In 1997 and 1998, Jeffrey Katzenberg of DreamWorks invited Catholic League president William Donohue to visit his studio for the purpose of previewing the film, The Prince of Egypt. The movie is an animated adaptation of the Biblical story of Moses. Having seen the movie develop, Donohue is convinced that this is a Hollywood production that all Catholics should enjoy. The movie, which opens December 18, was the source of the following remarks by Donohue:
“The story, animation, special effects and music of The Prince of Egypt are outstanding. Jeffrey Katzenberg has delivered a movie that people of all faiths can enjoy and treasure, and it is one that should appeal to all age groups. More important, this film will put a positive imprint on the culture, and that is why those who have rightfully been complaining about Hollywood productions should be the first to offer their unqualified support.
“Some reporters have asked me whether Katzenberg is sincere in reaching out to leaders in the religious communities. Others have questioned whether he is in this just for the money. These questions need a straight answer.
“I have no reason whatsoever to doubt Katzenberg’s sincerity. He not only strikes me as a down-to-earth type person, his willingness to hire Tzivia Schwartz-Getzug, a most impressive individual, to make contact with religious leaders demonstrates a genuineness not often found in professional circles these days.
“As to Katzenberg’s economic interests, I can only say that I hope he becomes a billionaire. Since when is there an inherent conflict between doing good and making money? If he were to fail, would that make Catholics happy? And if he did so, how likely is it that we would see more of this fare in the future? It is time for the purists and the envy-driven to grow up. I heartily recommend The Prince of Egypt.”