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Mulan (DVD)

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Genre: Children's DVDs / DVD released 07 May, 2007 at Abbey Home Media / Features of the DVD: PAL

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      15.05.2012 12:18
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      A superb Disney classic

      The Huns are invading China, and the Emperor makes the decision that one man from each Chinese family must join the Chinese army to help fight the invasion. Mulan is worried about her elderly father Fa Zhou who, as the only man in the family, will have to step up and fight once more. After a disastrous meeting with the Matchmaker where she becomes convinced she'll never be a bride as she just wants to be her own person, not a typical Chinese bride, Mulan decides to join the army in her father's place, cutting off her hair and disguising herself as a man named Ping. As Mulan learns to fight amongst the men of her village, she's shocked by the devastation she sees the Huns leaving across China, and is worried about whether they can win. The Fa family ancestors have sent their "Great Stone Dragon" to protect Mulan, but unknowingly, a small dragon, Mushu, has taken the deed upon himself, and is determined to save Mulan. Will Mulan be able to keep up the deception of Ping, and will the Chinese army beat the Huns once and for all?

      Although this film was made in 1998, and I was always a massive fan of the Disney films when I was a child, I somehow managed to miss watching Mulan, and never got around to seeing it since then. However, it was on TV the other day, and since I record films when I see them so Harry and I can watch them at the weekends, I decided this one was worth a go. I didn't really have any expectations going in to it, but I certainly did not expect such a thought-provoking and enjoyable children's film. Harry really enjoyed it as well, and while it took me explaining a few issues to him, he understood the idea of the tale as well and thoroughly enjoyed it, although normally he would have dismissed it as a "girl's film"!

      I will start off talking about the animation, because that is really what people have come to talk about when they see Disney films, as well as the story and the songs of course, but it's the animation which makes them so special. Although the film is now 14 years old, the animation still looks amazing and flawless. The Chinese characters are portrayed accurately, and the sweeping Chinese landscapes, battle scenes and family scenes are all given that Disney touch and look spectacular, even on a small TV screen. The characters themselves look wonderful, from the beautiful Mulan to the strong General Li Shang and are all animated to perfection. Visually, this is a masterpiece and will certainly have children glued to the screen to watch.

      The cast do a wonderful job with their roles as well. While Eddie Murphy is probably the biggest and most well-known name of the cast, it does boast some other big names including Ming-Na (best known as Dr Chen from ER) as Mulan, George Takei (Star Trek) and Miriam Margoyles in a small role as The Matchmaker. While there are voice actors for the speaking parts, the singing voices of the main 2 characters, Mulan and Li Shang are done by someone else. The wonderful Filipino singer Lea Salonga, who also voiced Princess Jasmine from Aladdin, is the voice of Mulan, and as ever delivers a stunning vocal performance, especially in the song 'Reflection'. Donny Osmond is the singing voice of General Li, and while I didn't recognise his voice, he was pleasant enough to listen to and he did a good job.

      I felt Ming-Na as Mulan's speaking voice was very good, giving across a certain innocence associated with the character, but not afraid to have a bit of fun with it, especially when Mulan is being Ping, her male counterpart. Eddie Murphy was fantastic as dragon Mushu, and puts in a typically funny comedic performance. It's very much like his performance as Donkey from the Shrek movies, and the dragon on screen so much suits his voice which is fantastic. Many of the other main actors are Chinese stars, and I haven't heard of them or seen them in anything, but as as ensemble cast, they do a great job in voicing the characters and bringing to life a community in turmoil. The songs in the movie are fantastic, as usual the Disney score writers have produced a soundtrack which is in keeping with Chinese music and sounds authentic, and the original songs written for the movie, Reflection in particular, are wonderful, and add a real sense of occasion to the film.

      The story itself is very touching, and causes some issues to come up that you wouldn't perhaps talk about with your children. Harry was very curious about why Mulan couldn't just join the Chinese army as herself, instead having to disguise herself as a man, and it provoked a nice discussion between us about why it wasn't fair, and it shows how much our children do take in without us realising! I didn't know much myself about the rest of the plot, but found it interesting to read more about the Legend of Mulan online, and it's nice to see China and its history in a mainstream film. I can't help but think this film didn't get the recognition it deserved as it is a wonderful movie that highlights not only the plight of women and girls in China, but also how Mulan was strong enough to stand up for what she believed in, and against the odds, makes a success of herself - pretty girls aren't just for marrying and being a good wife it would seem! Harry and I really enjoyed Mulan, and we'll be looking out for more Disney classics, as this one is a triumph. Brilliant.

