Starring the voice of Ming-Na Wen, B.D. Wong, Eddie Murphy, Miguel Ferrer and Pat Morita
Directed by Barry Cook and Tony Bancroft
This film was my annual birthday film. I see a movie every year on my birthday, and this year I picked Mulan. You’ve got to love the Disney animated film. They represent the idealization of society! Every woman is babe, every man is a hunk, and everyone has a goofy sidekick! You instantly know who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy. I mean, if I could live in any fantasy world I would pick Disney animated movies.
I will admit, I was a little worried when I first heard of the plot of Mulan. A woman who disguises herself as a man so she can join the army. Therefore, her ailing father won’t have to. How could this be a musical? Well, Disney pulls their usual charm, and it is indeed a musical. When we first meet Mulan, she’s getting ready to go meet the village matchmaker, and she soon discovers she wants much more to life than simply being a wife. When Shan-Yu and the Huns breach the great wall, the call goes out for one man from each family to join the army. Mulan has no brothers, so her ailing father joins, and so then she disguises herself as a man and takes off to join the army! In order to look out for Mulan, her ancestors send Mushu, a midget dragon who can be a full-blown guardian again if he brings Mulan home alive. Oh, and somewhere along the way Mulan falls in love with her captain, Shang.
That’s pretty much the plot. As with the ususal Disney animated film, the animation is beautiful! The songs, well, they aren’t as good as they could have been. Disney has had trouble doing a decent soundtrack since The Lion King. Mushu, however, with the voice of Eddie Murphy, is the funniest sidekick since the Genie in Aladdin. Every scene he’s in will have you laughing out loud. The best scene, however, is this skinny-dipping scene where Mulan tries to disguise her womanhood while swimming with three other soldiers! The only drawback to this film is the songs. Why can’t Disney have the courage to do a non-musical? But hey, I bought the soundtrack, so I should quit whining. It is Disney’s best animated film since Lion King.