With an entirely new set of actors, this movie continues the story from Swordsman (1990). Blademaster and his martial arts school decide to retire to a distant mountain. Before leaving, he ... See full summary »
This version of MuLan was produced at least 30 years before Disney's MuLan, and tells a more PG-13 story than Disney's. The story addresses many identity exploration issues, including proper soldier etiquette (possibly as a commentary for perceived fallacies in military conduct of ancient/old China).
This excellent version is also presented like a Traditional Chinese Opera, complete with traditional kung fu-dancing and singing, however, it has multiple unique sets like a regular movie. Thank goodness for English Subtitles! The subtitle dialog is definitely Chinese in flavor, and it is not American English.
But regardless it is a exquisite creation for its time. This version might be considered even cheesy by American tastes, for people expecting a transliteration like Mel Gibson's Hamlet or something similar. I definitely recommend this if you'd like to explore more traditional Chinese art. There's nothing wrong with the Disney version for its own sake, but this is a slightly grittier, absolutely more serious version of MuLan. This has none of the extrapolation and weirdness that is Disney's MuLan 2.
If you have trouble finding this 1964 version of MuLan, it is available via Blockbuster Online also, which is how I saw it.
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