      Directed by Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook
      Written by Robert D. San Souci (story) and Rita Hsiao (screenplay)
      Certificate: U
      Running Time: 88 minutes

      Main Cast:
      Ming-Na ... Mulan (voice)
      Donny Osmond ... Shang (singing voice)
      Lea Salonga ... Mulan (singing voice)
      James Shigeta ... General Li (voice)
      George Takei ... First Ancestor (voice)
      Miriam Margolyes ... The Matchmaker (voice)
      Pat Morita ... The Emperor (voice)
      Eddie Murphy ... Mushu (voice)
      Soon-Tek Oh ... Fa Zhou

      The DVD is currently listed on Amazon.co.uk for £14.57 as the Mulan: Musical Masterpiece version.

      Thank you for reading.

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        23.02.2010 22:35
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        Great dvd!!!

        This is another lovely dvd from the great Walt Disney - one that was
        absolutely huge when I was in America but seems to have been bypassed slightly here. Mulan never really features within the Princess merchandise category - but I don't know why, she is amazing.

        It is the story of Fa Mulan - a young girl from China who is distraught
        when her elderly Father is called up to defend the emperor in war. Her
        Father walks with a stick, and she cant bear the thoughts of him in battle
        - so she cuts her hair, steals his armour and sword and rides of into the
        knight to pretend to be a boy and fight in her fathers place.

        The voices in this movie are brilliant. Eddie Murphy does the voice of
        Mooshoo (a little stone dragon brought to life by the ghosts of Mulans
        ancestors to protect Mulan on her journey) and he is hilarious - even the
        adults will be laughing along. And Mulans beautiful singing voice is that
        of Lea Salonga (who also does the singing voice of Jasmine in Aladdin).

        The songs are amazing and will have you singing along to them relentlessly - and unlike your average princess movie, they aren't all girly songs. Theres a few comedy moments and more macho ones when Mulan is pretending to be a boy and learning how to battle.

        The worst thing about this film is the lack of merchandise. Usually, with
        Disney as soon as the film is released there is an abundance of dolls and
        clothes etc that you can buy everywhere. But ive found that Mulan stuff is
        slightly more difficult to get your hands on - which is difficult to
        explain to a three year old.

        This is a really amazing film - but is unfortunately one that has recently
        been sent back to the Disney Vault making buying it quite difficult
        (although you can rent it off love film or something). There are a few left
        to buy online if you hurry.... And trust me - if you can get your hands on it
        you will love it!

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          14.02.2010 19:45
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          A hit in my household

          Mulan is a Disney classic made in 1998. It focuses on Fa Mulan who is the only child who wants to be in the Chinese army to help her country against the invasion of the Huns and to protect her elderly father who would have to fight being the only male in the house. As she has embarrassed her family when the matchmaker visits she wants to make it up to them. She disguises herself as a man and steals her father's armour. She flees from her family to join the army in his place.

          When the ghosts of the family realise she is gone they summon up the great stone dragon to protect her but accidently a small dragon, Mushi, smashes the stone dragon and then has to go instead in the hope that he will gain the families respect once more. He goes to find Mulan along with the lucky cricket Cri Kee.
          When they catch up with Mulan they show her how to be a man but things don't go to plan. She trains to be in the army but it's not as easy as she thought. The General promotes his son to captain while he is away and he is left to train the new troops. At times this is quite funny.


          My Opinion

          As always with most Disney films there is the hilarious sidekick and Eddie Murphy once again does a fantastic job as the dragon. Having watched Shrek yesterday it's hard to forget him as Donkey! He does the comedy thing with ease and I love watching films with his sarcasm and wit in it. I don't really see the point of the cricket as it doesn't really do anything. The unusual army of all shapes and sizes is bizarre but it adds to the underdog story I suppose.
          The music is lovely and the first song 'Reflection' that we hear her singing at the beginning of the film had my daughter hooked. She is a sucker for a pretty song. The music throughout the film is fantastic in setting the atmosphere, especially when the villains are about, it makes it scarier. The leader of the Huns is quite a scary character with his yellow eyes
          The love story should have been difficult to do with Mulan being a man but it was done well. The idea that the hero is a woman is great.

          The second half of the film is more fast paced and full of action and keeps your child's attention. My children were glued to the TV.

