Eric Molinsky reports for Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen and hosts a podcast about sci-fi and other fantasy genres called Imaginary Worlds. He co-produced several hours of Studio 360’s American Icons series, and his work has also ...
360 Staff Pick: The Prince of Egypt
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - 06:00 AM
In honor of Passover, it’s a good time revisit the 1998 animated film The Prince of Egypt. It’s strange to think that Dreamworks Animation started out with such an earnestly serious film, given that today they're known for the Shrek franchise. But coming off the success of overseeing Disney's The Lion King and Pocahontas, Jeffrey Katzenberg wanted to make an animated film with gravitas and prove that animation could be more than just wise-cracking animals. The Prince of Egypt proved critically and commercially successful, but in the long run, not a formula for success.
The story is familiar to everyone. Moses. Pharaoh. Hebrew slaves. Egyptian taskmasters. Ten plagues. Parting of the Red Sea. But this version utilizes some of the best hand drawn animators, storyboard artists, and background designers of the time — when hand-drawn animation was at its apex. The songs are quite lovely; written by Stephen Schwartz, who wrote Godspell, and would go on to write Wicked. You can recognize the voices of Ralph Fiennes, Patrick Stewart, Jeff Goldblum, Sandra Bullock, Michelle Pfeiffer and — yes — Val Kilmer as Moses (and the voice of God in his head). Enjoy a family viewing with a box of chocolate covered-matzo.