The Star of Christmas


The Star of Christmas

Infobox_Film
name = The Star of Christmas
caption = DVD cover
writer = Phil Vischer
director = Tim Hodge
producer = David Pitts
distributor = Sony Wonder
starring = Phil Vischer,
Mike Nawrocki,
Jacquelyn Ritz,
Lisa Vischer,
Dan Anderson,
Jim Poole,
Tim Hodge
music = Phil Vischer,
Kurt Heinecke
released = October 29,2002 and September 6, 2006 | runtime = 50 minutes
language = English
preceded_by = "Jonah Sing-Along Songs and More!"
followed_by = "The Wonderful World of Auto-Tainment!"
imdb_id = 0399837

"The Star of Christmas" is the 18th episode of the "VeggieTales" animated series and the second holiday special in that series. It was released on October 29,2002 and September 5, 2006 in the DVD media Holiday Double Feature with its earlier episode The Toy that Saved Christmas. Like the other holiday episodes, it has no “A Lesson in...” subtitle. The message, however, is that you can't teach people to love through pomp and flash, but rather that love must come from the inside; Jesus was sent on Christmas to help enable such a change, and He is the true "Star of Christmas".

The show is set in London in 1882 and has a definite Charles Dickens quality to it. Indeed, the sequel, "An Easter Carol", features the same characters and the same setting and is a direct parody of the Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol".

The story of "The Star of Christmas" centers on two would-be operatic composers who are based on W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. "VeggieTales" has spoofed Gilbert and Sullivan's work in "Lyle the Kindly Viking" and (specifically "The Mikado") in "Sumo of the Opera". In this episode however they spoof the people, Gilbert and Sullivan, themselves.

Synopsis

Cavis Appythart and Millward Phelps are jingle writers who are waiting to make their big break into musical theatre. While Millward is content to see their work featured on billboards and in newspapers, Cavis believes they can make a difference in crime-ridden London by staging a grand musical that will move the citizens to greater expressions of love. They are about to get their opportunity. Millward's Uncle Nezzer has granted them the use of his theater on Christmas Eve, and they are planning a huge production of a new musical called "The Princess and the Plumber". Unfortunately, the script is not yet complete, and the premiere is only three days away.

Seymour Schwenk (Sullivan's and Gilbert's middle names), their friend and an inventor, shows up in an experimental rocket car (a direct reference to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and delivers to them a box of light bulbs. Cavis maintains that if their production is glitzy and bright (electric lights are still a novelty at this time and were first introduced at the Savoy Theatre for Gilbert and Sullivan's "Patience") then it will be a bigger hit and reach more people. He plans to integrate the lights directly into the scenery itself (and, soon, the costumes too [lights were first introduced as onstage gimmicks in G&S's "Iolanthe" for the fairy wands] ).

But they still have much work to do. They need to convince the city's premiere talent, Constance Effie Pickering, to star in the lead role, and they need to get a commitment from Prince Calvin Fredrick to attend the premier. While Cavis and his assistant Bob Winston work on Pickering and the Prince, Millward struggles to complete the script. Everything comes together, and Cavis starts feeling confident that their production will be a huge success.

After noticing a flyer for a Christmas pageant planned to debut on the same night at a local church, Cavis goes to investigate. He observes Edmund Gilbert preparing a low-budget children's play and concludes that it poses no threat to their grand production. The pageant does intend to feature an object called the "Star of Christmas", however. Wondering aloud about this as he leaves the church, he is overheard by Arthur McHollingshead. [John Hollingshead was the operator of the Gaiety Theatre, London, where Gilbert and Sullivan's first opera, "Thespis" played.] Arthur, a historian, reveals that the Star of Christmas is an ancient relic that has not been seen by the public in 79 years. He rushes off with great excitement to report the news, which promptly makes the front page headline the following morning.

Faced with the prospect of losing their audience (and in particular the Prince) to the pageant, Cavis vows to make their own production greater and flashier. But they can't compete with the Star of Christmas, and in desperation Cavis and Millward go to the church to steal the Star. They are caught, however, and narrowly escape from the aged "Moyer the Destroyer" who was left to guard the relic. With the Star and the flashy lights, Cavis is certain that "The Princess and the Plumber" is now a guaranteed success. But during dress rehearsal, the excessive amount of lights (a suspected fire hazard all along) ignites the curtains. In minutes the theater goes up in flames, and with it the Star of Christmas. As they stand and rue this terrible turn of events, an officer named Dwiglight Howarde arrives with Moyer LaGumtree, and Cavis and Millward are arrested.

