Joseph: King of Dreams

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Joseph: King of Dreams is a DreamWorks Animation movie created as a prequel to The Prince of Egypt. It is based on the story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis. It stars Ben Affleck as Joseph and Mark Hamill as Judah.

Plot[change | change source]

Jacob is an old man by the time his favourite wife Rachel, who, he was once told, could never have children, gives birth to a baby named Joseph. Jacob sees Joseph’s birth as a miracle and says that Joseph must have a great destiny because he is a miracle child. When Joseph grows up, Jacob gives him a colourful coat to prove Joseph is his favourite son. Joseph’s half-brothers get jealous of him especially after Joseph starts to have dreams in which he rises over them. After Joseph starts to tell their father Jacob bad reports about them, they get very angry. When Reuben tries to make peace with Joseph because they are brothers Joseph tells him that he’s not his brother but his half-brother. Joseph’s half-brothers under the leadership of Judah then kidnap him and sell him into slavery. Joseph is taken to Egypt and has to serve an Egyptian captain named Potiphar, who is obsessed with honour. Joseph becomes well-treated by Potiphar and meets a woman named Asenath with whom he falls in love. Potiphar’s wife decides that she wants Joseph but he turns her down because she is already married. So she decides to frame Joseph for rape. Potiphar realizes that she is lying but refused to admit it because of what believing a slave over his wife would say about his honour so he has Joseph put in jail where Joseph explains the dreams of other prisoners. When Pharaoh can’t find anyone else to explain his dreams, he asks Joseph who predicts seven years of having grown plenty of grain and seven years of famine. Joseph is put in charge of collecting the extra food during the years of plenty so that Egypt can survive the famine. Joseph then married Asenath. When Judah and his brothers go to Egypt looking for food, Joseph at first wants revenge but Asenath suggests that he forgive them. Joseph comes up with a test to find out if they deserve his forgiveness. He tricks them into bringing Benjamin, Rachel’s only other son, who became Jacob’s favourite after he was told that Joseph died, to Egypt and framed him for theft, threatening to enslave him as punishment. When the brothers, under the leadership of Judah all offer themselves in Benjamin’s place, Joseph asks why they would give up everything for “a spoiled half-brother”, Judah, who does not recognize Joseph, tells him the truth about how he and his brothers sold Joseph into slavery out of jealousy and how they want more than anything else to right that wrong. Joseph then reveals that he is actually Joseph and he forgives them because God brought him to Egypt to save lives.

Songs[change | change source]

Jacob sings “you are a miracle child” when the movie begins. Joseph sings “I am a miracle child” after getting his coat. Rachel sings the song “We are still a family” after telling Joseph that his brothers are better people than he gives them credit for Joseph sings You Know Better than I after he goes to jail.

Differences with the Bible[change | change source]

The movie never mentions that Jacob’s oldest son, in the Bible, is Reuben not Judah. In the Bible, Rachel had died giving birth to Benjamin long before the sale of Joseph. In the movie Rachel is alive when Joseph is sold but dead by the time Benjamin goes to Egypt.

Reception[change | change source]

After Joseph: King of Dreams came out it was generally compared unfavourably to The Prince of Egypt. Though there were some critics who said that Joseph was better in relation to spirituality when one compared the song You Know Better than I to When You Believe.