YMMV / The Prince of Egypt

  • Acceptable Targets: The Egyptian gods are portrayed as being fake, and on top of that, as being creepy and sinister.
  • All Animation Is Disney: A frequent victim of this perception, more so than DreamWorks' other 2-D animated features. In fact, some of the animators used to work at Disney.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • From the source. Rameses in The Ten Commandments is more villainous and doesn't care for Moses. In this version, Rameses is raised as being Moses's brother, and acts much more... brotherly to Moses, even hugging him after he went missing.
    • God. Let's just leave it at that, shall we?
    • During "the Plagues" Moses sings about all the innocent Egyptians who suffer due to Ramses' stubborness. The Egyptian children undeniably aside, one might argue that none of them were innocent due to all of them relying on the Hebrew slaves (as well as non-Hebrew slaves, if we're getting historical.) Though some were more guilty than others considering that this was what they were born into and couldn't change it even if someone had the unusual desire to, and we see quite a few farmers and peasant families suffering along with the Egyptian nobility.
    • Miriam and Aaron. While Miriam's speeches about hope and Aaron's cowardice are hilarious as kids, as many people have noted in the fridge sections, Aaron probably had to constantly apologize or make excuses for his sister in order to save her life. This puts things in a different light, as one could interpret them as Miriam constantly acting out or fighting against the Egyptians, despite Aaron constantly having to humiliate himself with cowardice and make excuses for her and telling her not to do the stuff that, you know, would probably get her killed.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Notably subverted with a vengeance. While still a family film, it pulls little to no punches in depicting things such as Moses' murder of an Egyptian, the destruction of Pharaoh's forces during the Parting of the Red Sea, and especially The Plagues. However, given that it was know to be an animated adaptation of the Book of Exodus, NO ONE expected it to be pretty colors and talking animals, and parents knew full-well what to expect when bringing their children to see it. This was - and still is - one of the strongest selling points of this film.
  • Award Snub: Lost ALL of its Annie nominations to The Iron Giant. (Though Giant was hardly a slouch.)
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: "Playing With The Big Boys Now" is an overblown musical number with an anticlimatic ending, as God's snake eats the priests' snakes in a fraction of the time the whole song takes.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: A rare animated film has this quality aside from most of the songs because it shows a surprisingly dark depiction of Moses' life.
  • Ear Worm:
    • "Through Heaven's Eyes", though not the song itself, but mainly, the chanting chorus.
    "Look at your life through Heaven's eyes. La-la-la-lai-lai-li-lee-de-lai..."
    • "The Plagues" is a very catchy tune for such a very dark and Nightmare Fuel topic.
    "I send my scourge / I send my sword / Thus saith the Lord / Thus saith the Lord"
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Rameses, Tzipporah and Seti are all immensely memorable.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: The movie ends with Moses returning to the children of Egypt with the ten commandments in hand. Anyone familiar with the story of Moses knows what happens next. He smashes the tablets in anger of seeing the Israelites having built the golden calf, and sends the Levites to kill 3000 people. Unless you believe it was the second time around, which is happier, but still pretty bitter.
    • That's not the half of it. This group of Hebrews being lead out of slavery toward the hope of the Promised Land? Apart from Joshua, none of them will be allowed entry into it. Their pride, stubbornness, and lack of faith results in them being sentenced to wander in the desert for forty years until that generation dies out. Even Moses will never get to enter it.
  • Evil Is Sexy: While downplayed compared to more prominent examples of the trope, Rameses easily qualifies—though it may have more to do with his Egyptian clothing than with being evil. Also, if feeling sympathy for him is a major factor to his sex appeal, then this may be more a case of Draco in Leather Pants.
  • Genius Bonus: The nightmare that reveals Moses the truth on his heritage, represented by moving carvings on the wall, ends with Moses' carving in an image of a sun disk with rays ending in hands. That particular sun disk is the symbol of Aten, that, in one short-lived Egyptian religion, was the One True God, Creator and Bringer of Life.
    • Miriam being the portrayed as knowing God's plan to make Moses the deliver of the Hebrews when he's still a baby, while not strictly in the Biblenote , is a popular interpretation of Miriam's character in Jewish tradition. A very popular Jewish belief/story is that Miriam was the sister who followed Moses down the river, and since Exodus states that she was a prophetess in her own right, it's believed that, as a little girl, she knew that God had chosen him to be the deliverer of her people.
    • During the opening Crowd Song, the Hebrew slaves pray, "Elohim, God on High /Can you hear your people cry?" "God on high" has the same number of syllables as and rhymes with "Adonai" (Ah-doh-nye). "Elohim" and "Adonai" are not only both Hebrew names for God, but are frequently invoked side-by-side in ancient Hebrew prayers and songs.
    • The Hebrew song the children sing during "When You Believe" are lyrics from "Mi Chamocha," a song rejoicing God that Miriam and the Hebrews sing in Exodus, and which Jewish synagogues still sing (especially during Passover) to this day.
    • Casting Jeff Goldblum, an actor famous for his stutter, as Aaron—who in the Bible spoke for Moses... because Moses had a stutter.
  • He Really Can Act: Somewhat. Who would've ever thought Ralph Fiennes could actually sing?
