OKLAHOMA CITY – A couple of months ago, I posted a column previewing what would be my first time watching Prince of Egypt. At the end, I wrote that a review would follow.
Nearly three months have elapsed without a review.
Since I wish not to be called a dirty, rotten, no-good, filthy liar, I’m finally making good on that promise. So, all that ado aside, and certainly without further ado, here are my thoughts.
First off, Prince of Egypt is a gorgeous movie. The animation is smooth, and the art design is crisp and unique. I particularly enjoyed seeing ancient Egypt come to life. The various dusty ruins that remain today are brought to life as magnificent works of splendor, and while the scale of the set pieces is largely larger-than-life, doubtless such creations would have seemed nearly that imposing to people of that day.
Regarding the aforementioned art design – according to this page, Egyptian elements were deliberately made angular and the Israelite ones more rounded and organic. I love that. I particularly love that the Egypt moments brought to mind Sleeping Beauty, another animated film with gorgeous angular art. Anytime an animated movie can channel Sleeping Beauty, something is going right.
Second, I loved the music. I’d always heard of the great score, and those were NOT tales told out of school. From the joyous music of Moses at the campfire to the mystical theme at the burning bush to the epic Deliver Us, this soundtrack is one of the good ones. For what it’s worth, my favorite cue is the aforementioned campfire song, Through Heaven’s Eyes.
See what I mean?? Those tribal drums are literally (not figuratively, but really literally) the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Thirdly, the big-screen portrayal of Moses and the Exodus is both fascinating and moving.* Moses’ infant voyage is very interesting as is the notion that he would have grown up with the man who would become Pharaoh (I’d simply never given that much thought).
The depiction of the perambulation of the Red Sea is amazing, too – special mention of the whale shark swimming near the watery divide must be made; that is cool!
Easily the most impressive part of the story was the Passover.
Seeing Pharaoh and his dead son (both of whom we’d come to know throughout the film) is very, very sad. One might argue that the story as related in the Biblical text is sad, but I had to see it brought to life to truly appreciate the magnitude of the final plague. It’s heart-wrenching.
Alright, well, now that I’ve taken this review in a thoroughly morose direction, let me sum things up by saying that, by my troth, one ought to see this movie! If thou be a fan of good art/animation, enjoyable soundtracks, great story-telling, or all three, this is the film for thee.
Plus, it’s Brazle’s wife Miriam’s favorite movie of all time! Obviously that should be taken into consideration.
FINAL SCORE: A
* Lest anyone freak out about my not mentioning that the screenplay plays fast and loose with the narrative, let me say, for the record, that the movie makers indeed play fast and loose with the narrative. It is not exactly as told in the Book of Exodus. There. Now nobody can throw a hissy fit.