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After watching Mulan at a local movie theater with my family, I have to admit, I was amazed. I had seen previews for it on TV, and I was disappointed. I pictured Mulan as a dark, gloomy movie about war and fighting. Honestly, it was the opposite. With the hilariously clever Mushu and cute Cri-Kee, Mulan colorfully displayed a young girl, growing up, trying to find her way and prove she is worth something to her father and to herself.
Mulan is certainly not the typical, traditional Disney film...and I applaud it for that. Focused in Ancient China, it is about a young, ordinary girl. She is not a princess (Jasmine) and she is no extraordinarily beautiful woman falling in love (Pocahontas). She is just a young girl trying to save her father and trying to prove herself.
I admit to scrutinizing Mulan for not being about a princess and not being about romance, but because of that, it proves that a movie about people, ordinary people, can do well too. Mulan came at a time when Disney movies were not as appealing as they once were (The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules), but it revived the Disney scene anyway.
While I still say that the new classics, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King are the best films Disney has produced, with well-written storylines and amazing musical scores, Mulan is a wonder of its own. The lack of music was disappointing, but nonetheless, Mulan is a wonderful movie for families, especially young girls and their fathers.
It seems that only Walt Disney has the ability to revive the movie musical. They follow a very basic track of movie plot, but that is expected when dealing with a musical. Great introductions of the characters, conflicts, and resolutions. It also joins the ranks of one of the few Walt Disney films where the main character's parents are both alive.
This is the greatest of all Disney movies I ever saw (and I'm a big fan of
Disney). The little dragon steals the show as mascot. Mulan trys to break
out of the stereotype of her time and does it in an exceptionally
I've been crying and lauging all the way through the movie. It is with Princess Mononoke, CTHD, Twin Warriors and Startrek TNG one of my all time favorites.
Except, they do still sing--as sort of narration for their emotions. The
songs are highly unmemorable (as I sit here writing this, I can only
remember the line, "I'll make a man out of you," which is from the very
worst song ever including in a Disney film.
By the way, will Disney ever have a "training session" that will last more than a couple minutes and that isn't put to a song? They did that to this movie, Hercules, Tarzan (who also grew into an adult instantaneously), and Beauty and the Beast (in that Belle changes her mind about the Beast during a song).
One more really bad thing about Mulan--Mushu is a total hinderance. I'm not just talking about his pop-culture mouth (which someone should have popped), but that he in fact causes more problems than he solves. Would it really be so much to ask if Mulan could have made the mistake that "gave away our position," instead of having Mushu shoot off a rocket? At least that way, she's redeeming her own mistake, instead of someone elses, which gives no emotional payoff. Better yet, why not have the falcon find the line of troops--after all, that's what the falcon is for, right? It scouted earlier for the general's encampment and brought back the doll, remember?
Oh, and the cross-dressing thing at the end was a little too weird--a bit too Fushigi Yugi and not really very intelligent--do you honestly think that anybody would fall for that trick, even if they were really women (especially considering what the Monguls would have done).
The best parts of the movie were the references to Japanese cartoons (anime). When Mushu fries the feathers off of the falcon, it looks like a Chocobo from the Final Fantasy series, but is just as likely a reference to the horseclaws from Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind (the director, apparently, is a devotee of Miyazaki). Another Nausicaa reference--the doll, which is similar to the one that Lord Yupa finds at the beginning of the Nausicaa movie (it crumbles, and Yupa says, "Another village has died."). Also, Mulan's hair is given incredible attention, which is not usually the case in Disney films (usually they're just pretty and blow in the wind). Just watch her hair when she bows in shame after they find out she's a she!
Beyond that, there is a good deal of emotional content, though once the possibility of execution is lifted (a life for a life), it is never mentioned again--even though the overseer, who really hated her, could have had her executed at a moments notice once she caught back up with them. And I'm sorry, but for all their knowledge and art, the Chinese were rather steadfast about their ways and about honor--they would not suddenly become so accepting of women, especially since they are still rather unaccepting of women.
