Sony Pictures Animation has released the first trailer for their new feature The Star, which is a retelling of the Jesus Christ birth story from the point of view of the animals. That in and of itself isn’t an outright terrible premise, but coming from the studio that also made The Emoji Movie, it’s troubling. Indeed, fears are founded in this debut trailer, which goes heavy on easy jokes and physical comedy and lacks the beauty of most theatrically released animated features. Visually the animation on this thing looks like one of those cheap animated TV shows for preschoolers.
The voice cast is at least impressive, with Steven Yeun leading the charge as a donkey. But that’s kind of the only bright spot you’ll find in this thing, and it’s been a long, long time since Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. I’m not sure what Sony Pictures Animation’s new directive is, but between this, The Emoji Movie, and Peter Rabbit, it very much feels like they’re aiming incredibly low in terms of audience age. Which I suppose is fine, but films like Cloudy or even The Pirates! Band of Misfits were targeted at young audiences while also taking pride in being clever, so it’s not like that’s impossible.
Anyway, check out the trailer for The Star below. The film also features the voices of Gina Rodriguez, Zachary Levi, Keegan-Michael Key, Kelly Clarkson, Anthony Anderson, Aidy Bryant, Ving Rhames, Gabriel Iglesias, Patricia Heaton, Kristin Chenoweth, Christopher Plummer, Tracy Morgan, Tyler Perry, and Oprah Winfrey. The Star opens in theaters on November 17th.