The Prince of Egypt

The Prince of Egypt is a magnificient film, one of the best animated films I've seen thusfar. It shows that computer animated films like Toy Story, Antz, and A Bug's Life have a long way to go before they can parallel the sheer majesty of traditionally animated films like The Prince of Egypt.

The plot is a Biblical one, the story of Moses (Val Kilmer) and how he leads the Jews labouring as slaves under the Egyptian Pharoah Seti (Patrick Stewart) and his successor Rameses (Ralph Fiennes) to freedom. The story begins where Moses is set afloat on a river as the Pharoah orders every newborn male child to be killed. In the film, the reason given by the Pharoah is that the Jews are growing in number, but an alternate explanation is that it is prophesised that a male child will bring about the demise of the Egyptian dynasty. Fortuitously, Moses falls into the hands of the Pharoah's wife (Hellen Mirren) who raises Moses like her own son, along with Rameses. Moses and Rameses grow up happy and blissfully ignorant of Moses' origins until Moses experiences several visions which lead him to take on the burden of freeing the Jews from the Pharoah's yoke.

The voicing (by high-profile actors such as Kilmer, Stewart, Fiennes, Sandra Bullock, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Glover, Steve Martin, etc.) is excellent. The animation, particularly the scenes involving the parting of the sea, the trance Moses falls into, and the time where he encounters god (voice of Kilmer), are superb. Some interesting details are thrown in, including the presence of a whale while Moses and his followers cross the parted sea, and an amusing view of how the Sphinx lost its nose (done better in Asterix comic books). The movie has too much singing and while this in and of itself isn't too bad, the songs are slower in tempo compared to many animated films. However the singing in Hebrew does make for interesting listening.

I'm a staunch atheist, and this movie brilliantly illustrates the notion of a despotic wrathful and vengeful god as depicted in the old testament. Even though movies such as The Ten Commandments have done a better job of depicting the story of Moses, I highly recommend checking out this movie for the multi-faceted change it provides from cinema using real actors.

Movie ramblings || Ram Samudrala ||