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Idiot Ball: Rameses picks it up toward the end of the movie. He has some justification, being almost insane with grief after the death of his son, but still - you've seen a being who can take the life right out a person's bodies, parted a sea, and placed a giant fire tornado in your way to prevent you from chasing Moses and the Hebrews. This incredibly powerful being has been extraordinarily patient with you by simply blocking your path, rather than running you over with the fire tornado, but you still think it's a good idea to chase the Hebrews into the parted sea that could be released at any time?
  • Jerkass Woobie: Rameses. He may have some good sides, but his ego and actions against the Israelites outweigh the pros, and the great suffering he endures is brought on himself by his fatal flaws.
  • Memetic Mutation: Moses slowly backing away from Seti in horror has become a very popular reaction gif.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Many Afrocentrists believe the Ancient Egyptians were a "black civilization"'; with this movie being an accurate representation because it portrays them as black. In reality, the black Egyptian hypothesis has been proven false on numerous occasions and the Egyptians in this film are not potrayed as black. The art directors have stated that the Egyptian designs were based on how they viewed themselves in artwork - a North African people. Tzipporah's tribe on the other hand - the Cushite-Midians, are black but fandom tends to ignore this due to their obsession with Ancient Egypt.
  • Misaimed Marketing: The trailers and tie-in media try to show that it is a generic Biblical film, when it is actually more intense than they know.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Seti crosses this when he tries to rationalize slaughtering all the Hebrew babies, starting off with the line, "Oh, my son, they were only slaves." It's this that causes Moses (and the audience) to lose any possible respect for him. The worst part is he actually thought it would make Moses feel better.
    • Rameses sees the death of the Firstborns as this for Moses, though it was hardly his doing, as it isn't until after the 10th plague that he actually attacks the Hebrews.
    • It could be argued that Rameses himself crosses it when he declares genocide on the Hebrews during the ninth plague:
    "You Hebrews have been nothing but trouble! My father had the right idea how to deal with your people, and it's time I finished the job! And there shall be a great cry in all of Egypt such as never has been nor ever will be again!"
    • And if he didn't cross it then, he certainly does when he actually attempts to carry out this genocide at the Red Sea during the film's climax. There are hundreds upon hundreds of innocent men, women and children among the Hebrews, and Ramses' command to his soldiers is "Kill them! Kill ALL of them!" To be fair to him, he's in the middle of a massive Villainous Breakdown and Revenge Before Reason after the death of his son.
  • Narm: Near the end of Moses' nightmare (which is genuinely terrifying), when he sees Yocheved watching his basket float down the river, she puts her head in her hand. It's supposed to show her grieving, but it looks more like she's doing a facepalm.
  • Nausea Fuel: The hordes of insects and frogs during "The Plagues", particularly the shots of dozens of tiny bugs coming out of a loaf of bread, swarming from a goblet that Hotep was about to drink from, and crawling all over one unfortunate Egyptian in his sleep.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • This wasn't the first adaptation of the Exodus to portray the Egyptians and Hebrews as looking middle eastern nor the first to have Moses and the Pharaoh of the Exodus be childhood friends. Both of those go to the Moses episode of "Testament: The Bible in Animation." The portrayal of Seti with his "They were only slaves" line draws comparisons to the episodes Ramesses where he asserts that a Pharaoh must be just to Egyptians only.
    • Having the Priests be fakes was previously seen in the 1995 film "Moses", celebrated at the time as the most faithful screen adaptation of the Exodus, where, just for one example, a priest throws down a staff and another kicks over a basket containing a cobra that is near the staff.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Jethro, who manages to get a truly amazing song out of it.
    • Yocheved. She's only there for the first few minutes of the movie, but by God is she memorable.
  • Popularity Polynomial:
    • A textbook case, starting off as quite successful, then largely vanishing off the face of the Earth. Between its appearance on Netflix, and a more positive reevaluation of Dreamworks animation following films like How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda, its fanbase seems to grow every day.
    • Several positive reviews/mentions by Doug Walker, aka The Nostalgia Critic, have also done wonders in helping people [re]discover this movie.
  • The Scrappy: Hotep and Huy, who are the only characters in the movie who come across as cartoony rather than just animated.
  • Signature Song: "The Plagues".
  • Vindicated by History: Fell off the map after starting off rather successfully. But relatively recently, the film has garnered a ton of praise for its unusual take on the Exodus story, its examination of the relationship between Pharaoh and Moses, its music, and its animation. The failure of Exodus: Gods and Kings also brought it a lot of attention for being a superior take on the story.
    • In-universe this would apply to Rameses too as, disastrous defeat and loss of Hebrew slaves aside, his accomplishments and conquests after those events would eventually make him one of the greatest and most succesful Pharaohs in Egypt's history, never becoming the weakest link he so much feared.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The Pillar of Fire and the parting of the Red Sea easily rival anything seen in live action films; and God, in the form of the Burning Bush, still looks amazing.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: It's an animated take on the events in Egypt as told in the Bible. Including the slaying of the firstborn sons. You don't see that often in a kids' movie. At the time, its PG rating was unusual for a Western animated feature that wasn't clearly intended for adults only; even The Hunchback of Notre Dame went out with a G!

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/ThePrinceOfEgypt