Let’s take a trip back into the 90s. Disney was king in this era, and there was no other studio making animated films that even came close to comparison. They were responsible for making the best ones out there and purchasing the studios that were making the good animated films to have them under their belt. That is until DreamWorks came along, a studio formed by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen. They didn’t seem like a threat at first, however, their first feature-length film shook the animation industry to its core.
How to Stream or Download The Prince of Egypt (1998)
You can stream it or you can download the film from a digital store. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. if you like the film, check out also other early DreamWorks animation titles such as Antz (1998) or Shrek (2001).
The Movie Review
The Prince of Egypt follows the story of a young Moses, showcasing how he came to be the prince and how he found a place amongst his people of the Abrahamic religion. DreamWorks brings life to the biblical tale, by showcasing a word-to-word revision of the events that took place in Moses’ story. Depicting the Hebrews being enslaved by the ancient Egyptians, the Prince of Egypt dives deep into how Moses came to be a messianic figure and brought salvation to the imprisoned slaves.
While this is an accurate retelling of Moses’ biblical story, the film chooses to focus on the relationship between Moses and his adopted brother Rameses. It highlights how the brothers had a close bond growing up, and were quite fond of each other until the divides came to happen.
You see, while Moses found his true calling in helping the Hebrew people, Rameses never found his true purpose in life. He knew nothing other than to rule and do what his father used to do. And following the footsteps of his father, Rameses severs the bond between him and Moses.
The trio of directors smartly chose to pace this film in a slower manner, building up the story so that the climactic ending feels earned. It is nothing short of spectacular how this film manages to convey emotion, and that is in part due to the fantastic performances by its star cast. Incredible character actors such as Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfieffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Glover, Patrick Stewart, Hellene Mirren, and Steve Martin do the voice acting roles of a lifetime.
The other reason why this film was so emotional is due to the art style. DreamWorks was a freshly founded studio. So, naturally, there weren’t many expectations set upon them. They had the creative freedom to do whatever they wanted to, and the Prince of Egypt is a testament to the passion the studio put into their work.
The film is visually stunning, with a 2D art style that is absolutely jaw-dropping. The film is filled with beautiful vistas, a color palette that strikes your eyes, and character designs that identify themselves as individuals.
Now you can combine all of what I just said, and elevate that two-way tenfold due to Hans Zimmer’s life-changing music. The Prince of Egypt might have one of the best soundtracks to be ever released in a film, not just in the animated genre but overall.
Hans Zimmer brings an emotional, melodramatic, and era-accurate soundtrack that heightens the senses. It conveys perfectly what this film is trying to make you feel.
The relationship between the two brothers and the grueling tone of this film are what made it stand out. This is an animated film, made primarily to be consumed by children. However, that doesn’t hinder Dreamworks from showcasing exactly how dark this story can get. It gives you exact visions of the plagues, famine, and death that the curses caused upon Egypt. This is what makes the film stand out, it is tonally superior to every film in its genre.
It’s ironic that somehow, a children’s animated film based on a biblical story can be much more accurate to the lore than any live-action film. The Prince of Egypt is a significant entry from DreamWorks Animations, a studio that showed the world how profound the animation genre can get.
- Perfectly adapted story.
- Dark themes conveyed well.
- Fantastic visuals, great animation and artistry.
- A beautiful soundtrack that makes scenes more engaging.
- Phenomenal voice acting by the star cast.