December 5, 2014


DreamWorks Animation in the pre-Shrek era is a fascinating subject.  Before it became known as the home of the arched eyebrow, the studio aimed to provide a sleeker and slightly more mature alternative to Disney's family fare - think of the neurotic worker drones in Antz and the sly POW parody of Chicken Run.

Against that backdrop, DreamWorks' earnest Biblical epic The Prince of Egypt doesn't seem like the anomaly it appears to be.  It's a sweeping account of the prophet Moses - who, as the film's title cards helpfully point out, is a figure central to three major world religions - from his wicker basket ride down the Nile to his parting of the Red Sea.  And because this is an animated movie in the '90s, it's also a musical.  (Can't leave that soundtrack lucre on the table.)

In this episode, we investigate what The Prince of Egypt brings to the re-telling of this ancient story and how it's placed in a context with everything from The Ten Commandments to Exodus: Gods and Kings.

The Prince of Egypt (1998)
Directed by Simon Wells, Brenda Chapman, and Steve Hickner
Produced by Penney Finkleman Cox, Sandra Rabins, and Jeffrey Katzenberg
Written by Philip LaZebnik and Nicholas Meyer
Starring Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfieffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Stewart, Danny Glover, Steve Martin, and Martin Short

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