The Prince of Egypt
name = The Prince of Egypt
caption = Original poster for "The Prince of Egypt"
Brenda Chapman Steve Hickner Simon Wells
Penney Finkelman Cox Sandra Rabins Jeffrey Katzenberg(exectutive producer) Steven Spielberg(executive producer; uncredited)
Ronaldo Del Carmen Ken Harsha Carole Holliday Philip LaZebnik Anthony Leondis Nicholas Meyer Frank Tamura
Val Kilmer(Moses) (voice) Ralph Fiennes(Rameses) (voice) Patrick Stewart(Pharaoh Seti I) (voice) Michelle Pfeiffer(Tzipporah) (voice) Sandra Bullock(Miriam) (voice) Jeff Goldblum(Aaron) (voice) Danny Glover(Jethro)(voice) Steve Martin(Hotep)(voice) Martin Short(Huy) (voice) Ofra Haza(Yocheved) Helen Mirren(Queen) (voice)
music = Stephen Schwartz (songs)
December 18, 1998
runtime = 100 min.
language = English/Hebrew
budget = $60,000,000 (estimated)
amg_id = A174226
imdb_id = 0120794
followed_by = "" (2000)
"The Prince of Egypt" is a 1998 American
animated film, the first traditionally animated film produced and released by DreamWorks. The story follows the life of Mosesfrom his birth, through his childhood as a prince of Egypt, and finally to his ultimate destiny to lead the Hebrew slavesout of Egypt, which is based on the Biblical story of Exodus.
Brenda Chapman, Simon Wellsand Steve Hickner, the film featured songs written by Stephen Schwartz and a score composed by Hans Zimmer. The voice cast featured a number of major Hollywood actors in the speaking roles, while professional singers replaced them for the songs. The exceptions were Michelle Pfeiffer, Ralph Fiennes, Steve Martin, and Martin Short, who sang their own parts.
The film was nominated for best score and won for Best Original Song at the 1999
Academy Awardsfor " When You Believe". The pop version of the song was performed at the ceremonies by Whitney Houstonand Mariah Carey. The song, co-written by Stephen Schwartz, Hans Zimmer and with additional production by Babyface, was nominated for the Best Original Song (Motion Picture) at the 1999 Golden Globes, and was also nominated for Outstanding Performance of a Song for a Feature Film at the ALMA Awards.
The film went on to gross $218,613,188 worldwide, making it the second traditionally animated feature not released by
Disneyto gross over $100 million in the U.S. (after " The Rugrats Movie"). The film remained the highest grossing traditionally animated non-Disney film until 2007, when it was out-grossed by " The Simpsons Movie".
* "Two brothers. United by friendship, divided by destiny."
* "The power is real. The story is forever. The time is now."
The first song ("Deliver Us") shows
Hebrewslaves labor away while Jochebed(also spelt Yocheved), seeing her fellow mothers' baby sons being taken away from them, builds a basket for her own son and sets it afloat on the Nileto be preserved by fate, singing her final lullaby ("River Lullaby", A recurring motif in the film) to the baby. Her daughter, Miriam, follows the basket and witnesses her baby brother being taken in by the Queen of Egypt and named Moses.
The story cuts to (presumably) 18-20 years later (biblically 40 years), to show a grown Moses and his foster-brother, Rameses, racing their
chariots through the Egyptian temples, destroying many statues. When they are lectured by their father, Seti, later on for their misdeeds, Rameses is offended. Moses later remarks that Rameses wants the approval of his father, but lacks the opportunity. Moses goes to cheer his brother up, making joking predictions ("Statues crumbling and toppling, the Nile drying up; you will singlehandedly bring the greatest kingdom on Earthto ruins!"). They then stumble in late to a banquet given by Seti, discovering that he has named Rameses as Prince Regent. In thanks, Rameses appoints Moses as Royal Chief Architect. As a tribute to Moses, the high priests Hotepand Huy offer Zipporah, a Midianitegirl they kidnapped, as a concubinefor him. She eventually escapes, with Moses' help. Moses is led to a small spot in Goshen where he is reunited with Miriam and Aaron, his siblings. There, Miriam tells him the truth about his past. Moses at first is in denial ("All I Ever Wanted"), but a nightmareand talks with his adoptive parents help him realize the truth. Moses eventually kills an Egyptian guard, who was abusing an old slave, and runs away in .