In the jail, they meet a prisoner, Charles Pincher, who laughs at their efforts to spread love by means of an elaborate stage production. He claims that real love does not expect fame or wealth in return, that real love makes sacrifices to help others without expectation of personal gain. That kind of love, he says, is extremely rare.

As if on cue, Edmond and his father, Jesse, arrive at the jail to release Cavis and Millward. They have chosen not to press charges for the theft of the Star. Cavis is moved, and he expresses his desire to attend the pageant. But the pageant starts in ten minutes and there is not enough time to get there. Just then Seymour shows up in this rocket car. He entrusts Millward to drive the vehicle and try to get them all to the church on time. It's a harrowing ride fraught with collisions and near-misses, but they do arrive just as the pageant is about to start to crash through a bakery and a bank.

The pageant goes on with the Prince and Miss Pickering and everyone else in attendance. Cavis finally learns that Christmas is not about glitz and grand productions; he understands that it is about a baby in a manger, Jesus, who is the real "Star of Christmas". The episode ends with Cavis and Millward performing a selfless act at last: they bring cookies and a gift to Charles Pincher in his jail cellCavis says, smiling warmly, "Merry Christmas Mr. Pincher", and the show ends.

Cast of Characters

* Bob the Tomato as Cavis Appythart
* Larry The Cucumber as Millward Phelps
* Pa Grape as Seymour Schwenk
* Junior Asparagus as Edmund Gilbert
* Dad Asparagus as Reverend Gilbert
* Madame Blueberry as Miss Constance Effie Pickering
* Jimmy Gourd as The Plumber
* Jean Claude as Bob Winston
* Scooter Carrot as Moyer LaGumtree
* Mr. Nezzer as Ebenezer Nezzer
* Archibald Asparagus as Arthur McHollingshead
* Jerry Gourd as Officer Dwilight Howarde
* Charles Pincher as the Prisoner
* Mr. Lunt as Prince Calvin Fredrick
* Laura Carrot, Percy Pea, and Annie the Celery as Ray Buczumi, Benny McHollingshead, and Rachel Horraceson
* The French Peas as the Frarie Peas: Moe Oakley, Curly-Joe Bess, and Christopher Fine

Songs

Due to the format of the show, this episode does "not" contain the usual "What We Have Learned" or "VeggieTales Theme". It does contain five original (short) compositions and one Christmas traditional:

* "First Big Break", sung by Cavis Appythart
* "We Are the Frarie Peas", sung by the Frarie Peas
* "Plumber, You Dropped Your Possum", sung by Millward Phelps
* "Flushing in Vain", sung by Miss Constance Effie Pickering and the Plumber
* "Plugged Up Love", sung by Miss Constance Effie Pickering, the Plumber, and the Frarie Peas
* "O Come, O Come Emmanuel", sung by Lisa Vischer over the closing credits

DVD Content

Big Idea has consistently packed the "VeggieTales" DVDs with a variety of additional features intended to appeal to both children and adults alike. This section itemizes the content of the DVD.

Chapters

* 1. Cavis Has an Idea!
* 2. Cavis and Millward's Big Break
* 3. Miss Effie Pickering
* 4. Planning the Pageant
* 5. A Bigger Spectacle!
* 6. Stealing the Star
* 7. A Disastrous Rehearsal of The Princess and the Plumber
* 8. Christmas Eve in Jail!?!
* 9. Race to the Church
* 10. The Church Pageant
* 11. Merry Christmas, Mr. Pincher
* 12. Ending Credits

Bonus Features

Audio Commentary - Previews - Behind the Scenes - Concept Art - Progression Reel - Ye Olde Silly Synth - Trivia Challenge! - Sing Along "While By My Sheep" - "The Toy that Saved Christmas" Storybook - Millward's Mirror Morpher - Family Fun Activity- Very Veggie Christmas Tunes - Bob & Larry's Countertop Recipes - DVD-ROM Fun

References

3. http://christiananswers.net/spotlight/movies/2002/thestarofchristmas.html

4. http://www.faithandfamilyflix.com/product_info.php?cPath=2&products_id=377&osCsid=5b390536a701c238c56d82b6f4fa0201

External links

* [http://bigidea.com/products/shows/shows_content.aspx?pid=72 Official Website]
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0399837 IMDB Article]
* [http://www.tbn.org/index.php/2/4/p/413.html Airtime Listing on TBN]
* [http://www.qubo.com/veggie_show.asp Veggietales at Qubo.com]
* [http://christiancartoons.blogspot.com/2007/05/veggietales-christian-animation-cg-3d.html VeggieTales] at [http://christiancartoons.blogspot.com/ Christian Cartoons Online]
* [http://www.darrenandchristy.com/veggie/classic/index.html Ultimate Veggie]


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