The Prince of Egypt (1998) / Animation-Adventure
MPAA Rated: PG for intense depiction of thematic elements
Running Time: 99 min.
Cast (voices): Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock
Director: Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, Simon Wells
Screenplay: Philip LaZebnik
Review published June 16, 1999
The biblical story of Moses (Kilmer, The Island of Dr. Moreau) in Exodus, where the Egyptians keep Hebrews as slaves. Fearing her baby boy will be taken and drowned by the Egyptians, a young Hebrew mother puts him in a basket and sends him down a river and hopes for the best. The basket is found by the Egyptian Queen and the boy is adopted as an Egyptian prince named Moses. Moses later comes to discover his true origins, and through a personal experience with God, makes it his mission to free his people from slavery and deliver them to the Promised Land of Israel.
A beautiful looking Disney-like animated film by Dreamworks, with gorgeous design and animation. Impressively displayed and effectively plotted, but somehow the film remains emotionally distant and uninvolving. Like most of Disney's animated films, there's quite a bit of music, but the songs here, while well-produced, are not particularly memorable.
Some dramatic license has been taken to try to make the film more exciting, but at it's heart you've most likely heard this story before and will probably be bored despite the talent involved. When all is said and done, they did what they could to make an oft told story exciting and succeeded in making it well-made, but the only people who may be totally unfamiliar with the film may be young children, who may not be as excited by this film when they could watch all those cute little creatures in A Bug's Life.
©1999 Vince Leo