Moses finds his way to
Midian, where he saves Zipporah's sisters from bandits. He is welcomed warmly by Zipporah's father, Jethro. Moses becomes a shepherdand marries Zipporah ("Through Heaven's Eyes). Moses soon comes into contact with the burning bushwhile chasing a stray lamb and is instructed by Godto free the slaves from Egypt. Zipporah returns with him to find the slaves in even worse condition than before. He discovers that Rameses is now Pharaoh and has a wife and a young son. Moses tells Rameses to let his people go, demonstrating the power behind him by changing his shepherding staff into a cobra. Hotep and Huy boastfully repeat this transformation ("Playing with the Big Boys Now"), invoking all of Egypt's gods in the process; behind their backs, the snake created by Moses eats both of their snakes. Rather than being persuaded, Rameses is hardened and orders the slaves' work to be doubled.
Out in the workfield, Moses is struck down by an elder Hebrew into a muddy pit, and then is confronted by Aaron, who blames him for the excess workload. Moses, with Miriam's help, tells the Hebrews to believe that freedom will come. He confronts Rameses, who is passing on his boat in the Nile. Rameses orders his guards to bring Moses to him, but they turn back when Moses turns the
riverinto blood. After nine of the 10 plaguesoccur ("The Plagues"), leaving Egypt in ruins, Moses returns to Rameses to warn him about the final plague. After an almost-tender moment between the ex-brothers, Moses is told never to come to Rameses again. Moses then instructs the Hebrews to paint lamb's blood above their doors for the coming night of Passover. After the Angel of Death comes through, killing Rameses' own son and all the other firstborn children of Egypt, grief-stricken Rameses reluctantly lets the Hebrews go.
The Hebrews find their way happily to the Red Sea ("When You Believe"), but turn around to find out Rameses has changed his mind and is pursuing them with his army. Moses parts the
Red Sea, while behind him a pillar of firewrithes before the Egyptians, blocking their way. The Hebrews cross on the sea bottom; when the army gives chase, the watercloses over the Egyptians, and the Hebrews are freed. Rameses, who has been hurled back to the shore by the collapsing waves, is left yelling in disgrace. The last scene of the film shows Moses delivering the Ten Commandmentsto his people as Jochebed's voice echoes in the background.
"The Prince of Egypt" received generally positive reviews from critics, getting 79% over 80 remarks on
Rotten Tomatoes. [http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/prince_of_egypt/ The Prince of Egypt Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes ] ] "Stephen Hunter" from Washington Postacclaimed: "The movie's proudest accomplishment is that it revises our version of Moses toward something more immediate and believable, more humanly knowable." "Lisa Alspector" from Chicago Readerpraised: "The blend of animation techniques somehow demonstrates mastery modestly, while the special effects are nothing short of magnificent." And Houston Chronicle's Jeff Millar reviewed: "The handsomely animated "Prince of Egypt" is an amalgam of Hollywood biblical epic, Broadway supermusical and nice Sunday school lesson." Major negative comments focused on the seriousness of the contents, which did not follow the traditional animated trend and was not suitable for young viewers while not sophisticated enough for adults.
The film was also a box-office success, gaining $218,613,188 worldwide.
Maldiveswas the first of two Muslimcountries to ban the film. The country's Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs stated, "all prophets and messengers of God are revered in Islam, and therefore cannot be portrayed". ["There can be miracles", " The Independent", January 24, 1999] Following this ruling, the censor board banned the film in January 1999. In the same month, the Film Censorship Board in Malaysiabanned the film, but did not provide a specific explanation. The board's secretary said that the censor body ruled the film was "insensitive for religious and moral reasons".cite web |url= http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/263905.stm |accessdate= 2007-07-17 |title= Malaysia bans Spielberg's Prince |date= 1999-01-27 |publisher= BBC News] However, the film is now openly available on DVD in retail stores in both countries.
Three soundtracks were released simultaneously for "The Prince of Egypt", each of them aimed towards a different target audience. While the other two accompanying records, the country-themed "Nashville" soundtrack and the
gospel-based "Inspirational" soundtrack, functioned merely as movie tributes, the official "Prince of Egypt" soundtrack was the only album to contain tracks from the movie. This album combines elements from the score composed by Hans Zimmer, and movie songs by Stephen Schwartz. The songs were either voiced over by professional singers (such as Salisbury Cathedral Choir), or sung by the movie's voice actors, such as Michelle Pfeiffer and Ofra Haza. Various tracks by contemporary artists such as K-Ci & Jo-Joand Boyz II Menwere added, including the Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston duet "When You Believe", a Babyface rewrite of the original Schwartz composition, sung by Michelle Pfeiffer and Sally Dworsky in the movie.
Ofra Haza, who voiced Yocheved, sang the opening song "Deliver Us" in 17 of the 21 languages in which the film was released, in addition to her native Hebrew.
* (prequel to "The Prince of Egypt")
* (prequel to "The Prince of Egypt")
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