The Prince of Egypt (1998)

7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great animation

The story has been told many times

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Prince of Egypt

Studio:  DreamWorks Animation

Genre(s):  Animated/Family

Release Date(s):  December 18, 1998

MPAA Rating:  PG


Free baby!!! Score!!!

Moses grows up a son of the Pharaoh but learns that his childhood is farce and that he was discovered on the banks of the Nile.  After the death of a slave driver, Moses is forced to flee to the desert where he reexamines his life and decides he must return to free his people and lead them to the Promised Land.

Directed by Simon Wells, Brenda Chapman, and Steve Hickner, The Prince of Egypt adapts the Biblical story of Exodus with some poetic license.  The film was the most expensive animated film at the time and released to positive reviews.  The movie became one of the highest grossing non-Disney animated films and won an Oscar for Best Original Song (“When You Believe”) with a nomination for Best Original Score as well.


This is awesome Ramses…I bet we’ll be best friends forever!!!

I was pretty hesitant when The Prince of Egypt came out.  The slick and clean animation was a big selling point, but I was worried I was going to get tricked into essentially watching a movie theater version of SuperBook (minus the robot and the time travelling kids).  The story of Moses is old, known and been told multiple times…The Prince of Egypt surprisingly ended up being an original and entertaining film.

The movie did bring in a lot of input on the story to make it relatively accurate.  The movie changed a few key aspects like making Moses the son of the Pharaoh (instead of his grandson) and some changes involving Moses’ killing of the guard plus a few others.  Most of the changes were to tone down violence and streamline the story more…they don’t really change the story’s meaning.


Always found the Passover terrifying.

The story employs some great voice actors.  Val Kilmer stars as Moses but doesn’t do the singing for the character.  He faces off against his “brother” Rameses played by Ralph Fiennes.  They are the primary stars of the film but find support from Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Patrick Stewart, Jeff Goldblum, Helen Mirren, Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Danny Glover.  It is an all-star cast and helps elevate the film beyond a simple film for Bible study groups.  The movie could have easily been small scale but the cast helps give it a broader appeal.


Tragedy struck when the whale swam out of the Red Sea

The best selling factor of The Prince of Egypt is the fantastic animation.  The movie is excellent looking and pushes the limits of traditional animation.  It was released in a period where computer animation was just taking off and hitting its stride but it equally rivals some of its challengers.  Things like the parting of the Red Sea with the whale and Passover were done excellently…despite memorable turns in movies like The Ten Commandments.

The Prince of Egypt could have been a simple “church” movie or overly preachy.  Instead, it comes off as a nice strong film that has adventure (not quite enough) and a decent story.  A semi-prequel was released by DreamWorks direct-to-video in Joseph:  King of Dreams in 2000.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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