With encouragement from his friend, Dave (voice of Keegan-Michael Key), a hilarious and ambitious dove, Bo escapes from the mill. After being chased by the furious mill owner, Bo hurts his foot and seeks refuge in a humble house in the village. Here he meets the young, pregnant Mary, who takes pity on him and decides to keep him as a pet.

Meanwhile, the evil King Herod has heard about the prophecy that a new king will be born. Herod decides that he must find and murder this baby, who threatens his claim to the throne. He decrees that all citizens must travel to Bethlehem to register in a census, hoping that this will reveal the baby. One of King Herod’s henchmen, a large and threatening soldier with two vicious dogs, is sent out to search for the expectant couple.

As Mary and her young husband Joseph set off on foot to Bethlehem, Bo decides that he must follow them and warn them about the danger. With Dave the dove and his new friend, a sheep called Ruby (voice of Aidy Bryant), Bo has a perilous time trying to save Mary and Joseph from being discovered. He must also help them get safely to Bethlehem before the holy birth. 

Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism.

The Christmas story; child killing; redemption; bravery

Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution.

The Star has some violence. For example:

  • King Herod’s henchman threatens people with his fist or his knife. There are many scenes of him that show him getting out his knife to fight or kill with.
  • Bo the donkey has a fight with the henchman and uses his hind legs to kick him.
  • The two attack dogs viciously snarl and snap, threaten and chase the other animals.
  • King Herod discusses killing the babies that are born in the kingdom.
  • King Herod’s henchman sets fire to the barn where Mary is giving birth to baby Jesus.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, The Star has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • When Bo escapes from the mill, he’s chased by the mill owner, who’s angry and threatening.
  • There are several scenes where Bo the donkey is in danger of falling from the top of high cliffs. In several scenes he does fall.
  • King Herod and his henchman are threatening and scary characters. The henchman uses intimidation and violence to gather information about Mary and Joseph. 

From 5-8
Younger children in this age group might be scared by some of the scenes mentioned above.

From 8-13
Nothing of concern

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

The Star has some very mild sexual references, including when Dave the dove uses some mildly flirtatious language when talking to a group of hens. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Nothing of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Product placement

None

Coarse language

The Star some mild coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Star is an entertaining adventure movie that uses humour and warmth to tell the Nativity story from a new angle.

The movie’s main message is about the Christian origin of Christmas. Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include bravery, friendship, ambition and forgiveness.

There are some scary scenes that might be too much for children under five years, and we recommend parental guidance for children under eight years. You might want to talk with your children about the evil nature of Herod and his henchman.

 
 
 
 
  • Last Reviewed 2017-12-11