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The Secret of Mulan (1998)

Video  |   |  Animation, Family, Musical
5.2
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Set under the magnificent shadows of the Great Wall of China. This epic family tale unfolds as Mulan, a headstrong country girl and a heroic prince battle to save their homeland from the evil conqueror, Mala Khan.

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Title: The Secret of Mulan (Video 1998)

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Lisa DeSimone ...
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Set under the magnificent shadows of the Great Wall of China. This epic family tale unfolds as Mulan, a headstrong country girl and a heroic prince battle to save their homeland from the evil conqueror, Mala Khan.

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The story of Mulan has never been portrayed more weirdly
23 July 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Secret of Mulan is not the worst of UAV Corporation's animations (it is better than The Secret of the Hunchback for instance), but it is a contender for their weirdest.

Best asset? Definitely the soundtrack, which is almost as good as the one for The Secret of Anastasia and much better than The Secret of the Hunchback's. The music score is whimsical and rousing, Mala-Khan's theme gets embedded in the brain and is the most memorable thing of the entire animation and Mulan's song My Home, My Country is a truly beautiful one, movingly meaningful and hopeful. Mulan is a likable character, charming, headstrong and heroic which makes her easy to relate to, Mala-Khan does pose a reasonably good threat and doesn't come over as goofy a villain and while the outcome can be smelt a mile away even from the opening scene the climax is quite riveting, that and My Home, My Country are the most interesting scenes in the film.

Unfortunately the animation is not great really, it is a little better than that in …Anastasia and …Hunchback because some of the backgrounds are quite nice and detailed but it's also flatly and gaudily coloured, the action can be awkwardly edited and the characters look weird (even within the anthropomorphic concept) in design, rough in drawing and stiff in movement. The script has some really corny dialogue that makes lighter parts seem forced and nearly as clichéd and over-familiar as The Secret of the Hunchback's writing. While it was closer for it to contain a couple of elements of the legend, the story generally lacks tension, there were a few nice relationships with the characters but not enough is done with them, and drags as a result of not being able to sustain the running time, making it feel longer than the short length it actually was.

In terms of characters, the only ones that came close to interesting were Mulan and Mala-Khan, the rest were underdeveloped, the traitor's decision making was quite sudden and could have been better explored, or unnecessary (including a forced 'jewish' stereotype that felt very out of place), and of the voice cast those characters were the only ones for whom the voices stood out, the rest sounded bland or uninterested. To conclude, not terrible and watchable for the soundtrack but pretty weird. 4/10 Bethany Cox


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