          Overall the story is unique in that is doesn't focus on a pretty princess (although I think she is still classed as a Disney Princess) it is a great story and has enough action, comedy and a hint of romance that would be enough for girls and boys alike

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            07.02.2010 18:48
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            The bravery of a young girl

            As a huge Disney fan, Mulan is on my list of top Disney movies.
            Mulan is the story of a young Chinese girl, called Mulan (voiced by Ming-Na Wen) who struggles to find who she really is and is under pressure to make her family proud of her. As the Huns attack China, an order is issued that says that one person from each family to join the army and fight for their country.

            Because Mulan's family only has one daughter, her father must go into the army. Mulan is worried that her father does not have the strength to go and fight as he is old. So Mulan sacrifices herself to save her father. She cuts her hair and leaves during the night to join the army and fight against the Huns. Mulan must now pose a man, but if she is caught she will bring dishonour to her family.

            So because of the threat of the family being dishonoured, Mulan's ancestors summon a powerful dragon- guardian to look after Mulan. But instead a small dragon called Mushu ( Eddie Murphy) is sent to protect Mulan.

            Not only is the storyline and plot brilliant, but the songs that are in Mulan are awesome. Each time I watch it I find my self singing along with the characters.

            I recommend this movie to anyone. It has everything you could want in a movie: bravery, comedy and excitement.

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            17.05.2009 23:38

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            Good Disney entertainment that every Princess needs to make her collection complete

            Mulan is a misfit in her Chinese society and a constant source of worry to her family. Her father talks about honour and duty. The hun invades China and one male member of each family must join the imperial army to fight. Mulan sees that her father has already fought and is now an older man and injured. She argues for his cause - bringing what her father feels is shame on the family.

            That night Mulan decides to disguise herself as a Ping and sets off to join the army in her fathers place. Mulans forefathers decide to send assistance for her - in what is meant to be the shape of their formidable dragon but ends up being Mushi (Eddie Murphy) a tiny red dragon.

            Amusment ensues as the training commences - and it is felt that Ping will not make the grade but she does - this is epitomised in the "Be a Man" song - very funny.

            They go off to fight the hun and succeed in stopping them temporarily, but Ping is injured and it is then she is discovered as being a girl. She should be sentenced to death but as she has saved Captain Shang who trained her - he spares her with a life for his life.

            The team move onto the Emporers residence leaving Mulan behind. Mulan then notices the Hun and goes after them to warn of the danager. They do not believe her but before long it is apparent she tells the truth. And the final battle commences.

            Who will deserve the honour of China?

            Watch this film.

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            02.12.2008 13:09
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            movie for the family

            ==="Introduction"===
            A girl disguised as a man just to save his weak father from going to war. Now that's a child's love to her parents and family. This movie is good for the whole family to watch and will definitely will make a mark to you children's memory.

            ==="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)
            Ming-Na - Mulan

            Among the voices used, Eddie Murphy is the most popular. He plays as puny little dragon but can talk a lot! It is like his mouth is bigger than his body...LOL He plays as the guard and there to protect mulan from any danger that my happen to him. Together with the lucky cricket, they help mulan in every way they can.

            Another name WORTH mentioning is Ms. Lea Salonga. She is a Filipino like me but the difference is she is popular than me and can really sing! He won an award for miss Saigon and i can say that she is very talented. I personally support any one from our country and that's how i show my nationalism.

            ==="Plot"===
            A girl tried to be a man to releaved his father from going to war again against the Mongolians. Along the way, she is beginning to fall in love with the son of the general named shang. How long can she keep this secret to her love? How long can she keep this when shang and his teammates are already putting their trust to her? Can she handle their reactions when they finally found out the truth? Watch to find out

            Love the plot being a half-chinese and all. I believe mulan is really a hero in the Chinese history and correct me if im wrong because my mother only told me that. Since i'm a half-chinese, i appreciate anything from the Chinese culture and i also support them. Aside from that, i really enjoyed this movie.

            ==="My ratings"===
            8 out of 10 - and is almost the same with the rating of the movie industry with a rating of 7. This movie is fun the watch and i can tell since im about a child back then. I really enjoyed it. Even my parents enjoyed it. My dad was skeptic in the beginning about the movie. He said that a cartoon movie?! But once he got the hang of it, he really enjoyed it. It is really one of the best moments of my life.

            ==="My opinion"===
            My favourite scene was when mulan was taking a bath in the pond while suddenly the other gang suddenly jumped in the pond. She didn't know what to do. That's was funny. Really funny! LOL

            I also liked its soundtrack and is sung by the 98 degrees and no other than stevie wonder himself and is entitled "true to your heart".

