[Screen It]


(2000) (voices of Ben Affleck, Mark Hamill) (Not Rated)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Minor Minor Extreme *Moderate Minor
Minor None Moderate None None
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Minor None Heavy Moderate Moderate

Animated/Drama: Sold into Egyptian slavery by his jealous half-brothers, a young man turns adversity into opportunity in this adaptation of the story from the book of Genesis.
Joseph (voice of BEN AFFLECK, singing voice of DAVID CAMPBELL) is the youngest son of Jacob (RICHARD HERD), a sheepherder who believed that his new wife, Rachel (voice of MAUREEN McGOVERN), was unable to have any children. As a result, Jacob considers Joseph a miracle child, and thus doesn't treat him like his many other sons, including Judah (voice of MARK HAMILL) and Simeon (voice of STEVEN WEBER), who are jealous of their younger brother and the preferential treatment he receives.

Despite that and his ability to interpret dreams and their forecasting of the future, Joseph longs to be with and be treated like his brothers. Unfortunately, that's his undoing as unbeknownst to Jacob, they decide to sell him into slavery. Taken from Canaan to Egypt, he's sold to Potiphar (voice of JAMES ECKHOUSE), a high-ranking official working for the Pharaoh (voice of RICHARD McGONAGLE), to be used as domestic help rather than as a laborer.

Although he quickly impresses Potiphar, when he refuses the amorous advances of that man's wife, Zuleika (voice of JUDITH LIGHT), she wrongly accuses him of an injustice and he ends up being sent to prison. As the years pass and he's befriended by Asenath (voice of JODI BENSON), who sneaks him food, Joseph learns the meaning of forgiveness and is eventually called to interpret the dreams of the Pharaoh.

Successfully doing just that and saving the people of Egypt from a severe famine, the Pharaoh appoints Joseph as the second most powerful man in the land. As he then gets on with his life, not believing the good fortune that's come his way, he must contend with his brothers when they unexpectedly return into his life.

The fact that it's an animated film will undoubtedly draw some, as might the fact that it's based on a Biblical story and that it's being associated - from a marketing standpoint -- with DreamWorks' first animated effort, "The Prince of Egypt."
While the film isn't rated, it's the equivalent of a G, but parents should note that like many animated films of that rating class, this one contains some scenes and thematic material that might be unsettling or suspenseful/scary to the youngest of kids.
  • JOSEPH is the chosen child, earmarked for greatness by his father, who just wants to hang out with and be like his brothers who are jealous of the preferential treatment he receives. As a result of their actions, he endures years of hardship and isolation as a slave and prisoner, but comes out a better man who turns adversity into opportunity.
  • JUDAH is his older brother who's jealous of him and conspires with their other brothers to sell Joseph into slavery, although he learns his lesson about doing so.
  • JACOB and RACHEL are their loving parents who give Joseph preferential treatment (due to seeing him as a miracle child), but want their family to be one harmonious unit.
  • POTIPHAR is an Egyptian official who buys Joseph as his domestic slave and then behaves toward him in contrasting ways (supporting and then imprisoning him, etc.).
  • ASENATH is a young Egyptian woman who befriends and then weds Joseph and acts as a voice of reason for him.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    Here's a quick look at the content found in this film that wasn't submitted to the MPAA for a rating, but is otherwise the equivalent of what most would consider a G-rated picture. That said, there are a few moments that may be unsettling, suspenseful or possibly even scary for younger kids, but that's all dependent on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material. Some violence is also present, including various characters threatening or kicking the protagonist.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, including half-brothers who sell Joseph into slavery due to being jealous of the way their father treats him (thus creating some tense family moments), as well as those involved in the selling, buying and use of slaves. That, and several other thematic issues, including a married woman amorously coming on to Joseph (that many kids probably won't understand) make for some discussion points to be pondered before or after watching the film.

    If you're still concerned about the film's appropriateness for anyone in your home who wishes to see it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in the film.

