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To think 'Prince of Egypt' is just a bit sickening and not something I'd want my children to watch?

(89 Posts)
DribbleWiper Mon 06-May-13 14:45:58

Sorry, but even (and especially) if you believe it really happened, the slaughter of Egypt's first-born is just horrible and not a fit subject for a children's cartoon.

The only lesson I can see being taught here is that it's okay for your enemy's innocent children to be killed so long as it benefits you and your own nation/people.

AIBU to think that there is no way this would have been deemed acceptable to be included in a children's cartoon if it weren't a biblical story?

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Mon 06-May-13 16:52:48

Did it happen though? Did any of it really happen? obvious atheist

DribbleWiper Mon 06-May-13 16:53:37

SPs It's not a film about Ancient Egypt (that would imply they were trying to be accurate). You can't protect kids from everything that happens in reality. You can suggest that showing the hero's god smiting innocent children and there being no criticism of it in the film (Moses looking slightly sad doesn't count, McBalls) is utterly repulsive.

SPsYoniTheOneAndOnly Mon 06-May-13 16:54:41

Look at Hercules and the sea of souls. That was a bit creepy and all the Greek gods around. Its just films made from things that happened/were believed to have happened.

Yes its wrong but it apparently happened. I would have no issue with my son watching the film.

SPsYoniTheOneAndOnly Mon 06-May-13 16:56:41

I'm an atheist so god to me is a made up story. No offence to those who believe.

You don't have to watch the film, your children dont have to watch it. Some of the films kids are watching now make The Prince of Egypt look like the teletubies!

DribbleWiper Mon 06-May-13 16:56:52

Yes, but, SPs it's generally agreed that the Greeks' beliefs should be classed as mythology. Unfortunately, stuff from the OT is often (as you seem to think) treated as accurate and educational.

DribbleWiper Mon 06-May-13 16:57:29

Which films do you mean, SPs? Examples?

ll31 Mon 06-May-13 17:03:41

So don't let your children watch it or if they do, talk to them about it. But do explain it's a story. Really don't see this as a big issue...

DribbleWiper Mon 06-May-13 17:06:31

puds I think they did a documentary a while back about the scientific possibility of Egypt having had a really bad year and that being the basis for the 'plagues'. Crossing the Red Sea was because it was particularly low at a certain point, possibly as a result of an earthquake (the one that got Thera, or am I making that up? Possibly). So, as ever, possibly a grain of truth.

Lastofthepodpeople Mon 06-May-13 17:10:01

I was brought up Christian (not any more) The Bible does have some awful stories, however I don't remember being affected.
Children don't tend to take them personally and generally just take stories as they come. Unfortunately, you can't shield children from all the bad stuff. Stories are the best way for children to teach the bad things in life without them being directly involved.

It's the adults I think that understand the true horror of them. DS hasn't seen Prince of Egypt but I suspect I'd be the one who'd be more affected by the scene.

That said I've just watched the clip. It is heartbreaking.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Mon 06-May-13 17:10:22

Well i guess all stories start from something.

IncrediblePhatTheInnkeepersCat Mon 06-May-13 17:27:04

I've seen Prince of Egypt dozens of times and think that it's a very well done film. Though I was raised Catholic and knew the story from a little girl.

When I first saw it (aged 14 I think)I felt more sorry for the slaves, particularly the hieroglyphic of the babies being chucked into the mile to the waiting crocodiles. I put the blame of the children's deaths squarely on Ramases's shoulders. He was perpetuating death, torture and misery. He could see the plagues escalating and was warned something worse was coming and still he could not do the right thing. Moses even says "think of your son" as he warns him and yet he is too stubborn to.

God is not portrayed a warm, fuzzy presence of goodness. He is shown as someone who will do whatever it takes to achieve freedom for his people. Moses also shows that he is distressed by this. No one is happy it has come to this.

Having said all this, I was pleased that Dreamworks produces 'grittier' children's films. I grew up readin Hans Christian Anderson, the Brothers Grimm, Greek mythology and children's bible stories, most of which was far more disturbing/frightening for a young child.

May I suggest you read the full synopsis of films on IMDB, or watch them in advance, before showing them to your children. this is the parental guide to this film.

