The Prince of Egypt

February 21, 2015

the prince of egyptA few months ago, I mentioned the song Deliver Us from the 1998 film The Prince of Egypt in the article about Ofra Haza. Due to the widespread success of this adaptation (it won an Oscar for  the song When You Believe) and to the fact that it has the capacity to captivate small children and adults alike, the thought of writing about it was imminent. I was surprised to find out that The Prince of Egypt was the first traditional animation created by DreamWorks Pictures. It is based on the Book of Exodus or, more plainly said, on the life of Moses, from his early childhood to the point where he becomes the leader of the Jews and God’s messenger.

Before pinpointing the elements that stand out in this film, I am going to name a few of the actors whose voices brought to life some of the iconic biblical characters from the Book of Exodus: Val Kilmer is both Moses and God, Ralph Fiennes is Ramses, Sandra Bullock is Miriam and Patrick Steward is Seti.

Though children nowadays are fonder of 3D cartoons, the animation of The Prince of Egypt strikes me every time with the almost realistic mimicry of the characters, the way they talk and behave in various situations. For example, Moses realizes that he is not Seti’s son after he hears Miriam singing the lullaby his real mother sang him before he was left to float on the Nile. From this point on, Moses is aware that everything he knew it was a lie; thus, he looks for answers both on the painted walls of the palace, which show him moments of the past, but also from his adoptive family, who eventually tell him that he was a foundling. I like the way Moses changes from an arrogant Egyptian prince who pulled pranks and got into trouble, knowing that his step-brother will be punished in his place, to a sensible and faithful man who will deliver and lead the children of Israel to the Promised Land.

Another thing that made me understand the story of Moses better is that, unlike the biblical text, which focuses on the religious side of the matter, the DreamWorks animation gives more depth to the story and fills the gaps with scenes or reactions specific to any human being. For example, Moses is ashamed to join the Jews in their dance because he doesn’t know anything about their tradition.

Last but not least, I admire the way the film depicts the religious symbols and miracles from the Book of Exodus: the Burning Bush, the Ten Plagues of Egypt, the Angel of Death who steals the souls of all the firstborns of the Egyptians and the splitting of the Red Sea, whose breeze blows from side to side and its sea creatures seem to swim as if in two giant aquariums.

In short, The Prince of Egypt is a film about a man who realized who he really was and that he had the painstakingly mission to free his people, to deliver them to a place where they could settle and live a peaceful life, far from the oppression of the Pharaoh. It is a film about truth, love for one’s people and faith in a Supreme Power that protects you from harm. How can you not love such a movie?

by Alina Andreea Cătărău

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to The Prince of Egypt

  1. Why I Still Love Ofra Haza | eLitere on February 21, 2015 at 6:17 am

    […] The Prince of Egypt February 21, 2015 […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *