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Peter T Chattaway

Muhammad: The Last Prophet

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Film About Prophet Muhammad to Open in Theatres

Nationwide release scheduled for holiday marking end of Ramadan fast

Council on American-Islamic Relations, October 5

Movie on the Prophet opens in US

Usama Jamal, president of the film's distributing company Fine Media Group, said it was an irony that Americans would be able to watch the US-produced movie after much of the world had already seen it. . . . "The film was scheduled to be released in the United States around 2002 but [was put off] because it was just after September 11 and people were not in the mood to go to the movies," Jamal said. The 90-minute film that chronicles the early life and teachings of Islam's Prophet Muhammad was produced for Badr International by RichCrest Animation Studios, the creators of animated classics such as The King and I and The Fox and the Hound. Because of Islamic traditions prohibiting the visual representation of religious figures, no images of Prophet Muhammad appear in the film.

Al-Jazeera, October 14

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Alas, I cannot seem to find a page for this film at the IMDB. Even the IMDB's version of the Studio Briefing item on this film does not link back to a page for this film, though it does link back to The King and I (1999) and The Fox and the Hound (1981). Even the page for director Richard Rich includes no mention of this film, which is odd, if the film has indeed been shown around the world already.

As it happens, Rich is a Mormon filmmaker whose previous efforts include a number of straight-to-video cartoons about figures from the Book of Genesis -- plus he was an assistant director and composer on The Small One (1978), a Disney short film about the donkey used by Joseph and Mary, directed by fellow Mormon animator Don Bluth.

FWIW, I have not been all that impressed with Rich's non-Disney films; I cannot recall if I ever reviewed The King and I, but it was lame, as was The Trumpet of the Swan.

I know there has been at least one other movie about Mohammed, but the one I'm thinking of also had to avoid showing the Prophet's face; since my search has so far turned up only an Anthony Quinn flick called The Message (1976), I'm guessing that that wasn't it.

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Wow, now that I'm finding rather old stories about this film on the web, I am even more amazed that there is no data on this film at the IMDB ...

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Film Advertisement: MUHAMMAD The Last Prophet

Muhammad (pbuh) the Last Prophet has been in production for two years and includes more than 196,000 drawings. . . . In order to establish the Badr's presence as a premier provider of Islamic entertainment, the Company has embarked upon the development of a prestigious and high quality animated full-length feature film, Mohammed (pbuh): The Last Prophet, regarding the life of Mohammed (pbuh). The film, which will be approximately ninety minutes, is planned for release during 2001.

Arab-Celebs.com, ?

PBS to air "Muslims"

"Muhammad, the Last Prophet (PBUH)" is set to be released in theaters in June 2002. . . . The $12 million animated film is expected to be released simultaneously in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. The film has reportedly received permits from Al-Azhar, according to Al-Ahram Weekly.

Suite101.com, April 30 2002

"Muhammad The Last Prophet": A Movie Below Expectations

Some critics and journalists expressed their disappointment Tuesday, October 8, after attending the private viewing of the cartoon movie "Mohamed The Last Prophet" because the movie was selective in the issues tackled. Criticism included that the movie talked about specific incidents of the Prophet's (peace be upon him) life ignoring other significant major events, especially the Prophet's (pbuh) struggle with the Jews, in addition to lacking the attractive style that should exist in movies made for children.

IslamOnline.net, October 10 2002

'I wish I was alive then...'

True. It had drawbacks -- the historic details were missing. Some events were left out altogether. Fine. What were the intentions of the moviemakers? What did Richard Rich, the producer and director, know of the topic, except that he is well versed in the art of animation classics? It didn't matter. A believer's dreams none but God can shatter. . . . But let me confess in embarrassment, that this generous 'gift' had to be produced in the West.

