aaron, all i ever wanted, animated, brenda chapman, danny glover, Dreamworks, egypt, exodus, hans zimmer, helen mirren, jeff goldblum, jeffrey katzenberg, let my people go, martin short, michelle pfieffer, miriam, moses, musical, patrick stewart, pharaoh, playing with the big boys, prince of egypt, ralph fiennes, ramses, river lullaby, sandra bullock, stephen schwartz, steve martin, steven spielburg, the plagues, the ten commandments, tzipporah, val kilmer, when you believe
“I have seen the oppression of my people in Egypt, and I have heard their cry […] And so unto Pharaoh, I shall send…you.”
– The Burning Bush
Over two years ago I talked about Dreamworks and their unfortunate habit of leaning on the Shrek-style bandwagon (which they themselves have to blame for creating in the first place) and how every once in a while it’s balanced out by a work of jaw-dropping animation and drama that pushes the boundaries of film in a way only Pixar, Disney, and the occasional Don Bluth film have succeeded. It’s been like this since Dreamworks’ inception. “The Prince of Egypt”, today’s film, was the second animated film released after their first, “Antz”, a fairly obvious attempt to copy Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life”, premiered that same year. Ask animation buffs which is the better film and you’ll immediately be directed to this one. It’s unusual that an animation studio that just got off the ground would try something like a musical remake of “The Ten Commandments”, but hey, some ideas can sound silly on paper and yet blow everyone away in practice. “The Prince of Egypt” is without a doubt one of those films. Fostered by both Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg, directed by Brenda Chapman, with songs by Stephen Schwartz of Wicked and Pippin fame and music by pre-BWOOOOOMP-obsessed Hans Zimmer, it’s a movie that at times even manages to bring the great Cecil B. Demille epic to its knees.
Now unlike certain people who shall remain nameless, I have a deep respect for those of different cultures and religions. While this movie is based on a sacred text to many, it is in no way a direct take on said text, and any jokes I make toward the holy figures depicted are not a rip on the figures themselves, just the characters as they are in the movie. The movie opens with a similar disclaimer in case you’re worried they’ll be insensitive to anyone (frankly I think the filmmakers were more terrified of offending anyone religious than any audience member who went to see this).