The Prince of Egypt
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the filmmakers have done a good job of making this film exciting and vivid while being careful not to offend anyone.
What's the story?
Dreamworks SKG's first animated feature is a respectful retelling of the story of Moses. The movie takes some liberties with the story, with Moses (voice of Val Kilmer) and Ramses (voice of Ralph Feinnes) raised as brothers who love each other deeply. But Moses learns that he was born a slave and that the man he loves and respects as his father, the Pharaoh Seti (voice of Patrick Stewart), once ordered the murder of the slave babies. Struggling with his new understanding, he impulsively pushes aside a guard who is beating a slave, and the guard falls to his death. Ramses promises to pardon him, but Moses runs away. He lives peacefully with nomads, marrying the spirited Tzipporah (voice of Michelle Pfeiffer), until he receives a message from God, telling him that he must return to Egypt and free the slaves. Ramses, by now Pharaoh, is at first happy to see him, but refuses to grant his plea to "let my people go." Felled by plagues that include locusts, boils, frogs, and, finally, the death of the first-born children, Ramses finally agrees. But just as Moses is leading the Hebrews through the parted Red Sea, Ramses arrives with his army. The Red Sea closes over them, and Moses and his people are free.
Is it any good?
Presided over by former Disney-ite Jeffrey Katzenberg ("The Lion King") the movie has some astonishing visual effects, particularly a chariot race that rivals "Ben Hur" and the parting of the Red Sea. This story, central to three great world religions, should be familiar to most children. The filmmakers have done a good job of making it exciting and vivid while being careful not to offend anyone. The musical numbers are largely forgettable, but the characters and the story remain compelling. Ramses, loving Moses, but terrified of being responsible for the end of a dynasty, is, if not a sympathetic character, a flawed but understandable one. And Miriam and Tzipporah are strong, intelligent female characters.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the movie's themes of taking responsibility and the importance of freedom.
|Theatrical release date:||December 18, 1998|
|DVD release date:||October 26, 2004|
|Cast:||Michelle Pfeiffer, Ralph Fiennes, Val Kilmer|
|Directors:||Brenda Chapman, Simon Wells, Steve Hickner|
|Genre:||Family and Kids|
|Run time:||99 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||intense depiction of thematic elements|