Mulan

June 19th, 1998








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Mulan

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Plot
To save her father from death in the army, a Chinese maiden secretly goes in his place and becomes one of China's greatest heroes in the process.

Release Year: 1998

Rating: 7.2/10 (56,208 voted)

Critic's Score: 71/100

Director: Tony Bancroft

Stars: Ming-Na, Eddie Murphy, BD Wong

Storyline
This retelling of the old Chinese folktale is about the story of a young Chinese maiden who learns that her weakened and lame father is to be called up into the army in order to fight the invading Huns. Knowing that he would never survive the rigours of war in his state, she decides to disguise herself and join in his place. Unknown to her, her ancestors are aware of this and to prevent it, they order a tiny disgraced dragon, Mushu to join her in order to force her to abandon her plan. He agrees, but when he meets Mulan, he learns that she cannot be dissuaded and so decides to help her in the perilous times ahead.

Writers: Robert D. San Souci, Rita Hsiao

Cast:
Miguel Ferrer - Shan-Yu (voice)
Harvey Fierstein - Yao (voice)
Freda Foh Shen - Fa Li (voice)
June Foray - Grandmother Fa (voice)
James Hong - Chi Fu (voice)
Miriam Margolyes - The Matchmaker (voice)
Pat Morita - The Emperor (voice)
Eddie Murphy - Mushu (voice)
Marni Nixon - Grandmother Fa (singing voice)
Soon-Tek Oh - Fa Zhou (voice)
Donny Osmond - Shang (singing voice)
Lea Salonga - Mulan (singing voice)
James Shigeta - General Li (voice)
George Takei - First Ancestor (voice)
Jerry Tondo - Chien-Po (voice) (as Jerry S. Tondo)

Taglines: The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.



Details

Official Website: Offical Disney Site |

Release Date: 19 June 1998



Box Office Details

Budget: $70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $22,745,143 (USA) (21 June 1998) (2888 Screens)

Gross: $120,618,403 (USA) (6 December 1998)



Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Philippines:



Did You Know?

Trivia:
The third Disney score from Jerry Goldsmith after One Little Indian and Night Crossing. It was also his last Academy Award nomination.

Goofs:
Continuity: When Mulan changes into a man, the ribbon in her bun changes color from green to brown and other colors and then back to green.

Quotes:
Yao: [at the waterhole] Hey, Ping.
Mulan: Oh, hi, guys. I didn't know you were here. I was just washing, so now I'm clean, and I'm gonna go. Bye-bye!
Ling: Come back here! I knew we were jerks to you before, so, let's start over. Hi, I'm Ling.
Chien-Po: And I'm Chien-Po.
Mulan: Hello, Chien-Po.
Yao: [standing naked on a rock] And I am Yao, king of the rock!
[mildly sneering]
Yao: And there's nuttin' you girls can do about it.
Ling: Oh, yeah? Well, I think Ping and I can take you.
Mulan: I really don't want to take him anywhere.
[...]



User Review

Why Mulan sticks out as a great Disney film.

Rating:

I was impressed by this Disney film for so many reasons, too many to list here, but I will go on the record as saying that Mulan has got to be one of the best Disney female characters that ever saw production, in the midst of a colorful and artistic film, that will resonate in your memory.

Mulan sticks out in my mind for this reason. For once, we have a strong female lead, or at the least, stronger than most of them. She isn't counted among the Disney "princesses" line-up. She doesn't want for herself, and she seeks to look deeper within herself to discover her inner being. She isn't like Ariel, who wants to be someone else. She isn't like Jasmine, who sits in luxury, waiting to be swept off her feet by Prince Charming, just like Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and almost any female character that Disney brings to life. And while she does share some traits among this list, she stands out because she does something that these do not. She uses her mind.

Mulan, in fact, has more in common with male Disney leads than the female Disney leads. Mulan is a thinker, and a do-er. She's resourceful, like Aladdin. She is quick to act, like Eric (mermaid.) And she sacrifices herself for the sake of others, like Hercules. She also speaks her mind, even in a culture that does not allow such a thing. She doesn't waste time pining about "will I ever find true love?" Indeed, we see that she has an attraction to Shang (as he was her husband in the legends,) but we see her uncomfortable and unsure of meeting the Match-maker. She begs for her father's life when Chi-Fu came to the village. When you see her make her decision to take her father's place in the army, she does so out of her love for him, valuing his life above hers. She doesn't wish to become a man to see what it is like or for a change. Only to save his life. She later doubts herself and her reasons for going, but she did so because of her inner strengths, something other female Disney leads too often lack. (And it is these strengths that Shang is attracted to at the end.)

This movie also has a simple, but very effective villain, Shan Yu. Though not as memorable as Jafar or Ursula, he is more effective and more menacing because he is not fantastic. By that, I mean that he is not magical, he holds no special power. He is portrayed as a man, and as a man that could have truly existed, performing vicious acts that men do. We see the destruction that his army lays to a village, and when Mulan finds the doll, it shows that Shan Yu left no one living, man, woman or child. This is what makes him so effective as a villain, showing how truly human he indeed is. Granted, the producers did not develop him in any great depth, but they showed enough of him to remind us of his threat to China. Besides, sometimes the better villains are the ones you don't know too much about, or see a lot of.

Of the rest of the supporting cast, I will only mention four of them as being memorable in any real way. Chi-Fu, the emperor's consultant, was a reminder of the way many men looked at women in this culture. He thrusts his head up when Mulan begs for her father's life, and when she is discovered to be a woman, though she is a hero, he is quick to insult her, and to order her execution, simply because she impersonated a man. The other three were, of course, her comrades, Ling, Yao, and Chian Po. Though they were mainly comic relief (almost like a 3 stooges set,) they remained loyal to Mulan and trusted her fully, even after she was discovered. I like them, because they were not discriminatory to her in any way, even trying to stop her execution. When Mulan told them she had an idea to help the emperor faster, they were the first to her side, even when Shang was still reluctant to do so.

Overall, a wonderful movie to the Disney list. If you haven't seen it, then do so, you won't regret it.

And yes, Mushu was a cool character as well.

**** In Response to an earlier post by Phoenix-1 **** To expect any movie to accurately portray history in any way is lunacy. Even those movies that come close to historical accuracy are flawed in many ways. This was a way of telling a story, as any movie is. It can be argued that it tries to provoke curiosity in another culture, but it is also meant to entertain. I would also like to point out that Mulan is really not "historical," like Joan of Arc, but rather she is a legend, much like Hercules and Aladdin, who also come from the realm of myth, stories and legends. And while there is some difference between the original legend and this movie, your examples of how Disney would butcher tales of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln do not compare to this story in any way. Your arguments for comparison should be better applied to Pocahontas, as she was an actual historical figure.




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