The Prince of Egypt

The film The Prince of Egypt opens with clouds blocking the sun than dispersing to allow the sun to shine through.  When looking at the graphics, I feel that this opening scene is a foreshadowing of the film.  It is the story of Moses and after the ‘darkness’ which will consume Egypt with the plagues and enslavement of the Jewish people, the light will finally prevail once Moses leads the Jews to freedom.

The song at the beginning of this animated film also evokes emotion from the viewer.  The song may be viewed as a little intense for an animated film, but it accurately portrays the life of an enslaved Jew.  The lyrics speak of feeling the whip on the skin and the sweat on the brow, which is also presented in the graphics.

24:35 into the film, animation with the hieroglyphics on the wall tells the story of Moses’ childhood and how he has become the Prince of Egypt.  Amazing visual effects are also seen at 34:55, the sand storm.  The ways the graphics are presented on the screen make it look so real and vivid.  At 44:10, we see Moses as he encounters the Burning Bush.  It is interesting to note that the voice of God coming from the bush is that of Val Kilmer who the voice of Moses in this film is also.  I believe that this was done because it gives God a sense of commonality with the ‘common’ man.  The way Moses hears God is through him so it stands to reason that the sound of Moses’ God would have the same voice as himself.

Later on, when Moses goes before Rameses (voiced by Ralph Fiennes) to tell him to let the Hebrews go, Moses has a stick and as he holds it up, it coils into a live snake.  The sorcerers Hotep, voiced by Steve Martin and Huy, voiced by Martin Short, laugh at his ‘tricks’ and tell him to pick up his stick.  At 55:45, after they say this, there is a shot of the snake on the ground and it hisses at the two sorcerers.  The way the snake hisses and after what has just been said, it almost makes me think that the snake is not simply hissing at them but that he is actually sticking his tongue out at the two.

Earlier in the film, we find out that the Pharoah ordered for the babies to be killed in Egypt which is why Moses’s mother put him in a basket and floated him down the river.  Because of these actions, the viewer thinks of the Pharoah as a horrible person.  Later, (1:11:50) we see Rameses telling Moses yet again that he will not let the Hebrews go.  At this point, Rameses points with a very certain stature to the way he stands.  In the screen shot, you can see the sculpture outside the window of this father and the two are standing the same way.  I feel that this makes the viewer realize that Rameses is becoming just as horrible as his father was.

 

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