D50: Mulan

Mulan is another one of my childhood favorites. I watched this so many times on that pirated VHS that my parents bought the weak it came out. But this had a lot to do with the fact that my mom also loved it. It is one of the few Disney movies that I’ve constantly watched as I grew up. And after watching it for the purpose of this project, I must say that the years have not diminished my love for it. Of course, now as an adult I love it for additional reasons than when I did as a child (awesome action and a funny dragon). So, for me, it is one of the greats.

Like I said, when I was young I loved this movie because it had some awesome action sequences and I loved Mushu. But now I appreciate it in many more levels, particularly the artistic one. First off, the animation is great. Yes, it is not as detailed as Sleeping Beauty or Beauty & the Beast, but they did that on purpose. The animators wanted to make the characters look like they were traditional Chinese drawings, and the backgrounds to look like the paper they were painted on, with little obstruction from the details. Second, the voice performances are great. I mean, they are not outstanding, but the give the proper life to the characters and they don’t get in the way of the story. The only one that does distract is Eddie Murphy as Mushu, but I honestly think that he was perfectly cast and brought a lot to the overall quality of the movie.

The other thing that I appreciate more now is the story. This is not only Disney’s best “girl power” movie, but it also succeeds in other areas. It does a pretty good job on covering topics like respect for the elders, the drive to make your family proud, and to an extent the importance of knowing and respecting your ancestry.

The only weaknesses it has are the songs. I don’t mind how they used them here, as they are a nice transition between events. But the lyrics are kind of weak. I do, however love “Reflection”. I’d also say that the villain is kind of weak, but the movie is not really about the villain. He is just a plot device to keep the story moving along.

Mulan is one of my favorite Disney movies, plain and simple. I understand that this would rub some folks the wrong way, but every time I watch it I can’t help but get involved it in and have a blast.


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