Who is that girl I see, staring straight back at me?
Mulan is Disney's 36th Animated Classic and is directed by Tony Bancroft (The Lion King) and Barry Cook (Beauty & The Beast). The film stars Ming-Na Wen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Mulan and Eddie Murphy (Shrek) as Mushu. Mulan secretly takes her fathers place in the army to save him from death and happens to become one of China's greatest heroines. Mulan is one of the first Disney princesses to show signs of female empowerment.
For the time it was produced, Mulan is animated wonderfully. However, if you were to compare it to any of Disney's latest releases (Frozen, Tangled), Mulan doesn't fair very well (animation side of things). I will not criticise the animation skills as Mulan was probably one of the best animated films of 1998. The film did look really good and was of a great quality - considering the age of the film. The animation is also very bright and colourful which is really nice to see - it is a pleasure to the eye.
The plot of Mulan is very refreshing. It is one of the first Disney films to show signs of female empowerment. Even though to fit in, Mulan has to pretend to be a male, in the end she happens to be more helpful and courageous than any of the male characters. Mulan also doesn't fit into her society - she doesn't want to be skinny or wear pretty dresses and makeup, she fights for what she believes in. This was really nice to see. The story is also quite humorous- especially the character of Mushu who is played (voice) by Eddie Murphy. This was the first time I had ever seen this film and I was really impressed with the story and character of Mulan. She joins Elsa and Merida in the empowered women club. Go Mulan!
The music to this film is also fantastic! 'I'll Make a Man Out of You' is incredibly catchy and will stay in your head for the rest of the day - it is feel-good Disney at its best! 'Reflection' is also a very heartfelt ballad. The song is when Mulan realises that she needs to be her own person and stand up for what she thinks is right.
The only reason I wouldn't rate Mulan higher is that it has no WOW moments - it is just nice. The plot is unique but nice. The characters are nice. The songs are nice. I don't think Mulan has much depth to the story. I understand that she doesn't want to fit in which I think is great but I feel certain parts of the film could have been developed a little better.
Surprisingly unique and a great movie for female empowerment - Mulan is animation at its best (for 1998) and has a wonderful soundtrack. It is a pity that the film focuses too much on the female empowerment side of things and not enough on story development. None-the-less Mulan has earned its place as one of Disney's best animated feature films.
Who is that girl I see, staring straight back at me? - It is certainly not your stereotypical Disney princess.