Fewer grandiloquent songs describing the characters' dilemmas in rhyme and a more ambivalent hero might have improved this 1998 animated musical, which credits as its source the Book of Exodus. But the blend of animation techniques somehow demonstrates mastery modestly, while the special effects are nothing short of magnificent. For a cartoon epic designed for broad appeal, this contains surprisingly few simpering or wide-eyed characters, and its representation of the politics of slavery is unusually complex. Directed by Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, and Simon Wells, with Val Kilmer as the voice of Moses. PG, 97 min.