Parents' Guide to

Joseph: King of Dreams

By Nancy Davis Kho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Animated Bible story too scary for very young.

Movie NR 2000 74 minutes
Joseph: King of Dreams Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 7+

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.
age 12+

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?"

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (8 ):

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.

Movie Details

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