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            29.08.2008 16:33
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            A family friendly film

            Mulan is a 1998 animated film based on the tale of Hua Mulan and produced by Walt Disney Pictures.

            Fa Mulan is the only child from an ancient and honoured family. When she goes to meet the local match maker her lucky cricket, Cri-Kee, causes disaster and Mulan manages to disgrace her family. It is at this time that the Huns begin to invade China and Mulan's aged and injured father is called upon, as the only male of the house, to become a soldier once more and fight the coming foe. Desperate to protect her father, who is unlikely to survive such battles, and prove herself Mulan disguises herself as a young man, steals her father's armor and heads to the army camp. With the aid of Cri-kee and a small dragon Mushu (Eddie Murphy) Mulan begins her training and prepares for battle under the leadership of Captain Li Shang.

            The score for Mulan was composed by Jerry Goldsmith and several songs were composed between Matthew Wilder and David Zippel. 'Reflection' is probably the most famous of the songs featured in the movie largely due to Christina Aguilera releasing it as her first single in the United States. Other favourites include 'A Girl Worth Fighting For' and 'I'll Make a Man out of You' which was performed by Donny Osmond, although many of the songs have been criticised for being un memorable I personally loved all three of these songs. However I would agree with many critics that the remaining songs are somewhat forgettable.

            Unlike most Disney 'Princesses' Mulan is shown to be a much less glamorous character. She spends the majority of the film masquerading as a man called Ping. She fits in better with characters like Pocahontas as a strong minded, wilful individual rather than the other Disney princesses who rely on the hero to rescue them. I confess to knowing very little about Hua Mulan, the character from Chinese legend that she's based on, but it's refreshing to see a female Disney character portrayed in this way.

            Visually the movie is very well made with striking scenery. I particularly liked the snow battle scene and the finale at the Imperial City which provide an epic climax to the movie.

            No Disney film would be complete without the customary animal side kicks and Mulan is no different. Eddie Murphy provides the voice of Mushu, the comic little dragon always at Mulan's side. The character is the main source of comedy in the movie and is effective in the role. Cri-Kee and the horse Khan are a little more forgettable but serve their purpose in the film. Other sources of comedy come from the three fellow soldiers Mulan befriends. The romance in the movie between Mulan and Shang is handled well despite the difficult aspect of Mulan pretending to be a man throughout the film; the romance doesn't feel completely out of place. The villain, Shan Yu, is scary in appearance and character, there is one scene in particular that shows the result of a massacre which is a little upsetting despite this being an animated movie.

            Mulan is ultimately an entertaining and exciting Disney film that kids are bound to enjoy and want to watch over and over again.

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            23.07.2001 07:10
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            Ohh my first movie op! The Story ******** Mulan tells the story of a girl who tries really hard to please her parents. It is Disney’s first Chinese related story which tells of the legend of Mushu the Dragon and Mulan. This was Disney’s 36th animated film and what a film it is! The film begins with Mulan being prepared to have a dinner with the potential in laws but as always, she messes up somehow and again disgraces the family name. Mulan always feels upset for letting her parents down time after time even though she tries so hard. Set in China in the 5th century, the Emperor at the time calls upon one male member of each family to defend China from attack from the Huns (the badies). Unlucky for them, Mulan’s family have no sons and so her father decides that it is his duty to fight for china. Mulan protests this matter and the men are astounded at her out spoken nature and the men advise her father to “control her“ or words to that nature. Mulan as well as everyone else, knows that her father is too old to fight and by going, it would surely mean he would die. Therefore, Mulan’s will for her father to live compels her to take his place. Unaware to anyone else, Mulan disguises herself as a young man called Ping and sneaks out in the night with her fathers sword and armour as well as her horse. She takes the scroll which is like a certificate to prove of which family she or should I now say he is from. Mulan’s family soon discover what she has done and they are helpless to do anything for if she is found out, it will surely cost her her life. The family therefore ask the ghosts of their ancestors to protect their child. The ghosts send the great dragon to protect Mulan and bring her straight home safely but the little dragon Mushu messes things up when the dragon, before in the form of a statue crumbles. Therefore he goes as the great dragon’s replacement but instead of re
            turning her home, he decides to turn her into a hero in order for him to get back into the ancestor’s good books. Eddie Murphy is the voice of Mushu and certainly brings humour to the film. I will not tell any more of the story because it will spoil it but lets just say that this is a great film with a great cast, animation as well as musical score including the hit “Reflection” which is sung by Christina Aguilera. I have laughed as well as been upset by this film. How I came to watch it ******************* I noticed that we had the Disney channel for free on the weekend and noticed that this film was being shown today at 4pm so I though “hmmm my sister wouldn’t mind seeing that” so I decided to tape it for her. Whilst having a break from reading opinions, I thought I’d turn to the channel and watch a bit for a while. The problem was that I didn’t move until the film had finished! I was truly compelled by this Disney film and hadn’t felt this way about a Disney film since the brilliant “Lion King”. This film is truly worth watching and as well as the story involved, the film also depicts the cultural differences in China to western countries such as the UK. It show the gender differences and also the gender bias between the different sexes (that’s my sociology kicking in there!). This epic movie, as well as being entertaining has a good message also and brings it to the forfront of our minds how ever subtle it may be. I would recommend this film to anyone as I have now learnt that these films are certainly not just for the kids! The animations are amazing and the colour as well as the interpretation is ace! Watch it ASAP!!!

