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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20.42%
Worth A Look33.1%
Average: 18.31%
Pretty Bad: 14.08%
Total Crap: 14.08%

8 reviews, 94 user ratings

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Prince of Egypt, The
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by Ryan Arthur

"Go ahead and see it."
4 stars

Is it good? Yep. Is it a triumph in animation? Well...

The Prince Of Egypt is a retelling of the story of Moses and his people. It's the story of the Exodus. The story's been told on screen before, in Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments."

But it's never been told as an animated musical.

I won't focus on the story. As I type this, it's early Christmas morning. You should probably know what the story's about anyway. I have only basic knowledge of the Bible, and I knew what was going on. The story itself works. It's a moving narrative that clips along at a fast pace. The voice work is excellent, specifically from Val Kilmer and Ralph Fiennes (as Moses and Ramses, respectively). Both redeem themselves in my eyes from previous subpar work (The Saint for Kilmer, and the obvious Avengers debacle for Fiennes). There's nice turns from Sandra Bullock (Miriam) and Michelle Pfeiffer (Tzipporah), too. But the real focus here is the animation.

It is impressive. It is, at times, even stunning (the Red Sea "parting" sequence is the prime example). There are some scenes where the hand-drawn stuff does blend seamlessly with the computer generated animation. There are some scenes where it doesn't. Does it compare to other animated features? Yep. Tzipporah bears a bit of resemblance to Esmerelda from Hunchback Of Notre Dame. But most of the characters are uniquely animated. The character of Aaron actually actually looks like Jeff Goldblum, who provided the voice, with a beard. Miriam is a bit more plump than the average animated female. Moses is angular.

Is it groundbreaking? In some ways, yes. Sticklers may be able to point out where things don't blend, and average moviegoers may not even notice, or care. But it's groundbreaking in that it has taken an extremely serious subject and applied it to an art form that was previously used exclusively for children's films. That's not to say The Prince Of Egypt ISN'T for kids: it is. It's definitely a family movie. But it's not family in that Disney sort of way.

There are no human-like animal sidekicks. There are elements of humor, but not the sort of slapsticky way most kids movies are. The closest thing to comic relief comes from Steve Martin and Martin Short as temple magicians, who are more sinister than comedic. The entire film has a very serious tone to it (and it should), but it may make some younger children - and perhaps a few older ones - a little restless. A scene where a vengeful God kills the firstborn son of every Egyptian, including the now-Pharaoh Ramses, even unsettled me a little.

The songs? Mostly forgettable. They don't stand out (although the opening song is still on my mind), and they don't really distract, either.

I guess this reads more like a non-review review.

I enjoyed the film, more than I thought I would. Is it a triumph, a breakthrough?

I can't say.

But I do think it's a step in the right direction.

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originally posted: 12/25/98 18:43:45
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User Comments