  • Joseph tells one of his brothers that he knows about the women and drinking (which gets the brother upset that he'll tell their father about that).
  • Joseph and other slaves stomp grapes and we then see him giving a goblet to Potiphar, but we don't know if it's just grape juice or wine.
  • People have a toast with either wine or grape juice.
  • We see a dead and mostly decomposed cow (in cartoon form, of course) with some vultures or similar birds sitting on it.
  • Joseph's half brothers are resentful of him being the "miracle child" and that he doesn't have to work hard like they do. They also mock and threaten him, push him into a deep cavern of sorts (where they leave him) and then sell him to slave traders (and lie to their father about what happened to him). In the end, however, they've learned their lesson and changed their ways.
  • In politically correct hindsight, the slave traders who buy and then sell Joseph, as well as those who buy and then use Joseph (and others) as slave labor obviously have both types of attitudes.
  • A horse seller tries to cheat Potiphar out of money by using an out of balance scale as his "cash register" of sorts.
  • When Joseph refuses Zuleika's amorous advances, she evidently cries wolf and he's then accused of attacking or offending her (he did neither) and then imprisoned for many years.
  • While it looks like a young man has stolen a goblet, we then learn that Joseph planted it there as a trap for others.
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be suspenseful or unsettling for some young viewers, but like what's listed below, the affect they have will depend on the viewer's age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material.
  • Joseph has a dream (accompanied by some suspenseful music) where wolves bite out at him and he runs with the shadows of dream-like wolves chasing after him. He then reaches out to a downed ram and it suddenly turns into a menacing wolf that snaps at him.
  • The next day, real-life wolves approach Joseph in a menacing fashion (with sharp, exposed teeth). As more music plays, they go racing after a baby lamb and Joseph grabs it, and they then chase him.
  • After Zuleika cries wolf about something she says Joseph did to her, Potiphar orders that Joseph immediately be put to death (this doesn't happen, however).
  • Then, in prison, Joseph suddenly finds himself surrounded by rats that are all around his feet.
  • We see a visualization of the Pharaoh's strange dream that includes large "sickly" cows (actually huge stone statues) falling mouth first down onto some healthy cows (but we don't see if they're harmed or not). We then briefly see a vine or stalk that turns into a monstrous apparition with a menacing looking mouth.
  • We see a dead and mostly decomposed cow (in cartoon form, of course) with some vultures or similar birds sitting on it.
  • Spears: Carried by guards and occasionally held to prisoners/slaves.
  • Phrases: "You little brat" and "If you say one word, I'll wring your skinny neck."
  • Joseph's brothers mock him and play keep away from him with his coat.
  • None.
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful music plays during the film.
  • None.
  • None.
  • Joseph tells one of his brothers that he knows about the women and drinking (which gets the brother upset that he'll tell their father about that).
  • Zuleika is instantly attracted to Joseph and wants him assigned to her banquet duties. Later, she comes on to him (when he asks why she's come there tonight, she replies, "To be with you"). However, nothing happens between them.
  • None.
  • Joseph's half-brothers don't like him. They taunt and threaten him, and eventually sell him to slave traders.
  • Joseph learns that his mother has died since he's been gone, and he deals over the years with the separation from his family.
  • The film's message that God has a plan for everyone that might not be obvious at first, and how Joseph perseveres despite the hardships he endures.
  • The way in which Joseph's half-brothers treated him.
  • Slavery and those sold into it (and why Joseph's brothers sold him to slave traders).
  • Some kids may not understand Zuleika's intentions toward Joseph and him being sent to prison after refusing her advances.
  • One of Joseph's brothers menacingly grabs him by his coat.
  • Jacob hits some wolves with his staff after they were chasing Joseph.
  • One of the brothers backhands a bag of water Joseph is carrying.
  • Judah grabs Joseph by his coat and another partially tears it in two after removing it from him. They then push him around (in a gang-like fashion) until he falls some distance into a large hole/cavern.
  • After a scorpion runs across Joseph, he repeatedly smashes it with a rock until it's dead.
  • A slave trader pushes Joseph to the ground and then holds his arms behind his back.
  • A man kicks Joseph in the back to make him get up.
  • A guard kicks Joseph in the back and knocks him to a prison floor.
  • Joseph interprets another prison's dream (we don't see the dream) to mean that the man will taken away and beheaded and that birds will feed on his flesh. In turn, that prisoner grabs Joseph by the neck but is then pulled away. Later, that man is taken away and that's presumably what happens to him (although that's never verified).
  • Joseph falls and knocks himself out when he hits the hard prison floor.

  • Reviewed November 10, 2000 / Posted November 13, 2000

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