Time: 97 Minutes
AWARDS: Won Academy Award for Best Original Song. Nomination for Best Original Score.
I'm not generally a big fan of animated films, even though they are the closest thing we have these days to movie musicals. Most have lame plots and seem to be thrown together around the same characters bright, beautiful, headstrong girl; handsome, carefree young man with an anger control problem; a villain with a heart of pure evil who wants nothing more than to destroy the girl and rule the world, plus assorted funny, kooky sidekicks. The music is either bright and fun or dark and sinister with romance being the main plot point and the sidekicks thrown in for comic relief.
The main reason I actually enjoyed THE PRINCE OF EGYPT was because it wasn't the same old thing. Yes, it was animated and yes, there was singing, but this is the first animated movie that was actually a film. (Yes, there's a difference between a movie and a film.) It took itself seriously, something future forays into the genre should take note of if they want to be seen as more than just kid flicks. The characters may be hand-drawn, but they have more power than many of the human ones I've seen this year.
Much of the power of this story is innate. Moses led an inherently interesting life, but this still could have been boring. In fact, I was expecting it to be. Lucky for us, the filmmakers made Moses a human being instead of a saint, giving him a personality for us to grab onto. The movie is more about the relationship between him and his brother Ramses than it is about God, but that doesn't diminish the spiritual aspects of the story. It just makes Moses more real. Most people aren't on talking terms with God, so I think it was a smart choice to stick to his real life. The brothers both have their destinies to follow even though they truly care for one another. It's something everyone can relate to. THE PRINCE OF EGYPT is mainly about being true to oneself and your beliefs, even if the path is uncertain and painful.