Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Stage musical successfully brought to the screen.
  • NR
  • 2000
  • 80 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 13 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Joseph's father is obviously a polygamist.

Violence & Scariness

A sheep is dismembered (though it's clearly a mannequin-like fake).

Sexy Stuff

Fully-clothed dancers simulate orgies with mildly suggestive choreography.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Old Testament tale is suitable for grade-school kids. Some things to note: Joseph's solo ballad laments persecution of the Hebrews. Joseph's father is obviously a polygamist. Fully-clothed dancers simulate orgies with mildly suggestive choreography. A sheep is dismembered (though it's clearly a mannequin-like fake). Religious viewers may have qualms about the treatment of the Scripture-based material (God is barely mentioned here). The themes of sibling rivalry, jealousy, and ultimate forgiveness, however, are universal.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBillBonn February 28, 2016

"Nudity"

So, I know that women dancers in this movie were actually wearing body suits, but they were really thin. Granted, in the potiphar scene, the dancers were coveri... Continue reading
Adult Written bygumps April 3, 2020

Movie ruined it

I watched the play on stage years ago and loved the story and music. However, I watched the movie tonight and the costumes were so distracting we all wish we ha... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byleftbehindcrazed8 June 26, 2011

:-) i'm in the play - it's awesome

I haven't actually seen the MOVIE, but I'm in the PLAY and it's a great storyline, especially for Christians like myself!!! (hahahaha) (follow up... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written by96grlpowrCE June 7, 2010

Awesome musical!

Next to Cats (also written by Andrew Lloyd Webber), Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat is my favourite musical! At first I thought it'd be overr... Continue reading

What's the story?

Schoolchildren assemble for an Old Testament pageant, but once the music begins, the onstage action becomes real, and the school's headmaster (Richard Attenborough) reappears as Jacob, father to eleven sons. After Jacob gives favored son Joseph (Donny Osmond) a present of a spectacular, multicolored coat, his jealous brothers fake the boy's death. In fact, Joseph has been sold into slavery in Egypt, where he's unjustly accused of dallying with a pyramid tycoon's vampish wife (Joan Collins). In prison, he gains fame interpreting fellow inmates' dreams, and is then called on to explain the Pharaoh's troubling nightmares, after which he's hired as Pharaoh's top advisor. Years pass, and Joseph's famine-stricken brothers come to Egypt to buy grain. Unrecognized, Joseph bitterly frames his youngest brother for thievery. But when the remaining brothers selflessly offer to accept his punishment, Joseph is moved to reveal his true identity, and the family is happily reunited.

Is it any good?

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT retains all the sparkling wit, style, and melodies of the original Broadway musical. In a nimble eighty-minutes, viewers get a banquet of different musical styles. Jacob is told of Joseph's "death" in a twangy country-western lament; Pharaoh relates his dreams in pure Elvis style (he is The King, after all); the framing of brother Benjamin is set to Caribbean calypso; and the rest is Andrew Lloyd Webber's popular brand of catchy power pop. The multi-ethnic cast (old Jacob evidently had wide-ranging tastes in wives) contributes to the world-beat feel.

Donny Osmond's all-American good looks make him a very likeable Joseph. The real find here, however, is Maria Friedman. Introduced as a mousy schoolteacher, she blossoms into a superb narrator. Her expressive face lets the audience know just what's going on (a great asset since the lyrics by Tim Rice -- of The Lion King fame -- are occasionally obtuse). As with the movie Godspell, religious viewers may have qualms about the treatment of the Scripture-based material (God is barely mentioned here). The themes of sibling rivalry and ultimate forgiveness, however, are universal.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how they handle feelings of jealousy. Why did Joseph ultimately forgive his brothers?

Movie details

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