IncrediblePhatTheInnkeepersCat Mon 06-May-13 17:29:27

That should be Nile, not mile, Rameses, and reading. blush

DribbleWiper Mon 06-May-13 17:39:30

Okay, I take your point about the wall painting, Incredible, but is "an eye for an eye" in advance actually that good a lesson? It's like the Americans saying that the Japanese saw the bombing of Hiroshima coming, really, isn't it? Maybe the generals that gave that order were thinking of the story of Moses. hmm

And no, I don't think that's an OTT comparison.

gordyslovesheep Mon 06-May-13 17:42:23

pmsl but God, via Moses, warns the Pharaoh - before each plague - can't say Pharaoh fairer than that ...

DribbleWiper Mon 06-May-13 17:45:12

Oh, so that's okay, then, gordy... hmm

I do like the pun, though. grin

gordyslovesheep Mon 06-May-13 18:07:51

it's a story - not one you have been forced at gun point to show your children so I just don't get the moral outrage!

Flobbadobs Mon 06-May-13 18:22:43

Many of us studied the biblical stories at school and church, I remember performing a (godawful) musical about Moses and the flight from Egypt in Primary school. I was Moses grin
It was presented as fact to me at church along with the slaughter of the innocents, Pauls conversion which isn't exactly a pleasant read and a passage on how to be a good wife (the book of Proverbs I think).
It's about as gruesome and unpleasant as The little matchgirl (she freezes to death surrounded by the matches she struck to keep warm), the original Red Riding Hood and the ending of Snow White where the evil stepmother dances herself to death wearing red hot shoes.
It's also about as realistic...
IMO the Brother Grimm stories are far more likely to cause nightmares than the Prince of Egypt!
YANBU to not want your children to watch it, but it could start an interesting conversation about belief maybe?

BMW6 Mon 06-May-13 18:35:08

I don't understand your outrage either OP - Dreamworks didn't write this story - it is from the Bible, so whether you believe it really happened or nor is down to one's own belief.
I've seen it, and IMO the killing of the Egyptians PFB is handled subtly, presumably to meet censorship rules.
I really don't think children would be unduly upset by that scene. Certainly no more than seeing starving children on TV just about every commercial break during the day........

As an afterthought, has it struck anyone else that the nature of God changes from the Old Testament (God of Vengeance) to the New Testament (God Is Love). Surely God is unchanging (if he exists)?

CSIJanner Mon 06-May-13 18:45:32

^Unfortunately, stuff from the OT is often (as you seem to think) treated as accurate and educational.^

Erm, not in my Catholic school it wasn't. OT are stories with some element of a historical event in them to convey the religious truth/lesson in them.

caroldecker Mon 06-May-13 20:09:12

If you take children to church then they ought to be made to watch this and the other excellent bible stories about what a great God they are worshipping

SirBoobAlot Mon 06-May-13 20:30:50

DS won't be watching it because it's historically inaccurate. There is no evidence of any of these events taking place, and the Egyptian's kept some of the most precise records of ancient times.

He's already pretty on the ball with his knowledge, I'm not going to screw it up with something so totally far from the truth.

That said, some of the music is lovely.

jamdonut Mon 06-May-13 20:33:19

But most religious stories involve an element of killing or death...even the Christmas story has Herod killing new born baby boys,when he finds out the Wise Men are off to find the Messiah!

I can remember acting in a class play to the rest of the school about the story of Moses. Nobody seemed to worry about it then.

I personally don't have a problem with it. So long as you, or the person who showed it to them, explained what was happening and the reasons for it,there shouldn't be anything to worry about.

Religion and History ARE brutal. Children usually enjoy that!

DribbleWiper Mon 06-May-13 20:34:04

BMW6 Trying not to get into a religious debate, because that wasn't the point of my post, but you're not actually surprised that the OT and the NT aren't consistent, are you? The 'vengeful' version of god wouldn't have taken off in 1st century Rome nearly so quickly... v. 2.0 had to be much more cuddly...

Agreed, caroldecker, but I doubt the rigorous debate we'd suggest would follow.

DribbleWiper Mon 06-May-13 20:36:29

SirBoobALot Thoroughly approve! Or let him watch it and critique it for errors.

jamdonut Yeah, we discussed this upthread. The point is WHO is committing the act of infanticide and their role in the context of the film, i.e. supposed "good" deity committing horrific act and it going without comment, therefore tacitly approved. The point isn't that children need to be kept away from the nasty bits of fiction or history.

DribbleWiper Mon 06-May-13 20:37:16

Although the point loads of people made about the OT god not being "good" as such is noted and agreed with.

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