First I thought this movie was going to be dumb, but hey, I found myself laughing at the way Mulan thought a man acted like. Especially while trying to hide her affections for the captain. I think this movie goes along with the Lion King, Hercules, and the Little Mermaid in my book.
Mulan came as a bit of a surprise after the rather shallow "Hunchback of
Notredame" from 1997.
Mulan is the name of a Chinese girl and takes place in ancient
China is attacked by its enemies and the emperor decides that a man from
each family must serve in the army. Mulan`s father must once again be a
soldier, but he is old and sick.
Therefore Mulan disguises herself as a boy, and takes her father`s place in
the army. But that proves to be very tough.
The animation in Mulan is simply stunning, the character-voices are good and
the songs are fine.
The thing I like about the Disney movies is that they all feel the same
totally different at the same time.
Mulan feels very authentic, as much as I could tell, and the story was fun. The songs weren't as good as the Alan Menken and Howard Ashman songs(Little Mermaid, Aladdin and more), but they were pretty nice.
The story was interesting and the action scenes were fun, even though in some bits they were a little over the top.
This is one of the best Disney pictures from "The Little Mermaid". It seems
that they have realised that their public is not only còmposed by children
and that the animation genre does not necessarily be musical to death. With
only four songs -rather good, but not as breathtaking as before- and a
BEAUTIFUL score from Jerry Goldsmith, it has some important differences from
the former Disney structure. There is no love story, but some real social
revindication -the girl is not looking forward to finding a man to marry to
and have children. The plot is well balanced showing both crude real-life
scenes and good gags.
Maybe the Disney boost? Since "The Lion King", nothing really remarkable was made... Pocahontas's plot was awful, The Hunchback just killed the original story by Victor Hugo and Hercules was a bit too childish. I guess they have been seriously encouraged by their competitors 20th, Warner and Dreamworks.
I love this movie, and so does my sister. I loved the fact, they based it in China, and they got the cultural aspects of Chinese life right. Bravo, Disney! The animation, especially during the avalanche scene, was spotless(loved that epic shot of the bird flying over the huns), and the music, especially in the attack of the huns/avalanche scene and the part where everyone bows down to Mulan towards the end(a real tear-jerker as was the "greatest honour is having you for a daughter" part) by Jerry Goldsmith was lovely too, Shan-Yu's theme was also haunting. The songs are better than they're given credit for, the best being "Reflection", "I'll Make a Man out of You" and the one in the end credits. I strongly recommend Vanessa Mae's rendition of "Reflection", which is extraordinary. The singing voices, from the likes of Lea Salonga and Donny Osmond, did match the voice actors, unlike Quest for Camelot. The characters are also very memorable; Ming Na's feisty Mulan(one of Disney's greatest female characters), George Takei's brooding ancestor, Eddie Murphy's hilarious Mushu- who bags most of the film's best lines-, BD Wong's handsome Shang, Miguel Ferrer's mysterious and often frightening Shan Yu(who actually is an effective and underrated villain despite having an all-too-easy and lame death scene) and of course Pat Morita's wise Emperor. Some aspects of the well-told story might fly over children's heads, but this is enthralling entertainment, that deserves a much higher rating. 9/10 Bethany Cox
There are some films you remember the exact day that you watched them
for the first time because they had such an influence on you. I am
certainly one of the people that enjoyed Mulan to a fuller extent than
those who still thought it was great, because I think it is near
perfect. The first time I watched Mulan I was simply overwhelmed by how
much I fell in love with the heartwarming story, strong character of
Mulan and the musical numbers. I still remember the place and time, and
how I felt.
Of course, what is to be expected of Walt Disney animations? Most all of them offer some form of entertainment or positive influence on the viewers and have now for ages. The Disney renaissance was well needed and brought along a handful of lovable new installments. Mulan is just a film that I got carried away from beginning to end. My favorite scenes are the Match Maker, river and climax scenes. I also find the quote, "The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all," to be one of my many favorite quotes that are out there.
Anyway, if you were let down by Mulan, I strongly suggest giving it one more go. I teared up, chuckled and smiled through most of the movie and it was because it is an extremely well done animation that is probably my favorite of the Walt Disney classics and masterpieces line or even animation film in general. I really do love it that much.
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