Joseph: King of Dreams is a prequel to DreamWorks Animation’s The Prince of Egypt but skipped theaters and was released directly to video, the only animated DreamWorks film to do so. Though the story of Joseph had been done as a musical before with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s pretty good adaptation Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, this animated film is much closer to the spirit of the Biblical story, as the opening disclaimer tries to convey. Some creative license was taken, such as removing Leah from the picture to avoid the depiction of Jacob having two concurrent wives, but Joseph: King of Dreams is a wonderful introduction to the Biblical story for all young viewers.
The animation and music are all right but do not measure up to the masterpiece that DreamWorks pulled off with Prince of Egypt, and I bet the filmmakers knew that; hence, its direct-to-video status. Many of the songs are catchy while you hear them but aren’t as memorable as they try to be, but the best ones are the opener “Miracle Child” and “Better Than I,” a very Christian song beautifully recounting Joseph’s memories while in captivity (though, can a tree really grow that much in two years?). While the voice acting was never advertised much upon release, it does feature Ben Affleck as Joseph, Mark Hamill as Judah, and Richard Herd as Jacob, among various other known and obscure voice actors.
It’s always enjoyable to see a well-produced adaptation of a Bible story since so many are obviously low-budget affairs. At the same time, there’s a danger of departing too far from the source material in order to build characters or tension (a la the recent Noah); Joseph: King of Dreams is an admirable Biblical movie that remains faithful to the text, telling a timeless story for all ages and audiences.
Best line: (lyrics in the song speaking of God while Joseph is imprisoned) “You know better than I.”Artistry: 6 Characters/Actors: 5 Entertainment: 7 Visual Effects: 5 Originality: 5 Watchability: 7 TOTAL: 35 out of 60
Next: #260 – Galaxy Quest
© 2014 S. G. Liput