10/10/15 WALTER Jeffrey Katzenberg was responsible for such films as THE LITTLE MERMAID. 5 stars
10/08/15 A Historian The pyramids weren't built with slave labor. 2 stars
11/21/10 mathias the fact they sing about dead kids is kind of fucked 2 stars
4/08/09 namra humayun its a very good film 4 stars
2/18/09 Sally Sundeen I am a sucker for animated films...but I love this movie. I think that it is wonderful! 4 stars
9/28/08 Little Buddy Released after Mulan and Anastasia. 5 stars
1/28/08 Pamela White almost biblically acurate and kids learn history 4 stars
6/24/07 Austin Wertman Powerful 5 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega One of the best musicals I've watched. 5 stars
11/26/06 pffgg bla 1 stars
4/03/06 JRE incredible graphics. and followed the bible pretty well too 4 stars
2/04/06 Quigley the movie has a real sense of wonder and power to it unachieved by traditional animation 5 stars
1/03/06 Wiseman wohh guys common this movie was great. 5 stars
8/30/05 ES 'There must be more than this provincial life...' whoops, wrong movie 3 stars
5/11/05 Katie Malone It really says something when an atheist is moved by this deeply religious film. 5 stars
1/14/05 KingNeutron Worth seeing more than once. 5 stars
12/23/04 Daveman Gorgeously animated but too sentimental for my tastes 3 stars
10/18/04 Amber Laplante I love this movie. I think it is a great leason. 5 stars
5/17/04 DM I really like the songs, but something isn't right 4 stars
5/15/04 Sean Scanlan Umm.... 3 stars
11/07/03 Kyle I hate religion, but I've read Exodus, this is a terrible adaptation. 2 stars
10/04/03 louis thornton jr i love it show all the things that he done 5 stars
10/01/03 Esotla Lativa the facts were totaly wrong - 1 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum Disney needs to worry 5 stars
10/24/01 Andrew Carden I Couldn't Really Find This Entertaining At All. Lacks Good Scripts. 3 stars
9/10/01 I love movies great film but Jeff Goldblum's voice was wasted 5 stars
4/09/01 Gary Great flick! The animation is much better than Disney and the storyline is powerful! 5 stars
2/25/01 Stephanie P The wonderful vocals, amazing animation and timeless tale make this movie one of the best. 5 stars
2/06/01 Turtle It's a fine adaption of the classic life of Moses, but it isn't great. 3 stars
11/29/00 Cristopher Revilla what waste of time, watch the ten commandments instead of this stupid turkey 1 stars
10/22/00 Jed &uck the jimmy jam. This is a good movie. *uck all you anti-animation people. 4 stars
2/06/00 Kyle Broflovski I loved it. And yes, I really am a Jew. 4 stars
11/13/99 Joanna Spurbeck This movie was the best reinactment of this particular story from the bible. 5 stars
11/11/99 Ralf Behet Not without flaws, but still impressive. On par with many Disney films. 5 stars
9/21/99 JED A great but a tad bit odd animated film based on the story of moses (Great cast especially) 4 stars
4/20/99 bb hooey! 1 stars
4/19/99 jimmy jam It was not very good. But then again it's a fuckin' cartoon. 2 stars
3/25/99 Michael Prince A great piece. For once, GOD was shown as more than just background. 5 stars
3/21/99 Monky The music, animation, voice casting, just incredible. I'm 26/M, seen it twice already! 5 stars
3/21/99 Zandman Technically, a PERFECT film - so what if its sentimental crap + shitty songs? 5 stars
3/12/99 Ah Dooey Anyone smarter than Tellurium (below) knows this movie is a masterpiece! 4 stars
3/08/99 tellurium The fucked up the story, they left out to much important stuff 1 stars
2/19/99 The Graduate Very moving story, and rich characters. Plus, it looks stunning! 5 stars
2/05/99 Bob, Lord of Evil I think this was hands down the best movie of 1998! 5 stars
2/04/99 Michelle Me Belle didnt even really follow the bible's story, but some of the effects were cool 3 stars
1/25/99 Meepos. If not for the songs, would have got five stars. 4 stars
1/24/99 Slugmuffin I have seen this movie 3 times now, and it keeps getting better and better. 5 stars
1/23/99 Goofaloo As a spectacle it was awesome. As a story, well we all know how it goes. 4 stars
1/23/99 Dread Pirate Roberts Half the songs were worthwhile, the animation was awesome, and the "acting" was great. 5 stars
1/22/99 TB animation was cool..... but being boring as shit for the first 30 minutes is unforgivable. 2 stars
1/20/99 Jason Stein Animation was awesome, but Steve Martin and Martin Short's charcters seemed too "Disney" 4 stars
