This was the one everyone had been waiting for. Dreamworks had had its varied successes with The Peacemaker, Deep Impact, and the recently released Antz. But The Prince of Egypt was to be the cornerstone of a new animation empire, the first that would match Disney. That is the whole reason Jeffrey Katzenberg was even allowed into this triumvirate anyway right? To recreate that magical formula for animation that he had supposedly perfected at Disney with the likes of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. Well. . . better luck next year.

Don't get too far ahead of me now. The Prince of Egypt is a solid and consistent movie. The animation is first rate, the storyline is strong, and at first glance it is missing nothing from the formula of winning animation. Nonetheless, it rises more to the level of recent mid-range Disney successes like Hercules and Hunchback, than the pantheon of Belle and Simba. And its fundamental shortcoming is really no different than that of these two recent Disney releases, which is a basic disregard for the animation formula. In short, these movies seem to ignore the fact that they are first and foremost musicals. And the most important element of a musical is, or course, the music.

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