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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.
MULAN, in my opinion, is pure Disney magic. If you ask me, what Mulan (voice of Ming-Na) did was absolutely brave. If my father were in the same situation, I'd probably do the same thing. I really enjoyed the music, especially "True To Your Heart," by 98 Degrees and Stevie Wonder. Also, I was surprised to see that Eddie Murphy was in this as the voice of Mushu. Before I wrap this up, I'd like to say that everyone involved in this film did very well. Now, in conclusion, I highly recommend this film that's pure Disney magic to all of you who haven't seen it. You're in for a good time, so go to the video store, rent it or buy it, kick back with a friend, and watch it.
Mulan is a very good movie. Simple, yet moving. It is certainly not
traditional Disney film.
Mulan is a film where the tragedy and comedy is wisely mixed. It balances itself wittily, except one last minor thing. In the end they should not have used nowadays music style to express happy end. Otherwise the score was great. I give 10 out of 10 for music. Osmond and Salonga are first rate musical singers and do their part superbly. I have also heard mandarin version of "Man out of You" with Jackie Chan and to tell the truth I found it even better than English version. Although I do not understand the language, I felt the poise in the singing, and it was superb. So for Chan I add one extra point 11 out of 10.
The Huns were presented as evil as could get, yet wise, which gave depth to their characters. The battle scene in the middle of the film has very interesting and good angles in cinematography. Very well thought out.
The supporting characters were good. Mushu was very well created character and had some very funny lines. Usually many sidekicks are too overwritten, but Mushu, even when talking too much, had something to say as well. Murphy did great job. There were some lines even that were spine chilling (Emperor's).
Although the movie was very well paced and intelligently created, it was not perfect. And simply because it tried to be too commercial. If some cheap jokes were omitted, it could have been great.
Overall I give 9 out of 10 and highly recommend for everybody. One of the triumphs of Disney indeed, and worthy partner to The Lion King.
Every Disney movie is always advertised as "a masterpiece", but Mulan is
one of the few that REALLY fit the bill. The animation itself is simple and
flowing, reminiscent of ancient Chinese art. But the animation for this is
really something else. In fact, this is the best thing since The Lion
Mulan is a young girl who does her best to bring honor to her family. Then, when the Hun army invades China, one man from every household must serve in the Imperial Army. Since Mulan has no older brothers, her crippled father must serve. And it's obvious, early on in the movie, that it's impossible for him to fight with a crippled leg. There's a great likelihood that this man is going to die in battle.
So, out of the sheer love for her father, Mulan disguises herself in his armor and takes his place in the army.
This movie isn't about some gal going off to war to prove herself, or break free from the caste system, like so many other Disney heroines. And it isn't about "finding your prince and living happily ever after". Mulan goes for the simple love of her father and because of the her dedication to her family. She risks losing everything to SAVE everything.
Mulan is a wonderful movie because the main character is realistic. She's not perfect, she has her faults, and we all identify with her because we all try out best to please our fathers. This is one of the few movies I watched with my dad that he really liked, and he isn't that fond of animated stuff. It's a great film.
And that's what makes a true masterpiece.
The depth of talent at Disney is frightening. It's interesting the
character animation here with that in "The Prince of Egypt" - no contest
all. Every character in "Mulan" is well, brilliantly, perfectly animated,
and many great animators at Disney didn't even touch the project. A
here who said that the animation "lacks detail" merely betrays his (her?)
ignorance. One must distinguish between character design and animation:
former is what a still drawing of a character displays, the latter is the
art of moving a character around. The animation was full of detail. I
that every one of the 24-per-second frames conveyed something of value.
character design, on the other hand, *was* deliberately simplified, but I
don't see how anyone could deny that this approach was both beautiful and
fitting; and since everything (backgrounds and effects animation) had the
same stylistic simplicity, the characters were more solidly in place than
they usually are in animation.
(The effects animation was creative and also streets ahead of "The Prince of Egypt". As was the use of computers. Watch the Great Wall scene closely: you might be able to *deduce* that computers were involved, but you certainly won't feel that they were. Computer imagery has been misused with ghastly results in everything from "Aladdin" to "The Phantom Menace". Finally someone has it right.)
I won't comment on the story - I'm still moved by it, but then I'm a sucker for that kind of thing. I'll get to my one complaint. It's not the music. Yes, the music was ultra-1980s with the odd pentatonic scale; but that's not intrinsically worse than being ultra-1990s with the odd pentatonic scale, and it has the advantage that we know immediately the worst about how dated it will sound (less dated than you'd expect). No: my problem is Eddie Murphy. He is painfully unfunny and his introduction made me sigh wearily. He doesn't belong here. I don't have anything against comic relief, but Disney should have trusted their animators to provide it. When Mushu is funny, it's the animators' doing - and on those occasions the humour is not at odds with the story.
That one criticism pains me to make. Swallowing "Mulan" whole, Eddie Murphy and all, it's still a fine movie and a reason for optimism about the future of hand-drawn animation.
Perhaps I am not the best person to review Disney cartoons...I spend
too much of my time thinking things like......Hey they seem to be
wearing Tang Dynasty clothes but they are practicing ancestor worship
which was not introduced until the birth of the Neo-Confucian religion
in the Song Dynasty.
However Chinese stories have always gone through a process of growth and change, with elements added and removed by different story tellers and at different times.
Disney's Mulan tells the historic/legendary story of Hua Mu Lan, a character popular with Chinese woman.
The historical innacurracies are really just a Disney Uber-China where the core elements of Chinese history are fused for the purposes of story telling.
I avoided seeing this movie for a long time because of the feeling that it would be racist. In many ways it was. Firstly it projects a western view that Asian women are meant to be stupid and compliant, when in fact Asian women are meant to be intelligent, well read, educated and capable and Chinese literature often admires these women. However the world's of women and men are meant to separate. The idea of women being brainless is a Western culture value projected onto Asia. The idea of women not being determined or strong is also a western culture value.
The other problem is the portrayal of the Huns as yellow eyed inhuman creatures or demons.
But the is the world of Disney. The good guys are good and the bad guys bad. The values of families sticking together, good beating evil, try your best etc are the 1950s American values that have lived on at Disney.
However it is an enjoyable story, and I watch it in China, in Inner Mongolia (Mongolians being from the same region as the Huns), with Chinese and Mongolians....and well they weren't offended....
and it is a lovely story, funny, sad, serious, with a lot of beautiful shots, heroic battles, clever dialog in the Disney fashion. Not an artist masterpiece, but a nice pick-me-up movie on a cold dreary night in Mongolia.
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