1/20/99 Chronically hip I enjoyed it. The characters looked weird, but overall it worked. 4 stars
1/19/99 Odd Pieman( How could God allow Val Kilmer to do his voice? Blasphemy! 2 stars
1/19/99 Binky Solid effort, but like Mulan it went from visually superb to patchy. 4 stars
1/17/99 austin pretty good, though could have waited for video 4 stars
1/12/99 Miss Scarlett Yer playin' with the big boys now! 4 stars
1/12/99 Doobie Boy A bad premise (remaking a classic) but executed well enough. Worth a matinee ticket. 4 stars
1/08/99 MRHOLLYWOOD !! its funny how a movie with a REAL plot gets dissed,AWESOME,MOVING & OSCAR MATERIAL!! 5 stars
1/07/99 buddy "Spork Girl" Disney?!?! Get a clue!!!!!! 2 stars
1/05/99 Willy Wonker Dude Huh, huh, huh, this s*cks. Huh, huh, huh. Change it Butthead. 1 stars
1/04/99 Noreen Can't understand how anyone could call this a masterpiece. A for effort, C- for results. 2 stars
1/04/99 Lindsay It was good, I enjoyed it, beautiful animation, good music. 4 stars
1/04/99 Jason Landru and One Hung Low, you gents really have this one nailed. 1 stars
1/04/99 Landru This film blows. I've seen better animation in commercials. 1 stars
1/03/99 Shana I like Val Kilmer better in live action. He looks much better than that scrawny cartoon guy 1 stars
1/03/99 Critic Deluxe Contrary to all of the praise, POE is an average film in most respects, including animation 2 stars
1/03/99 One Hung Low It gives the word "tacky" new meaning. The soundtrack is an insult to the subject matter. 1 stars
1/02/99 Louis XIV Dreamworks paid plenty of critics to hype this film. I found it to be mediocre at best. 2 stars
1/02/99 John Pindick of Egypt. Lame. Trite. Boring. Tedious. Stupid. Poor animation. 1 stars
1/02/99 Oscar Goldman Prince of Egypt is a trite, cartoonish remake of a classic. Soundtrack (bad) is CWTV & MTV 1 stars
12/31/98 Austin good, not great, serious theme 4 stars
12/30/98 MilhousFan Are you people on crack? This movie was amazing! 5 stars
12/30/98 Peter Fitswell Reamworks has produced a film that can make you yawn and vomit simultaneously. 1 stars
12/30/98 Sylvia Jeff Goldblum's geekiness taints any serious film. Subject was too serious for a cartoon. 1 stars
12/29/98 Hugh Jass POE (acronym is an insult to Edgar Allan) has mediocre animation and a weak script. 1 stars
12/29/98 PyThomas Brilliant animation. Best of all, no cute talking animal sidekicks. 4 stars
12/28/98 Mercury Hayes How Dreamworks got 3200 screens for this dog is a tribute to SKG's pull. 1 stars
12/27/98 Katsat Crude mix of CGI/traditional animation. Leaden, plodding, boring. Aimed high & missed badly 2 stars
12/27/98 Thing Music was the pits. Animation was like a Saturday morning cartoon. 1 stars
12/27/98 Clint Beastwood My niece and nephew hated the film. They thought it totally blew. Barf city. SKG blows! 1 stars
12/25/98 Louis Munro popo, do you work for PDI? Kind of like asking a father if is daughter is beautiful. 1 stars
12/24/98 popo Beautiful, moving. Fantastic. Thanks to Dreamworks for taking animation to new heights! 5 stars
12/21/98 jlgallardo I hated te animation of the people, they don't stand up Disney's. Nice special affects. 3 stars
12/21/98 Freyja An enjoyable enough cartoon (not quite animation in my book). Despite the music. 4 stars
12/21/98 buddy Jerky animation, just like Anastasia, boring, horrible songs, CG that doesn't mesh. Yuck. 2 stars
12/20/98 Mr Showbiz visually breathtaking, but follows it's Disney forebears too closely. 4 stars
12/20/98 Louis Munro The animation is no better than any Disney film. Trivialization of 10 Commandments. 2 stars
12/19/98 Jason Stein This is the most spectacular animation i've ever seen! DreamWorks scores BIG! 5 stars
12/19/98 Carole Whitehill Breathtaking, magical, spiritual achievement. This year's "Titanic" Go see it! 5 stars
12/05/98 Jerry Wake me up when it's over 1 stars
11/23/98 Martin Restin some nice effects, but uninvolving characters and story. would bomb if a live action film. 2 stars
11/08/98 Mr. Spock of Vulcan Nice animation. Soundtrack is Nashville meets Soultrain. Katzenberg is devoid of ideas. 3 stars
8/28/98 Mister Whoopee superb animation and effects, celebrity voices and the tale of Moses. Very Disney. 4 stars
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  18-Dec-1998 (PG)
  DVD: 14-Sep-1999


  26-Dec-1998 (PG)

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