The best movie to come out of the Disney Renaissance was the Prince of Egypt.

Because Jeffery Katzenberg wanted to make a movie out of the story of Moses while he was on Disney.

And this movie got away with more adult themes then any movie Disney in the Renaissance ever attempted.

What happened to you Dreamworks?

What happened to them?

They knocked Pixar off it's perch is what happened.

Also don't forget Anastasia and Ferngully- two other Renaissance-era non Disney films that did very well.

Prince of Egypt has a lot going for it, and I mean a lot. It had a fantastic soundtrack, its storytelling was top-notch, the animation was some of the best Disney would ever put forth, the songs and the dramatic cinematic composition... Okay, let's compare to the rest of the Disney Renaissance.

Little Mermaid: Never saw it. No comment.
The Rescuers Down Under: Saw it when I was 5, don't remember a lick of it.
Beauty and the Beast: Saw it, owned it on pillow-case VHS, it was my reward for being a good boy. "Tale As Old As Time" gets my eyes cloudy some 20 years later. Gaston is a perfectly hateable douchebag, the romance was well-paced as believable... tough competition, even without my nostalgia-tinted glasses.
Aladdin: It had Robin Williams and Jafar, the follow-up TV cartoon was done better than it had any right to be, and the sequels were really good too. Again, tough competition.
The Lion King: Hoo boy. Can any opening number even hope to beat "Circle of Life"? Personal nostalgia aside, it's not as heavy a contender as some of the other ones.
Pocahontas: Trash. Had some nice art direction with Colors of the wind. NEXT.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Oh sweet Jesus, Frollo. I can't think of a more villainous character. In Quasimodo I can't think of a more tragic hero. If it weren't for the silly gargoyles, it could have been the Disney 2D magnum opus. Hellfire has to be, without question, the best villain song in the entire Disney song library. Friends On the Other Side is a close second.
Hercules: Lots of energy, fast-paced storytelling, nice stylized animation. All-around really good movie, but not quite great.
Mulan: Let's get down to business! To defeat... the Huns!!! Yeah, let's not kid ourselves here, that was the best part of the movie.
Tarzan: Blah. A great whacking lot of blah.

So, where does that leave us? Okay, so OP mentions "adult themes" but Hunchback has some heavily implied themes of sexual molestation and Esmeralda being a woman of loose morals, and Ursula's body language speaks awfully loudly of Ariel using her figure to attract Prince Eric; don't even get me stahted on Nala's "come hither" face in Lion King's Can You Feel the Love Tonight? sequence.

But of course, adult themes do not always a magnificent movie make; no, no, it's all in how the movie complements those themes, and that's where all the front-runners in this hypothetical footrace shine. Yes, Prince of Egypt is among them, so bear with me.
Beauty and the Beast shows use the moderately "adult" theme of how romance can blossom between unlikely people, if only a little consideration - Beast giving Belle a nice room and eventually showing her the library out of a desire to please her - and care - Belle being patient and caring for her big strong protector long enough to see the nice guy underneath the rough exterior - could be put into the relationship. Even if it's wrapped in a fairy tale ending, it's still one of the best, most satisfying romance stories I have ever seen.
Prince of Egypt gives us a raw, real rivalry between two people who are as good as siblings, irreparably separated by what they each see as their sworn duty to the power of their choosing: Ramses to his lineage, and Moses to his people and God. Both are sorrowful for the enmity, both are unfailingly resolute that they are right, for good or for ill. No rendition of the Book of Exodus has ever painted these main characters in such human light.
Hunchback. Oh, jeepers. Frollo believes that everything he says and does is right, and therefore, everything he says and does is right. Esmeralda, the morally "loose" character of the story, is the only one who can see what is truly right in the moment, including rescuing Quasimodo from the hysterical mob and befriending him. Phoebus serves as the bridge between the self-righteous Frollo and the morally-if-not-conventionally-good Esmeralda; strangely, this makes Phoebus' "knight in shining armor" status just a little more relatable, since he does the right thing by simply disobeying the unjust authority figure and later rallying the people to a just cause. And can we talk about the music again? Because it's literally the best.

Okay, I have my verdict. Beauty and the Beast will always be an unassailable classic, no doubt about that, but it can't hold up to Prince or Hunchback in my mind.
Prince of Egypt has a rock-solid theme, its story is told with terrific gravitas, and the cinematic ingenuity is fantastic.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame, on the other hand, rises above even Prince, because of one critical factor: Even its songs drove the narrative forward. Every note of every song lent weight to a character's struggles, hopes, and dreams; yes, even that silly A Guy Like You song; it reinforced Quasimodo's self-worth enough that he could finally stand up to Frollo for the sake of his one real friend, Esmeralda, whom he respected enough as a person to recognize she was happier with Phoebus. And, again, Hellfire.

