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Trivia / The Prince of Egypt

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  • Acting for Two: Val Kilmer does the voice of both Moses and the Almighty (though Kilmer's only credited as Moses). Charlton Heston had done the same in The Ten Commandments.
  • All-Star Cast: Including Val Kilmer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helen Mirren, Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Patrick Stewart.
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  • Banned in China: The film was banned in the Maldives, Malaysia, and Egypt. In the former two countries, it was because of Islamic custom of never portraying the image of the prophets, which includes Moses, his brother Aaron, and his father-in-law Jethro. In Egypt, it was because of the villainous portrayal of Pharaoh Rameses, a well-respected historical leader whom the Egyptians hold to be separate from the Pharaoh of Exodus.note  Malaysia has since rescinded the ban in 2001, allowing the film to finally be sold on DVD and air on Pay TV.
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  • Colbert Bump: The film has gained a surge of followers around early 2020, specifically due to the "The Plagues" becoming a reflection of what is happening in real life that time. It is now hard to find a video of "The Plagues" that doesn't reference 2020 or the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Doing It for the Art: The film was a truly sincere effort by DreamWorks Animation to make a great movie, hence why there was little merchandise made for the film. Over a hundred religious leaders were consulted for the sake of authenticity.
  • Fake Nationality: Many of the voice actors of the film are American or British, not Egyptian. It edges on Justified Trope since the type of Egyptian spoken during the time of Ramesses II is extinct and having Ramesses II and Moses speak Arabic (the language current Egyptians speak) makes just as much sense as them speaking English.
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  • Follow the Leader: The movie's success as the then-highest grossing traditionally animated film not produced by Disney led to a wave of theatrical Christian movies in the late 90's and early 2000's. Among them were two record-breakers of their own: The Passion of the Christ, which became the then highest-grossing R-rated film of all time (the record is currently held by Joker) and Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, which was the highest-grossing film based on a Preschool Show for 17 years until Dora and the Lost City of Gold surpassed it.
  • Name's the Same: Should not be confused with Prince of Egypt by Dorothy Clarke Wilson, one of the four works that served as the basis of The Ten Commandments. Of course, with that film leaving a long shadow and influencing later screen adaptations of the Exodus, it is not unreasonable to presume the film might have gotten its title from that book.
  • Non-Singing Voice: Averted with Ralph Fiennes (Rameses), Steve Martin and Martin Short (Hotep and Huy), and Michelle Pfeiffer (Tzipporah), all of whom did their own singing. Oddly enough Val Kilmer did not do his own singing, even though he has a really good voice and has sung in other movies he has made. Sandra Bullock provides the speaking voice for Miriam, but Sally Dworsky is the character's singing voice.
  • Permanent Placeholder: Director Brenda Chapman did a scratch recording of Miriam singing the River Lullaby that was then supposed to be re-recorded by Miriam’s Non-Singing Voice, Sally Dworsky, for the scene where Moses meets Mirian and Aaron. Chapman’s recording was the one that ended up in the final film.
  • Playing Against Type: It is a bit unnerving to hear Patrick Stewart (as Pharaoh Seti) justifying murdering thousands of innocent Hebrew babies in that soothing Team Dad voice.
    Seti: Oh, my son, they were only slaves...
    • Playing with Character Type: And he'd been portrayed as a Reasonable Authority Figure and a stern, yet kind father up until this point.
    • You'd think that Hotep and Huy, the two high priests, would be comedy sidekicks in the vein of Aladdin's Iago or The Lion King's hyenas. Steve Martin and Martin Short do voice them, but Egypt is a rare instance of two comic legends playing their roles absolutely straight. They are humorous, yes, but their biggest laugh (trying to demonstrate how the water could turn to blood) is but a counterpoint to a horrifying situation.
    • A particularly jarring example comes from the Portuguese dub, where Ramses is voiced by the same actor who did Goku.
  • Talking to Himself: Val Kilmer voices both Moses and God, much like how Charlton Heston played Moses and voiced God in the Cecil B. DeMille version. In fact, more or less every version of the movie has Moses and God sharing the same voice actor.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • It was planned to combine the voices of a man, a woman, and a child for the voice of God. But they had Kilmer voice God instead because it was thought some might have problems with God sounding female. That and the fact that their synthesized composite voices apparently sounded much more demonic than Godly. There are elements of this in the film itself, as the backing chorus of "The Plagues" are from His perspective.
    • A scene with a talking camel was scrapped and Rameses was originally supposed to have two evil cats. Granted, these and the camel would have run totally counter-current to the mood of the film as a whole. Curiously, the camel did eventually show up in the form of a piece of merchandise for the film, as a little beanbag doll. Bizarrely, there is some historical evidence since Ramesses was an avid cat person to the point he had hundreds imported from other countries to Egypt and even had a lion as a personal pet that fought alongside him at Kadesh.
    • Moses also originally had two dogs as his side-kicks. Though they were later scrapped from the film as a whole, you still see them two times (in "All I Ever Wanted"). Ironically, the dog and cat ideas would be used in the Mock Buster "Moses: Egypt's Great Prince".
    • Jeffrey Katzenberg pitched this idea to Disney several times during his tenure there, but CEO Michael Eisner kept rejecting it (their relationship was starting to crumble, plus the idea did not fit Disney's animated MO at all; they have never really been comfortable with material involving God also bearing the Disney name outside of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which didn't push it too heavily).
    • Ramses was much more sympathetic in the original script, until the crew realized this made Moses look like a jerk for refusing to work with him to help the situation.
    • At one point, Miriam was going to be the Hebrew slave beaten by the taskmaster whom Moses accidentally kills, in order to give Moses a more personal reason for defending her. But eventually the writers realized it would be more meaningful for Moses to defend a stranger, so a random man took Miriam’s place.
    • This early Test animation shows early designs of some characters.
      • At the 0:10 to 0:24 mark shows an early design of both Moses and partially Rameses.
      • It also shows an early design of Seti at the 1:51 to 2:08 mark
      • An early design of Hotep and Huy at the 2:10 to 2:24 and 2:33 to 2:46 mark.
      • And an early design of Jethro at the 2:26 to 2:32 mark.
    • James Earl Jones, Keith David and Vernon Wells were considered for the role of Jethro.
    • Jeremy Irons and Ian McKellen were considered for the role of Seti.
    • Michael J. Fox, David Foley and Scott Bakula were considered for the role of Aaron.
    • Ellen DeGeneres, Juliette Binoche and Mary McDonnell were considered for Miriam.
    • Jennifer Aniston was considered for the role of Tzipporah.
    • Leonardo DiCaprio, Dennis Quaid and Mark Wahlberg were considered for the role of Moses.
    • Richard Schliff and Cheech Marin were considered for the role of Hotep.
    • Tom Waits and Tommy Chong were considered for the role of Huy.
    • Robert De Niro and Gary Oldman were considered for the role of Ramses.
    • Carol Burnett was considered for the role of Tuya.

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