|This article is about the 1998 movie. You may be looking for the AMW with the same name.|
Mulan is a 1998 American animated musical action comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation for Walt Disney Pictures. It is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, and was Disney's 36th animated feature. It was directed by Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook, with story by Robert D. San Souci and screenplay by Rita Hsiao, Philip LaZebnik, Chris Sanders, Eugenia Bostwick-Singer, and Raymond Singer. It starred Ming-Na, Eddie Murphy, the late Miguel Ferrer and B. D. Wong in the English version, while Jackie Chan provided the voice of Captain Li Shang for the Chinese dubs of the film.
Fearful that her ailing father will be drafted into the Chinese military, Mulan takes his spot. Though, as a woman living under a patriarchal regime, she is technically unqualified to serve. She cleverly impersonates a man and goes off to train with fellow recruits. Accompanied by her dragon, Mushu, she uses her smarts to help ward off a Hun invasion, falling in love with a dashing captain along the way.
Why It Rocks
- It stays true to the Chinese culture.
- Beautiful animation.
- Great voice acting.
- Mushu (Eddie Murphy) is a great comic relief character.
- Mushu's infamous line, "Dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow", is funny to the point where it has gained some memetic mutation.
- It delivers a nice message that women can be just as brave, strong and heroic as men.
- Great music score by Jerry Goldsmith.
- Cool action scenes, notably the ones involving Shan Yu and the Huns.
- Awesome songs such as Reflection and I'll Make a Man Out of You.
- Shan Yu is considered to be one of the darkest characters in terms of Disney villains.
- ”You missed! How could you miss!? He was three feet in front of you!!”
- While very intimidating and dark, Shan Yu is a really forgettable villain.
- Some historical accuracies. For example, Mulan cutting her hair to disguise as a man, which doesn't fit historically as Chinese men usually kept their hair long.
- The film is based on the Chinese legend of “Hua Mulan” – a female warrior who disguised herself as a man to prevent her father from being conscripted into the army. The earliest record of her story appears in the poem “The Ballad of Mulan,” which has been passed down for generations.
- Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida – a satellite animation studio located in Walt Disney World in Orlando – produced three feature-length films, starting with Mulan in 1998.
- This is the first Disney animated film to feature an Asian heroine.
- Mulan was voiced by two actresses – one for speaking and one for singing. The speaking role went to Ming-Na Wen, but the songs were performed by Tony Award winner Lea Salonga. You may recognize Salonga’s voice as she also performed the songs for Princess Jasmine in the Disney classic Aladdin. Mulan was not the only character that was voiced by multiple actors. Actor BD Wong shared the role of Shang with Donny Osmond who sang “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”
- Disney animators often pull characteristics from the voice actors when designing their characters – and Ming-Na Wen, the voice of Mulan, was no exception. After noticing that Wen had a habit of touching her hair, the artists decided that Mulan would, too.
- Jackie Chan did the voice for Shang and performed the song “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” in the Mandarin and Cantonese versions of the film.
- The character of Mulan is the only Disney Princess before Moana who isn’t actually royalty. She wasn’t born into royalty, nor does she marry a prince.
- Christina Aguilera, a former Mickey Mouse Club member, made her debut on the charts in 1998 at the age of 16 with the song “Reflection” from the Mulan soundtrack.
- The film’s directors, Barry Cook and Tony Brancoft, make a cameo in the film – they can be seen as the men lighting the fireworks near the end of the movie.
- Due to the success of the animated classic, Disney produced a live action remake of Mulan, set to be released in 2020. Its director, Niki Caro, is the second female director to helm a $100 million film for Disney after Ava DuVernay for A Wrinkle in Time.