So... no. You're awfully close, but I have to disagree, Hunchback was the best movie to come out of the Disney Renaissance, by a hair.

Zootopia.

Prince of Egypt is a reworked child's nursery tale. Zootopia actually deals with real world things, like police vs civilians, racism(or animalisim), prejudice and drug abuse.
Prince of Egypt? Yeah yeah, Jewish slavery in Egypt, an 'event' not actually recorded outside of the Bible. Egyptian records don't mention plagues and the Moses coming about. Its a cute story, yeah sure, but about a real and relevant as Beauty and the Beast.

Silentpony:
Zootopia.

Prince of Egypt is a reworked child's nursery tale. Zootopia actually deals with real world things, like police vs civilians, racism(or animalisim), prejudice and drug abuse.
Prince of Egypt? Yeah yeah, Jewish slavery in Egypt, an 'event' not actually recorded outside of the Bible. Egyptian records don't mention plagues and the Moses coming about. Its a cute story, yeah sure, but about a real and relevant as Beauty and the Beast.

I believe the current theory is that the semites (what the Israelites were called at the time) were the ones in control of Egypt and were the ones kicked out.

trunkage:

Silentpony:
Zootopia.

Prince of Egypt is a reworked child's nursery tale. Zootopia actually deals with real world things, like police vs civilians, racism(or animalisim), prejudice and drug abuse.
Prince of Egypt? Yeah yeah, Jewish slavery in Egypt, an 'event' not actually recorded outside of the Bible. Egyptian records don't mention plagues and the Moses coming about. Its a cute story, yeah sure, but about a real and relevant as Beauty and the Beast.

I believe the current theory is that the semites (what the Israelites were called at the time) were the ones in control of Egypt and were the ones kicked out.

I remember hearing that there were no records of any massive population evacuations in Egypt, outside of the Romans coming in and destroying the Temple, which if I remember my Bible study correctly Moses takes place some 1,500+ years before Romans were a thing.

Samtemdo8:

And this movie got away with more adult themes then any movie Disney in the Renaissance ever attempted.

Possibly. Hunchback, and to a lesser extent Lion King are contenders though. But if it's a question of quality in of itself, Lion King still takes the top spot Renaissance-wise.

What happened to you Dreamworks?

A few things:

-Katzenberg declared that 2D animation was dead after Sinbad.

-I can't point this to being part of any concerted effort, but ever since Shrek, DreamWorks's identity has generally been "loud, raunch, in your face"-style humour. A style that Prince of Egypt definitely doesn't fall into. That's not to say they can't make films without some narrative 'oomph' behind them (How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, etc.), but like Disney, DreamWorks has a brand, and it's usually sound financially to keep to your brand identity, and if you want to change it (like Disney arguably has ever since Tangled), you better do a good job.

Ofra Haza's singing in that movie still never fails to impress. She sang her own lines in 17 dubbed versions.

Silentpony:
Zootopia.

Prince of Egypt is a reworked child's nursery tale. Zootopia actually deals with real world things, like police vs civilians, racism(or animalisim), prejudice and drug abuse.

Yeah.. deals with it poorly. It's a nice attempt and all, but it's very questionable to put an anti-racism message in a movie set in a world where racism and prejudice makes perfect sense. I mean, the movie makes the comparison that minorities used to eat white people thousands of years ago. And in a world where there's such a great difference in size between species, it makes sense that some animals do jobs others are physically incapable of doing.

Then there's also the movie trying to have its cake and eat it too, wanting to show how bad it is to label different species, but at the same time making fun of sloths for being slow (something they're born with and can't do anything about). I know it's a joke and all, but it runs pretty counter to the movie's message.

Once you start thinking about it longer than 4 seconds it just completely falls apart.

Silentpony:
Zootopia.

Prince of Egypt is a reworked child's nursery tale. Zootopia actually deals with real world things, like police vs civilians, racism(or animalisim), prejudice and drug abuse.
Prince of Egypt? Yeah yeah, Jewish slavery in Egypt, an 'event' not actually recorded outside of the Bible. Egyptian records don't mention plagues and the Moses coming about. Its a cute story, yeah sure, but about a real and relevant as Beauty and the Beast.

Bah, that movie was just one giant Furry bait :P

Samtemdo8:

Silentpony:
Zootopia.

Prince of Egypt is a reworked child's nursery tale. Zootopia actually deals with real world things, like police vs civilians, racism(or animalisim), prejudice and drug abuse.
Prince of Egypt? Yeah yeah, Jewish slavery in Egypt, an 'event' not actually recorded outside of the Bible. Egyptian records don't mention plagues and the Moses coming about. Its a cute story, yeah sure, but about a real and relevant as Beauty and the Beast.

Bah, that movie was just one giant Furry bait :P

Yup

 

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