I rarely watch television. And ever since I started college, my TV time has really been set to a minimum. Usually, my room mate has control over the remote and one afternoon, she stopped at HBO and for once, they were showing a movie I truly enjoyed.
Having attended a Catholic school for 11 years, it seems that we never go through a year without watching "The Prince of Egypt" for our Christian Life classes. I'm not complaining though. This film did a great job of making it exciting and vivid without offending anyone. The film shows the story of how a Hebrew man, who grew up as an Egyptian, was able to deliver God's chosen people from the oppressive hands of the Egyptian Pharaoh.
To say that DreamWorks did an amazing job with "The Prince of Egypt" would be an understatement. The many hours spent on probing and devising lead to the success of this animated movie. We all know that the key to a successful film is a good story. And the secret to the success of the film was the filmmakers' desire to stay true to the values and messages of the Biblical account. Obviously, it doesn't follow everything written in the Bible, so I hope no one gives me the "ugh the book was so much better" antic, because I will glare at you, you special snowflake. Although, on the other hand, good job for actually reading the Bible. And of course, just like any other movie adaptation, a couple of alterations were made. But let us remember that DreamWorks is an entertainment company and not a religious broadcaster. In all honesty, do you think the movie would be as great as it is if they focused too much on making it biblically accurate?
Despite the discrepancies, I think the theme was projected very evidently. "The Prince of Egypt" has a main theme of faith. Notice how Moses was so doubtful and overwhelmed with what God has tasked him, but he kept his faith firm and he was able to accomplish his missions.
If there is anything else that made me enjoy this film, it would be the soundtrack. As a child, it may be just another bunch of songs to sing along to, in the significance of "Let It Go." But as I grew, I realized each song told a story and gave a deeper, more dramatic meaning to the scenes. With the song, "When You Believe," whose Mariah Carey - Whitney Houston version garnered the Best Original Song at the 71st Academy Awards in 1999, I was given a glimpse of the Exodus (well, the happier moments of it). Even if I didn't understand the Hebrew lyrics, I'd still sing along. Not only did the song stick to my head for a couple of days whenever I watch the film, but as I kept singing the lyrics, I realized I was being reminded that as long as you keep your faith in God, anything is possible.
"The Prince of Egypt" will be one of the films I will not get sick of watching, even if it meant having to sit through an hour-long session with an incredibly religious teacher.