This has to be one of my favourite Disney Classics. Number 36. And not to be forgotten or lost in the mass. This is one of the Disney films projecting a strong moral to the story, I know all Disney films send a message, but this one in particular is different to others before it, and should be acknowledged as one of the most important ones.
If you haven’t seen this film or even know the plot, then I will explain now. ‘Mulan’ is set in China, and when China are under attack by the Huns led by Shan Yu, the only thing they can do is to build an army strong enough to defeat them. This brings in Mulan, a young woman who doesn’t quite fit in, she’s not like all the other girls, the ones who put beauty first, that they must be married off to a great man and uphold the family honour. Instead, Mulan values thought and knowledge. When her injured father is called to the army, Mulan does the only thing she can think of, which happens to be high treason… Pretend she is male and fight in the place of her father so he would not have to go. Mulan, now Ping, is transported into a different life, but luckily she has the help of one of her ancestors, guaranteed it is one ancestor that was demoted, but nevertheless he is there every step of the way, this is Mushu (a voice you would probably recognise as Eddie Murphy – even if you only recognise it through Donkey from ‘Shrek’). Mushu is one of the best characters, he is comical, spirited, and definitely an improvement in the film, without him it wouldn’t be as near as great, and yes that does go to Eddie Murphy as he does it so excellently! However, it’s not just Mulan and Mushu, of course she has her horse and the luckiest cricket, because of course it is Disney, there needs to be animals!
‘Mulan’ is a musical, although not so much as other films, especially newer films. Also, they aren’t the best Disney songs out there, though I do love ‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You’ and of course the most popular of the film, ‘Reflection’. Oh, there’s ‘A Girl Worth Fighting For’, as well! Other than that, I can’t actually remember any other songs, maybe there isn’t many others, or maybe they just don’t stick out as much. I think one of the reasons for this is that the actors that voice the characters, don’t do the singing, they have different singing actors to those speaking. But regardless of this, I don’t think it makes much of a difference, yes it’s less of a musical, but still a classic great film. The film more revolves around the plot of the story, rather than the film being carried by songs.
So the moral of the film, is very gender based. It’s a Disney film of women being able to act the same as men and do the same things as them as well, for them to be taken more seriously than just marriage. Obviously a very important message, this has changed now anyway but it is a film set in the past, being made in 1998. I think this makes ‘Mulan’ a film so different from the older Disney’s, especially if you go back to the beginning. ‘Snow White’ is so different to ‘Mulan’, don’t get me wrong I love ‘Snow White’ being the first Disney Princess, however I definitely prefer ‘Mulan’.
This is a film with comedy, action and little bit of romance, and I mean like the smallest amount. Because the film is revolved around family honour and ancestors, we are transported to a different life from the other Disney films which is great. There is action in the film, the villain is quite creepy, and could be scary for some children, although he is a great villain to go against Mulan. The film is based in a war, so action and adventure in the film is understandable, although I do think it’s great and again different from other Disney’s. It is done well, it isn’t a film to scare children, obviously, it is a kid’s film. And like I’ve already mentioned, there is comedy, I even find it funny now.
As you can tell, I would definitely recommend ‘Mulan’. One of my favourites. Different from so many, yet enjoyable, comical, action-filled and a strong moral of the story. Watch ‘Mulan’ for an enjoyable hour and a half. Especially if you’re a fan of Disney and haven’t seen it!