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The Ten Commandments

Cinema Release 25th April

When I saw that Promenade Pictures were releasing a new animated version of the story of Moses my first thought was, ‘why?’ The Academy Award winning “Prince of Egypt” is barely 10 years old and had definitively set the standard for a family movie on the topic.

Inevitably this new movie was always going to sit in the shadows of the Dreamworks classic, so it was a risk for Promenade to make this their first, of what is to be a collection of 12, animated biblical epics.

Thus my expectations for this movie were low when I sat down to watch with my six year old son and eight year old daughter. Yet I was pleasantly surprised, and my kids enjoyed it [asking to watch it again the next day].

While the influence of the Dreamworks version is obvious in the story telling, this is its own movie.

The Ten Commandments traces the story of Moses from his birth to his death on the verge of Jordan. To cover so much territory in 88 minutes means that this is a very simple, straight version of the story, one that young children will enjoy, but which adults might be content to leave to the kids.

Obviously made on a budget, the 3D Computer Generated Imagery is at times jumpy, although my kids were impressed with some of the sweeping scenes that try to give it an ‘epic’ feel. The voices were fine except that Christian Slater [Moses] has a very flat tone that limits his emotional expression.

There is also some over protectiveness for Miriam and Aaron who both fail in the Biblical account, yet are easily excused in this version.

A handy resource for children’s ministry, but not really an epic.

Reviewed by Rev Paul Clark, Minister with the Burdekin Uniting Church