|June 19, 1998|
|Robert D. San Souci|
|Walt Disney Pictures|
|Animation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Musical, War
With epic battles and self-empowerment songs, it is hard not to enjoy “Mulan”. As I’ve learned over the years, Disney knows how to make, not only enjoyable films, but films that stand apart from one other, truly creating a collection of morals and characters so different and broad on a spectrum that there’s normally 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’s severe consequences here, as she’ll be beheaded if she’s discovered but with a trusty ancestral dragon (voiced by Eddie Murphy) by her side, she’s given an actual 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, and overall, the film is completely enjoyable, regardless.
There’s tons of feminist theory at work in the film, adding an entirely new level to the Disney work, and 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 Disney memory, “Mulan” is the perfect example of a character young people can aspire to be, reaching for what they want instead of doing what they are told, and finding their voice in the process.