Jaihoon.com, November 6 2002

Of prophets and profit: Mohammed in the movies

The only other attempt to film the Prophet without dare filming him came in 2002, with the animated movie, "Muhammad, The Last Prophet," directed by Richard Rich, a veteran Disney animator who had also directed "The Fox and the Hound." "The Last Prophet" was released in the Middle East after being sanctioned by the same Islamic authorities who had originally banned the appearance of Mohammed on film, and who now demanded that Hamza, the character portrayed by Anthony Quinn in "The Message," appear only from behind. (Despite this limitation, Hamza manages to kill lots of people at unsatisfying angles.) The animated film borrows Akkad's Prophet-cam technique, and in one pivotal scene Mohammed is critically wounded in battle -- a rock hurtles into the camera. In an incredibly stupid visual, his followers rush toward the audience -- right into the camera -- wide-eyed, crying Mohammed's name.

BlackTable.com, March 3 2004

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Muslims will celebrate with 'Muhammad'

Going to communal prayers and dining later with family and friends is a given. Taking the kids to Fun World and other indoor play areas will still be popular choices. But this year, for the first time, they also can walk into privately booked theaters and see the North American premiere of "Muhammad: The Last Prophet."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 12

Animated Film Tells Story of Muhammad

As Muslims celebrate the Eid holiday, marking the end of Ramadan, an animated film about the life of the prophet Muhammad will play in 90 cities in the United States and Canada. Because of the Islamic prohibition against images, Muhammad will not be depicted. Hear NPR's Jennifer Ludden and the film's distributor, Oussama Jammal.

All Things Considered, NPR, November 14

Muhammad at the Movies: Venerated, and Animated

No limousines pulled up yesterday outside the United Artists theater in Brooklyn Heights. There was no red carpet, not even a poster announcing the film that opened there and at 92 other theaters around the country. But for thousands of Muslims who flocked to those theaters, the American premiere of the animated feature "Muhammad: The Last Prophet," was unquestionably a landmark cultural event.

New York Times, November 15

Region’s Muslims celebrate end of Ramadan fasting

Producers couldn’t find theater chains willing to play the movie. So they rented theaters in 37 cities in the United States and Canada -- including one in St. Louis-- and sold tickets online. They contacted area mosques to spread the word.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 15

Local Muslims flock to Islamic movie

Many in the local Muslim community said they want the movie to educate others about Islamic beliefs. "After September 11th, it has been a great opportunity to learn about Islam," said Osama Idlibi, of the Muslim-American Society of Charlotte. "This movie actually depicts what Islam is and actually the history of Islam and who the prophet Muhammad was, and how he lived his life."

News 14 Carolina, November 15

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Hmmm. Just read the full article, which ends with these few dubious paragraphs describing one sequence in the film:


Muhammad's followers have left Mecca, and a Christian king in Abyssinia offers them asylum. In an exchange, the Muslims try to explain how their beliefs are not far from Christianity.

The king stands, looks up at the ceiling, throws his hands high, and says: "What we believe and what you believe are like these two beams of light -- separate yet coming from the same source."

"That message, simple as it sounds, needs to be understood by everyone," says Sally Abdelhafiz, 34, a Reston human resources worker. "It is the same source. You call your god, God. We call our god, Allah."

She pauses. "What's so different about that?"



Edited by Christian

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Has anyone, or is anyone planning to see this? I'm really keen, but although the IMDB does now have a page for it it doesn't seem like its going to get much of a release over here.

That Leicester has a huge Islamic population so I'm optimistic that I might get the chance sometime.


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Found the NY Times article interesting, for a number of reasons

: Trimmed from its original 4

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Movie planned on life of Prophet Mohammad

A movie drama about the life of the Prophet Mohammad is to go into production soon, and will be only the second English-language film of its kind ever made, its producers said on Monday.

"The Messenger of Peace" will be a remake of Moustapha Akkad's "The Message," a 1977 Hollywood classic starring Anthony Quinn which is often applauded by Muslims as an example of how commercial Western cinema can respect Islam.

Reuters, October 27

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