Joseph: King of Dreams
G
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: +4

Dreamworks follows the success of its animated Biblical epic, PRINCE OF EGYPT, with this direct-to-video prequel. A young man with a unique gift from God, rises from slavery to become the second most powerful man in ancient Egypt. The story sticks fairly close to the Genesis account in the Bible as Joseph (voiced by Ben Affleck) begins to have dreams of future events, like wolves attacking the flock. When he dreams of his parents and ten older brothers bowing down to him, sibling rivalry takes a deadly turn. The jealous brothers, led by Judah (Mark Hamill), throw Joseph into a desert pit and later sell him to a slavery caravan headed for Egypt. Bought by the captain of Pharaohs Palace Guard, the handsome young Joseph draws the attention of Asenath (Jodi Benson), the captains niece, as he rises in the household staff. Falsely accused of attacking his masters wife, Joseph finds himself thrown in prison and almost forgotten by all but Asenath. But he tells two cellmates the meaning of their dreams, which restores one to his position on Pharaohs staff. When Pharoah is troubled by a dream, the servant remembers Josephs ability and rescues him from prison. After telling the Egyptian ruler about his dreams predicting famine, Joseph is put in charge of preparing for the disaster. The famine also brings his brothers to Egypt seeking food. Second only to Pharaoh in ruling Egypt, will Joseph seek revenge or forgiveness? With the same animation and musical team that created PRINCE OF EGYPT, this inspiring musical adventure will delight viewers age five to adult.

Compared to the Biblical account, the story has a few flaws as it minimizes some characters and expands on others, such as Asenath. Rather than becoming a model prisoner, Joseph lingers in solitary-like confinement. And his cellmates are there when he arrives, contrary to the source passages. But the focus is on Joseph and his struggle to make the best of bad situations he encounters. And his biggest struggle is how to deal with his brothers actions that caused him so much trouble but also put him on the road to his present position. One scene shows Joseph complaining in prayer to God about his unwarranted treatment. But he eventually sees God restoring and saving his family through his rise to power. Younger children may be frightened by some of the dream images, like the attacking wolves or skeletal cows. But the whole family should enjoy this production.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Distributor: Dreamworks SKG, 100 Universal Plaza, Bldg. 477, Universal City, CA 91608

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Few times - Mild and moderate (wolves chase sheep, man hits wolves, man pushed into pit, scorpion hit w/rock, man shoved into prison cell)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: Infant rear nudity once
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Wife accuses man of attacking her, man refers to drink and women
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Jacob refers to God sending vision, themes of repentance, forgiveness and trust
Running Time: 75 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 5 up

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