In the traditional Biblical story, Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem, the city of Joseph’s ancestry, for the census. Mary is nine months pregnant, and when they are unable to find a place to stay, they welcome their child into the world in a stable or barn. That child is Jesus, God’s son, and the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are off and racing.
There’s Bo the Donkey (Steve Yeun), the hero of our story.
Dave the Dove (Keegan-Michael Key). Abby the Mouse (Kristin Chenoweth). Edith the Cow (Patricia Heaton). Felix the Camel (Tracy Morgan). Cyrus the Camel (Tyler Perry). Zach the Goat (Anthony Anderson).
The list is pretty amazing, and so is the humor and animation here, from Sony Affirm Films. Both wildly entertaining and Biblically accurate, the film’s heart revolves around the redemption that producer DeVon Franklin told me “occurs in the life of Jesus all along). It’s found through the characters of a centurion’s two attack dogs, Thaddeus and Rufus (Ving Rhames and Gabriel Iglesias), and the way the animals come together to protect the baby Jesus. This works … wonderfully.