Joseph: King of Dreams Movie Poster Image

Joseph: King of Dreams



Animated Bible story too scary for very young.
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 74 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This is a story of jealousy, revenge, and forgiveness. Joseph's brothers envy his special status and plot to get rid of him. When he rises to a position of power after years of strife, Joseph has a chance to get revenge on his brothers and forgives them instead.

Violence & scariness

As in many of the best-loved Bible stories, violence is replete. Joseph's dreams contain scary images of wolves and destruction, beheadings, and birds feeding on human flesh. His brothers push him into a pit and sell him into slavery, and a slave auction is depicted. Sordid conditions in jail, including swarms of rats, are part of the story.

Sexy stuff

Potiphar's wife makes romantic overtures to Josesph that culminate in her tearing at his clothes; rejected, she screams for help and accuses him of attacking her. Kisses and embraces between Joseph and his wife Asenath.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie, based on the Joseph story from the book of Genesis, contains more violence than the typical kids' animated musical. Joseph's prophetic dreams show wolves, destruction, beheadings, and birds feeding on human flesh. Joseph's brothers plot against him, selling him into slavery. A woman falsely accuses Joseph of sexual assault. Joseph undergoes horrific trials, from slavery to prison, but overcomes them to rise to a position of power in Egypt. The movie explores how he will deal with his brothers, given his status; will he get revenge, or show forgiveness?

What's the story?

In the opening song, Joseph (voiced by (Ben Affleck) is told repeatedly he is "a miracle child," whose special purpose God has not yet revealed. This infuriates his brothers, who labor in the field while their younger brother studies, draped in his many-colored cloak. The brothers decide to sell Joseph into slavery, telling their parents that he's been killed by wild animals. In the pharaoh's palace, working for Potipher and his wife, Joseph shows skill in dream interpretation, organizing, and managing. During a jail term for a crime in which he was falsely accused, he gains perspective and trust in God. Joseph emerges more powerful than ever. As a result, he is given a chance to make a choice: to seek revenge on his brothers or forgive them.

Is it any good?


Two years after Moses' story got the animated musical treatment in The Prince of Egypt it was Joseph's turn -- same winning formula, with A-list voice talent and even better animators. But it lacks Egypt's poignant tunes and powerful storytelling -- which is perhaps why it ended up skipping the theaters and going straight to DVD.

The animation is accomplished. Particularly compelling are the dream sequences, which almost look like animated Van Gogh paintings. For an animated kids' feature, there is a fairly high level of violence, from the brothers menacing Joseph to his grisly dream interpretations for fellow cell-mates in prison. His struggle with whether to punish his brothers is touching, as is his wife Aseneth's (Jodi Benson) counsel to her husband.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Joseph's brothers were so jealous of him. When Joseph was put in jail by Potipher what was it that helped him through the solitary weeks and months? Why did Joseph put the drinking chalice in Benjamin's sack of grain? Do you think it was difficult for Joseph to forgive his brothers?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 7, 2000
DVD/Streaming release date:November 7, 2000
Cast:Ben Affleck, Mark Hamill, Maureen McGovern
Director:Rob DaLuca
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:74 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

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Parent Written bymamamandy October 7, 2011

good, but know your kids

for the most part I agree with the review. the movie does contain some things that may scare your children if they scare easily. mine are 6 and 7 and do not. the words sexual assault are not said, if you have a child old enough to wonder what the lady did wrong it can be explained that she lied and said Joseph tried to hurt her when he didn't. that is very simple and age appropriate and there is nothing in the movie that would give them more information than that. kids who might wonder about the scene before that and why she lied can be told that she was trying to be too friendly with Joseph and that it's wrong for a lady to be that friendly with a man who isn't her husband. again, simple and age appropriate. kids not old enough to hear that will be young enough that that scene goes right over their heads. just preview it and know your own kids.
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 10 years old July 2, 2016

Nice story from the Bible

I found this movie a bit sad because the boy has a happy life and his parents love him but his brothers become jealous. Kids could find this movie very scary, there is a scene when Joseph had a dream that the sheep were attacked by wolves, later on that dream was true. Also, when Joseph's brothers had betrayed him and sold him as a slave for a very rich man, the man's wife tried to seduce him in a violent way. There is another scene when a man has a dream that he was attacked by birds. Joseph told the man that he would be beheaded and of course that comes true. Even though it can be scary and sad there are some very good scenes in it and great messages.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Adult Written byMonera September 21, 2016

Dark but Inspiring

The movie is based of a story in the Old Testament of the Bible. It is very dark in many places, but less so than Prince of Egypt. The darkest part is more the overarching story about Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers and his sadness at not seeing his parents. I liked that they could make the movie darker, and not cliche and bubbly like many kids movies. It portrays antiquity in more brutal realism, yet not traumatically so. Perhaps for young children, it may introduce the concept of slavery! The movie was handled in an intelligent and mature way. Some more uplifting aspects were Joseph's resilience in the face of such a devastating event and his will to make a new life in Egypt and gain the respect of his master and everyone else. It really is like a personal growth story, as Joseph grew up spoiled by his parents, but became more humble and giving by his hard trials. The story also touches on themes of family and what makes somewhere "home". I also love the historical research they put into the story too, with the scenery and clothing as well as ancient life. Some questions I would ask for discussion are: "Do you believe that Joseph's brothers were resentful of his parent's special treatment of him, and is it detrimental for one sibling to be treated differently than the rest?" " Do you agree with Joseph's forgiveness of his brothers at the end, or were their actions too severe to truly be forgiven?" "Joseph shows an amazing amount of resilience and perseverance and succeeds greatly in his tragic circumstances. Do we all have such strength within ourselves to start with, or is it built through hardships and experience?" "Many aspects of the story were quite dark and serious, yet told the truth about life in the ancient world. How dark should children's movies get? Is there a clear limit? When could it be necessary to include darker more mature aspects of a story to enhance the quality of the story, and when is it too much?" Lastly, "What makes a place home? Joseph made a success of himself in Egypt and gained many loyal friends, but he still longed for his native Canaan. Is "home" where you were born, raised, where your family is? or could it also be where you make it, among new friends and significant memories and experiences? Can you make a new place home, or is "home" predetermined?"
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models