Rameses the second is the main antagonist in the 1998 film The Prince of Egypt. He was the one held responsible by his father when he and Moses caused trouble. As he is the heir to the throne, his father placed a lot of pressure on him to be able to bear the responsibilities of being a leader capable of carrying on his legacy and ruling Egypt so it would prosper. This instiled in him the fear of letting his father down and is the cause of his stubbornness with Moses later in the film when he refuses to set the Hebrews free for fear of being "the weak link" that jeapordises what his predecesors have built up.
Rameses and Moses were very close and he was devastated when he left. He suceeded his father Seti as pharoah of Egypt some time during the years Moses was away. When Moses returned to free the Hebrew slaves, he was elated to have his brother back and welcomes him, but when he learns why he has come, his love for his brother conflicts with his interest for his kingdom's prosperity. After the final plague that claimed his firstborn son, his relationship with his brother is completely broken and turns to outright hate, as although he finally agreed to let Moses's people go, he rallies his army and goes after them intending to massacre them. Moses and the Hebrews are saved by the parting of the Red Sea that allowed them to escape and drowned Rameses's army as they tried to pursue, completely ending his relationship with his brother.
Role in Film
Later, shown as a 22 year old Rameses and Moses are racing in chariots. This destroys a temple and soon he is reprimanded by Pharaoh. At the feast, later that evening, he inspects Tzipporah, who nearly bites his hand. After Moses has her pushed into a pool, Rameses then crowns Moses as Chief Architect. The next day, Moses saves an old man from being whipped but accidentally kills the guard delivering the beating. Despite Rameses insisting Moses stays and it was an accident, his brother escapes into the desert.
Sometime later, Pharaoh and his wife pass away and Rameses gains the throne of Egypt. He later has a son and when Moses and Tzipporah arrive from Midian, and Moses orders Rameses to free the Hebrews, he refuses. Later, while Rameses is on his boat on the Nile, the water is transformed into blood. As the days pass, God releases plagues onto Egypt such as locusts eating crops and rendering fields infertile and fire raining from the sky. Rameses, however is undeterred. God then releases the final plague: death to the first born Egyptians. He spares the Hebrew children, however and the Egyptian first born die. Rameses in particular is affected by this and tells Moses his people are free. As the Hebrews arrive at the Red Sea, Rameses and his soldiers appear and pursue them. God releases a pillar of fire to block their path and the Hebrews cross the sea. The waters close and the Egyptians drown. Rameses is spared and washed ashore. He later screams out Moses' name in anguish.
- Rameses is played by Ralph Fiennes who also played Lord Voldemort the primary antagonist of the Harry Potter series and M in the James Bond series.
- Ralph Fiennes's brother Joseph Fiennes later voiced Proteus, also a prince, in another Dreamworks animated feature Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.
- Historically, the real Ramesses II is known being close to if not the greatest builder among the Pharoahs and had extensive building projects throughout Egypt and Nubia. This is shown in the movie by Rameses's ambition and enthusiams in his new role as Prince Regeant to rebuilt the temple he and Moses destroyed. He had also built monuments of himself later on as Pharoah that were shown being damaged by the plagues later on in the movie.
- Rameses II is the first DreamWorks character related to the protagonist to change a decision regarding the protagonist. Rameses II initially allowed Moses and the Hebrews to leave Egypt, but pursued them to the Red Sea trying to kill them. The second character (and propably the only other one) to do so was Princess Fiona: she vowed to tell Shrek about her curse, but seemed to have broken her vow as she tried to kiss Farquaad in order to break the curse, thereby ensuring that Shrek would have possibly never known about it.
- Also, neither one was actually related to the protagonist when they made this decision (Moses had possibly re-entered his real famiy by the time Rameses II allowed him to bring the Hebrews to their home, Fiona was yet to marry Shrek when she decided to tell him about her curse)
- Also, on both occasions, their attempts to stop the protagonist from doing what they had previously allowed them to do failed (Rameses II, with the help of God, was presumebly drowned in the Red Sea, Shrek successfully halted the wedding until sunset, thereby revealing Fiona's curse)