MULAN

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JUNE 29, 2013

With epic battles and self-empowerment songs, it is hard not to enjoy “Mulan.” As I’ve learned over the years, Walt Disney knows how to make not only enjoyable films but films that stand apart from one other, genuinely creating a collection of morals and characters so different and broad on a spectrum that there usually’s something for everyone.

“Mulan” sees a young, Chinese girl who doesn’t fit the mold of what her parents want, and so she ventures out into war in place of her father. There are severe consequences here, as she’ll be beheaded if discovered, but with a trusty ancestral dragon (voiced by Eddie Murphy) by her side, she’s given a real chance. The songs may not compare to those of “The Lion King” or “Aladdin,” but the voice acting is top-notch. The animation is impeccable. Overall, the film is delightful, regardless.

There’s tons of feminist theory at work in the film, adding an entirely new level to the Disney work. Even though the pacing is often off and the film flies by, the story and characters remain memorable and distinct. Even with one of the most forgettable and two-dimensional villains in recent memory, “Mulan” is the perfect example of a character young people can aspire to be. They can learn to reach for what they want instead of only following orders and finding their voice in the process.

RELEASE DATE
June 19, 1998

DIRECTOR
Barry Cook
Tony Bancroft

WRITTEN BY
Rita Hsiao
Philip LaZebnik
Chris Sanders
Eugenia Bostwick-Singer
Raymond Singer
Robert D. San Souci (story)

BASED ON
“Ballad of Mulan”
by Guo Maoqian

STUDIO
Walt Disney Pictures

G

ANIMATION
ADVENTURE
FAMILY
FANTASY
MUSICAL
WAR

88 minutes

COMPOSER
Jerry Goldsmith

EDITOR
Michael Kelly

CAST
Ming-Na Wen
Eddie Murphy
BD Wong
Miguel Ferrer
June Foray
James Hong
Pat Morita
George Takei

PRODUCED BY
Pam Coats

BUDGET
$90 million

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