There has always been something magical about a truly good animated film. When done well, they have an ability to touch people--specifically young people--in a unique and memorable way. One movie in particular comes to mind when I think of childhood movies that have had a lasting impact on me: The Prince of Egypt. Oh boy, what a cinematic masterpiece. It blends history, music, and a moving narrative into a truly wonderful movie. I might be just a little biased (#catholicschoolprobs), but this is arguably one of the best animated movies of all time. Here is a definitive list of reasons you should watch this movie if you haven't already/my own personal love letter to this movie.
1. The animation.
Nearly each and every image in this film is absolutely gorgeous. The attention to detail is remarkable--not just in scenery, but also in each character.
2. It'll make you cry.
WOW does this movie pack a punch. Between the complicated, tragic relationship between Moses and Ramses to watching Moses learn what really happened to the children of his people, there are numerous emotionally charged scenes. It's pretty difficult not to be affected.
3. The cast????
Ok seriously a stacked cast?? I didn't realize this one until relatively recently. (Heads up: Steve Martin and Martin Short were both involved, too). If you've ever wanted to see Voldemort play a Pharoah in ancient Egypt, now is your chance.
4. THE SOUNDTRACK.
You know when Whitney Houston gets involved it's gotta be good. This soundtrack is full of truly beautiful, powerful songs--Deliver Us, When You Believe, Heaven's Eyes...the list goes on. While the main songs are wonderful, this film also THRIVES in its motifs and instrumental backing to emotional scenes. Just do yourself a favor and listen to all of it. Oh boy.
5. It's unique!
I love a good Disney princess movie as much as any child raised in the early 2000s, but how often do you get a GOOD animated movie about a historical figure? Spoiler alert: not often. This movie does history and does it damn well.
6. The lessons.
There are so many powerful lessons threaded into this movie: faith, love, forgiveness, finding inner strength. Every person can benefit from them!
7. The characters.
It is not common to have so many well-developed, multi-faceted characters in a single children's movie. While there are still some for comic relief (I'm looking at you, Hotep and Huy), nearly each character is interesting and vital to the plot in their own right.
8. That. Damn. Plague. Scene.
Ok, so this particular point combines several of my previously stated ones. THIS DAMN SCENE. The music. The tension. The animation. THE TEARS. Wow. I don't have words. Just. Wow.
9. It makes God accessible.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about this movie is its presentation and characterization of God. It can be incredibly difficult to make any sort of religious film without losing some element of humanity in its presentation. That is not the case here; this movie effortlessly encapsulates the wonder and beauty of Moses's relationship with Him by emphasizing Moses's humanity.
10. The story.
To close out this list, I'd be remiss not to state the obvious. This is a truly beautiful, powerful story for any person--even those who aren't religious--to appreciate and learn from. The Prince of Egypt adds layers of humanity to Moses that are difficult to be affected by when simply reading about him.
GOD I love this movie.