Monday, November 15, 2010

Mommy Movie Review: The Prince of Egypt

This week's movie review covers The Prince of Egypt and An American Tail over on Kristi's blog.  Both are cartoons and can be used to teach our children biblical and historical lessons.

When I taught 4th grade, during our first four weeks we learned the account of Moses in Bible class.  As a fun activity, I would plan for my students to watch the Prince of Egypt to end our time with Moses.  However, we didn't just watch the movie, we followed a worksheet which I made up which paralleled the movie with the Bible account.  I wanted my students who now knew what God's Word said about the account to recognize the creative licences that were taken in the making of the movie.  As we followed along, it was wonderful hearing my students call out the answers to the fill in the blanks on their worksheets as they recognized truth from error.

Suzette's Positives
  • I like the fact that before the movie even begins, the disclaimer is given that creative licence has been taken.. The creators of the movie are acknowledging that they have added or changed some things in the account.  However, for those who do not know the account, they can easily take Hollywood's version as being truth. And honestly, God's Word needs no changes made to it for dramatic affect.  I think it is pretty awesome as is.
  • The animation and songs are beautifully done.  I remember when the animation just looked so real! Technology has come a long way!
  • I love the actual cartoon quality.  Because of the digital age we live in and the computer generated animation, cartoons are becoming a lost treasure.  I love that Addie gets to see real cartoons through this movie.
  • I get pretty emotional while watching this movie.  While watching God speak to Moses through the burning bush, I get goosebumps. When the Israelites are walking through the Red Sea, I get chills.  I love being able to give Addie a visual picture of what we have learned during our Bible time.
Suzette's Negatives
  • The fact that things have been changed.  Although many of the changes are subtle, they are still changes. Rather than Pharaoh's daughter finding Moses, it is Pharaoh's wife.  Instead of being raised by his real mother, he is raised in the palace.  Instead of killing the Egyptian in secret, he kills him in front of the other slaves and Egyptians.  Rather than running for his life, Moses leaves because he can't deal with the thought of what he had done to the Egyptian.  Instead of putting his staff into the air and letting God part the sea, Moses raises his staff and then stabs the water causing it to dramatically separate.  These are just a few of the subtle changes in the movie.
  • I do not care for the way Moses and Ramsey's relationship with each other is portrayed.  They are shown as being close to each other, best friends and brothers, who are broken because of the strain put on their relationship because they are two different sides. Even at the end after the Egyptian army is destroyed, Pharaoh is portrayed as calling for Moses and Moses is seen as being emotionally torn.  
Suzette's Rating: 9

I have always loved An American Tail.  It is the story of a little mouse with a Russian-Jewish heritage whose family moves to the United States.  This was another movie that I used with my students and had them follow along with a worksheet.  It covers pogroms, immigration, Castle Gardens, the Statue of Liberty, and more. It is a great movie. 

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