Photo by DreamWorks Pictures

Moses the Egyptian. The new animated film Prince of Egypt is only the latest in a series of cinematic versions of the life of Moses. While earlier films emphasize the Ten Commandments, Prince of Egypt concentrates on the relationship between Moses and his adopted Egyptian royal family and on Moses’s emergence as a leader of the Hebrews.

The story of Moses requires epic treatment—which, author Peter T. Chattaway says, is one reason it hasn’t been filmed as often as the story of Jesus, which can be produced on a more intimate and inexpensive scale. Like the previous Moses films, Prince of Egypt depicts such supernatural events as the burning bush and the parting of the Red Sea, but, unlike the previous films, it fails to promote a specific moral vision or to raise questions about religious law and interpretation.