The Prince of Egypt shows admirable accomplishments in animation while depending on the visuals to tell the story of Moses, voiced by Val Kilmer, an Egyptian prince who eventually starts a biblical quest to save his people from Ramses’, voiced by Ralph Fiennes, enslavement.
The visuals are indeed amazing, especially in a sequence involving some clever storytelling utilizing hieroglyphics.
Simon Wells, Brenda Chapman and Steve Hickner all direct the fast moving sequences while Hans Zimmer’s musical score runs abundant enough to spawn three different soundtracks to the movie.
Other vital characters include Tzipporah (voiced by Michelle Pfieffer), Miriam (Sandra Bullock), Aaron (Jeff Goldbum), Jethro (Danny Glover), Pharaoh Seti Patrick Stewart) plus Pharaoh’s court servants/magicians Hotep and Huy, voiced by Steve Martin and Martin Short. These diverse supporting characters stay underdeveloped because they mainly function to explain the events of the film and add credibility to the story.
The main dramatic drive comes from the brotherly relationship of Moses and Ramses which is well represented from beginning to end though Goldbum’s role as Aaron injects feelings of faith and doubt that audiences can easily relate to.
Dreamworks directs the subject matter in their animated features into more adult themes and situations, which is evident in a scene where the beautiful Tzipporah is seemingly confined to the room of an Egyptian prince.
The parting of the Red Sea is a great achievement in animation and driving music might make your heart flutter a bit. Overall the story touches on aspects of Moses’ story to draw a wider audience base, so don’t expect an exact account of events.
You will probably have some inevitable comparisons to Cecil B. DeMille’s Ten Commandments, but if you let The Prince of Egypt stand on its own you’ll enjoy the film better while still getting the same moral lessons from DeMille’s version. Recommended (*** out of four stars) and rated PG for intense depiction of thematic elements.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler