why Cranky is in pain
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

prince of egypt
click for full sized poster

The Prince of Egypt

Voice Stars Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes,
Sandra Bullock, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jeff Goldblum
Screenplay by Philip LaZebnik
Based on the Original Story by God
Directed by Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner and Simon Wells
Website:  www.prince-of-egypt.com

IN SHORT: Recommended [Rated PG]

The Prince of Egypt is a perfect example of what animation fiend Cranky has been writing about the last four years or so. I've been bemoaning the conception (in this country) that animated features are strictly child's play and waiting for the project that moves the form up to the next level, where adult themes can be addressed and more adult stories can be told, without an audience thinking "gee, nice cartoon." The Prince of Egypt is a perfect document of where the genre has been, and where it is going. Based on the Biblical story of Moses (and if you don't know that one, welcome to the Planet), The Prince of Egypt can be seen as three stages of animation.

Before I get too analytical; Seen at a sneak preview, The Prince of Egypt held the attention of the complete spectrum of the audience. Little kidlets (and I do mean little) had enough action and comedy on screen to keep 'em giggling. Everyone (and I do mean everyone) was transfixed as the Wrath of God was transferred to screen visuals. More about that later. On a very basic level, Prince of Egypt is recommended.

From the word go, The Prince of Egypt sets a more adult tone. As the opening song "Deliver Us" (all songs by Stephen Schwartz) unwinds, the visuals do not hold back on depicting the violence inherent in the slave system that kept the Hebrews in bondage and built such nice pyramids and such. The act of setting the baby Moses adrift in a basket is tinged with dangers never even hinted at in Bible stories. The whole sequence builds in direct correlation to the template laid down in The Lion King (also overseen by exec producer Jeffrey Katzenberg) all those years ago. It isn't that the template (big production number / slam to black) isn't good. I've just seen it too damn many times. As well, there is the goofy comic relief from two Egyptian priests (voiced by Steve Martin and Martin Short) and we are pounded by song after song after song (which we all know bugs the hell out of Cranky. But that's probably just me). Val Kilmer and Ralph Fiennes, as the voices of Moses and Rameses are fine. I'd never thought of the "brothers" as full of life kidlets, which they are in this telling. 40 years of serious storytelling at the annual Seder will do that to you.

What liberties are taken with the Bible story are not enough to tick off this Member of the Tribe, but the entire "early life of Moses" sequence so echoes The Lion King, right down to composer Hans Zimmer's underscore, that Cranky didn't care. Here and there, some conceptual bits of animation (hieroglyphics come to life as Moses discovers his history; The slaying of the Overseer) hint at what is to come. The playing down to the kids was great for the kidlets, but not for Cranky.

Part Two is Moses' exile from Egypt. Tremendous CG sandstorm animation. Major "ooo" reactions from the audience. Fewer songs and the first kicker icon -- the Burning Bush. Cranky's interest enflamed, too. By the Final Act, in which Moses returns to Egypt and the plagues descend, The Prince of Egypt moves into serious territory. Cranky has rarely seen an audience become as deathly still as they did during the Tenth Plague (killing of the firstborn). You could have heard a pin hit the plush carpet. The form of God echoed the climax of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and that was tres cool. But it was nothing compared to the parting of the Red Sea.

The Prince of Egypt mixes traditional animation with computer work, which allows the characters to move at angles that take a bit getting used to seeing. The Red Sea sequence runs, I'd guess, close to eight minutes with but a minimal dialog ("Kill Them! Kill them all!") visuals that kick royal patootie. I'm aiming for a "G" rating on the review, folks. Cranky had seen bits and pieces of the film at the beginning of the year, but nothing prepared me for this. Breathtaking. Overwhelming. Spectacular. Add your own synonyms to the list. By the time the Ten Commandments came down, Cranky was definitely hooked.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Prince of Egypt, he would have paid . . .


The number is lower 'cuz the first act almost killed the entire experience for me. Between The Prince of Egypt, which eventually allows itself to deal with adult topics on an adult level and the forthcoming Princess Mononoke (which introduces graphic violence that teenboys dream of) perhaps we're finally moving on to the next level of animation. Cranky hopes so.

buy movie posters

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995  -  2015   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.