Starring: Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Sandra Bullock
Director: Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, Simon Wells
Running Time: 98 mins
The Prince Of Egypt is an American film about the story of Moses, the young brother of Pharoah Ramases of Egypt who fled the kingdom, only to return with the ambition of spreading the word of God, and freeing the Hebrew slaves from oppression.
Far from what at first looks like typical Disney fare, The Prince Of Egypt is a brilliant blend of animated entertainment, a classic Bible tale, and an atmosphere of epic proportions, proving a hugely entertaining watch that brings home a tale that everyone knows in exciting and cinematically grand fashion.
The first thing to know about The Prince Of Egypt is that it isn’t a Disney movie. That might be evident from the posters and the animation style to an extent, but where the difference really shows is in how far the film is willing to go when portraying some of the darker elements of its story, with The Prince Of Egypt really reaching deep into some rather gruesome and heavy narrative details that, by my reckoning at least, would never make it into a Disney movie.
That’s not to say The Prince Of Egypt is unsuitable for kids, or a particularly heavy-going watch, but what it does mean is that the film’s dramatic power is far more dynamic and far more affecting than what you typically get from Disney, and it’s that sense of power that brings that atmosphere of epic proportions home so well, and helps to provide one of the most captivating and entertaining retellings of this classic tale.
It’s most likely that you know the tale of Moses, or at least the general gist of it, so that makes the film’s job even harder when trying to bring a fresh, exciting perspective to the story. However, The Prince Of Egypt does a fantastic job, and alongside that brilliantly epic scale and powerful drama that really make it stand out, it also injects the story with a much-needed dosage of modern, fun-loving energy.
Because, as popular and important as the Bible stories are in many parts of the world, they don’t often translate too well onto the big screen, with their didactic and very direct messages often coming across as preachy and forced. Fortunately, however, by following a well-trodden formula in the animated adventure, The Prince Of Egypt manages to bring the story into an arena where some of the religious elements seem less directly aimed at the audience, and more just a part of the story you’re watching.
As a result, this film is a perfectly enjoyable and appropriate watch for almost anyone, and without any direct didacticism weighing its fun factor down, there’s a lot to like about The Prince Of Egypt throughout. Bolstering its epic adventure with some great songs throughout too, it’s a film that pops with energy and entertainment from beginning to end, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.7 overall.