Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet Movie Poster Image
World-renowned animators interpret classic Lebanese poetry.
  • PG
  • 2015
  • 85 minutes
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The poems have inspiring messages about everything from birth, childhood, work, and marriage to love, good, evil, and death. Mustafa's situation emphasizes the importance of community, support, faith, and friendship.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mustafa offers wisdom, kindness, and empathy to everyone he encounters. A moral man, he refuses to cower even in the face of danger. Kamila loves her daughter and wants to give her the best life possible. Almitra is courageous, curious, clever, and loving -- if a bit mischievous.

Violence

A political prisoner is executed by firing squad; the execution isn't seen, but the shots are heard. Police officers pursue a young girl who's accused of stealing. Some moments of menace/tension.

Sex

Kissing between newlyweds at their wedding reception. Sensual tango dance between a couple (who also kiss).

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking at a wedding reception.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet is an artistic animated film that adapts eight of the Lebanese poet's most famous pieces from The Prophet. Produced by and featuring the voice talents of Salma Hayek (who's of Lebanese descent), the movie's story about a political prisoner (voiced by Liam Neeson) is a framing device that's interwoven with vignettes interpreting the poems. Two of the segments include couples kissing fairly passionately and dancing a sultry tango. The complexity of the dialogue and the big themes might be a bit mature for some kids, but older tweens and teens still interested in animation may find it a thought-provoking exploration of life's big issues.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bygracia0819 August 20, 2015

A keen goodness.

It is a very nice movie that will teach the audience,not just children but also young adults, the goodness and the joy of having simplicity in life.
Adult Written by[email protected] August 18, 2015
Teen, 14 years old Written byrebo344 January 22, 2016

Creative animation style and good story mesh well.

Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet is well made and is full of striking visuals. The voice cast was great, with Liam Nesson stealing the entire movie. When he tal... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byPinkarray September 11, 2015

Okay movie but dropped the ball in the third act

The film picked up after an annoying start with the little impulsive seven-year-old girl, Almatria; where we meet Mustafa, a philosophical politician who people... Continue reading

What's the story?

Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet is one of the most enduring pieces of inspirational fiction and spiritual enlightenment in world literature. KAHLIL GIBRAN'S THE PROPHET -- a labor of love from producer/star Salma Hayek (who is of Lebanese ancestry on her father's side) -- is a collaboration with a series of well-known animators. The framing story follows Almitra (voiced by Quvenzhane Wallis) a selectively mute, curious young girl who accompanies her widowed mom (Hayek) to her job caring for a political prisoner, the poet/prophet Mustafa (Liam Neeson). Mustafa is under house arrest in the foreign city of Orphalese, but he's unexpectedly and mysteriously granted amnesty if he immediately returns to his home country. Upon his release, Mustafa grants a series of impromptu sermons/blessings/parables (taken straight from the poetry book) to various people he meets on his way to board the ship bound for home.

Is it any good?

A lovely if occasionally uneven exploration of Gibran's epic poem, the movie is visually beautiful and thematically inspiring, although a bit mature for the usual young fans of animated dramas. Hayek brought together nine different animators to bring The Prophet to life, and the result ranges from lovely to inspiring to overly sincere. The framing story looks more like big studio animation, and as Mustafa comes across various groups of people, he imparts his gentle wisdom on a variety of topics related to a life well lived: marriage, love, children, work, death, etc. -- with different animators interpreting the poems' messages.

By far the most beautiful segment is "On Work," directed by septuagenarian artist Joan Gratz, whose "claypainted" animation gorgeously captures the theme of how "work is love made visible." French animator and graphic novelist Joann Sfar directed the "On Marriage" vignette, an intimate tango that perfectly illustrates why lovers should retain a sense of self within their togetherness. The music always matches the mood: Irish crooners Damien Rice and Glen Hansard provide original songs, and Yo-Yo Ma contributed his talents to the evocative score by Gabriel Yared. As for missteps, Neeson's instantly recognizable Irish accent is miscast in the role of Mustafa, as is the character's change from a wise foreign-born teacher (in the book) to a doomed political dissident (in the movie). Kudos to Hayek for offering a way for younger audiences to connect to Gibran's words, but don't be surprised if younger kids are bored or confused by the film's philosophical musings.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the messages of The Prophet. Which of the poetic parables spoke to you the most? Why? Is it as easy to understand something when it's presented in the form of a poem?

  • Which of the characters are role models? Why? Is it clear who's "good" and who's "bad" in the beginning? What about later on? What does that tell viewers?

  • Although the source book is Lebanese, the movie's voice cast is international. What do you think of an Irish actor (Neeson) playing a Middle Eastern character?

  • The poems are all animated by different animators; what did you think of their styles? Did you like some of the segments more than the others? Why?

Movie details

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