Amy, Catherine, and Charles Fay can’t wait for their Uncle Henry to arrive for Christmas. This is the first year since Mama passed away and the children are working together to fill the void and put together a Christmas play at their church. There are challenges along the way, from a runaway lamb to a stern lady that plays the church organ, but with the help of Uncle Henry’s new song, We Three Kings, not only is the Christmas pageant a success, but the children learn truths about Jesus and the gifts that were given to Him by the Magi.
Here is a remarkable movie about a most memorable Christmas song, We Three Kings. The song was written by Rev. John Henry Hopkins, Jr. who lived from 1820 to 1891. He was an accomplished artist, musician and poet, and he wrote many hymns, which he compiled in a book titled Carols, Hymns And Songs.
In this engaging film the story of how the song came to be is re-enacted and nicely so by talented actors. The Nativity scene, which features this unforgettable song, is one of several outstanding scenes in the movie. And the viewer will enjoy the humorous scene when the children, during rehearsal, bring a real lamb into the church so as to make it come to life as it was in Bethlehem!
The Hopkins children consist of Amy, Catherine and Charles. Their mother, Emily Hopkins, died some years ago and in one touching scene the children visit her grave. It is their Uncle Henry who comes up with the now-famous hymn.
The movie consists of several scenes in which the average viewer will relate to. A certain lady in the church, a piano player named Mrs. Delvina, is grumpy and demanding but later in the story the children learn why. Mrs. Delvina has suffered loss too, the loss of a child and her husband. As the children had learned about myrrh, one of the gifts given to the Christ child, and that it was bitter and represents the bitterness of his death, the boy says, “You have myrrh in your life.” The children help her to open up and to share the loss and a new bond with her is formed. When one of her candles is broken, one that belonged to her child, and she doesn’t become upset, the young ones know for sure her feelings toward them have changed, and for the better.
And the mischievous nature of some kids is clearly shown as they, as previously mentioned, bring a lamb into the church so as to make the Nativity scene more realistic. It’s a memorable scene with the lamb uttering, “Baaaaa!” as it runs through the sanctuary and the children attempt to corral the small animal.
The lessons of life from the Bible are nicely peppered into the story, lessons such as death is a part of life, but there is the blessed hope of a resurrection, thanks to Christ’s victory on the cross. And the birth of Christ, the arrival of the savior, is nicely mentioned and demonstrated throughout as the church prepares for its Christmas service. The gifts given to the Christ child by the three wisemen are also explained, and how the gold represents his kingship, the myrrh represents his death, and the frankincense represents the fragrance of prayers.
The humorous moments help offset the serious ones. In one scene, when bad news arrives, young Charles comments that “My spectators are ruined.” The children don’t know what he means. He then manages to tell them he was trying to say, “My expectations are ruined!” Yet the good news of Christ overtakes the bad news, a wonderful thread running throughout the film. One character shares a remarkable line: “When we pray to Jesus the light overtakes the darkness and our hearts are filled with joy and peace.”
The movie also shows the growing and shining talent of young Amy, who went on to become known as Amelia “Amy” Muller Fay, an accomplished pianist who traveled to Europe and studies under great musicians such as Franz Liszt and Ludwig Deppe.
This wholesome film is a wonderful viewing experience and we award it our Dove-approved seal for All Ages. It not only features the history of the title song but also features the music of other great Christmas tunes like The First Noel.
The Dove Take:
This inspiring movie features inspiring songs and a great and entertaining story based on the history of an unforgettable song.