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              17.03.2001 16:57
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              Take cover! The Huns are coming! That is the cry sent throughout Ancient China as the alarm fires are lit. The Emperor of China has sent his most valiant general to meet and defeat the invading Huns and save China. China sleeps sound in the knowledge that they are being defended by a truly wise and great general. Unfortunately for China, the general and his entire army are wiped out in a surprise attack and China is at the mercy of the invading muscle-bound hoards! Who can save China from the nasty & very muscled Shan-Yu (makes Arnie look like a weed!) and his muscle-bound killers? Enter one petite Chinese teenage girl named Mulan, a ‘lucky’ cricket, names Cri-Kee & a tiny, fire breathing lizard named Mushu. Together with the help of the dashing Captain Chang (son of the dead general) & his band of misfits, they must stop the invaders, save the Emperor, kill the nasty Shan-Yu & most of all ... save China herself! Oh yeah, she also has to save her family’s honour as well! That’s the basic plot of Mulan, but there’s far more to this film than just the fighting stuff! There’s loads of side-splitting humour, courtesy of Eddie Murphy & songs & music to get you humming along to the beat. Mulan is also a love story as well, where girl meets boy, girl likes boy, boy tells girl to go away, boy realises that he’s stupid & goes to get girl! In all, this is a truly enjoyable film for the whole family that will have you all watching it time & time again. It’s a true Disney Classic that you should be able to pick up for around a tenner or less. Running time is about 84 minutes & enjoyability is tops! My advice is to get all your goodies in for watching this one! Enjoy the film!

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              17.02.2001 19:56

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              Disney's Mulan has to be one of the best animated movie's ever made - and it gets better each time you watch it. As with many Disney movies there are a lot of small things thrown in here, there and everywhere, which you only notice after watching a few times. Mulan tells the story of a young girl who goes to war to spare her father. She dresses as a man, and is helped along through her adventure by Mushu - a dragon, voice by Eddie Murphy. On the way Mulan encounters many people who will become her friends, and some deadly enemies, as they fight to save the life of the Emperor and ultimately save China. This movie is so good for kids and Adults alike - Mushu is very funny, making jokes that both children and adults will appreciate. The Soundtrack to the movie is great, as with all Disney ones you will find yourself singing along to them. My personal favourite from Mulan is "Make a man out of you". There is everything from Excitement to Romance, Happiness to Heartache in this movie - Once again Disney has done a great job!

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              27.01.2001 02:21
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              If I could pick one movie that provides a great role model for little girls, this would be it. Of course, this depends on whether you think war hero to be a suitable aspiration for a young lady. The title character of this great Disney movie is a teenage girl in imperial China. Rebellious and awkward, Mulan is very much a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. She's supposed to be married, a prospect that does not fill her with joy. However, she desperately wants to bring honour to her family, so she goes along with it. Unfortunately - or otherwise -a series of mishaps means she's rejected by the match-maker. When war's declared she's afraid of losing her father, who's too ill to fight. With no brothers to go in his place, Mulan cuts her hair, steals her father's armour and runs away to the army camp, where she poses as a boy called Ping. The obligatory comedy sidekick comes in the very lively shape of Mushu, once a powerful dragon and protector of Mulan's family, demoted to status of gong-ringer for an unfortunate decapitation incident. He's voiced by the astonishing Eddie Murphy, doing the best job since Robin Williams exploded out of that lamp in Aladdin. Jive-talking Mushu is my favourite Disney character of the last five years - almost every scene he was in made me laugh out loud. Comedy relief is also provided by the soldiers; the gruff, moody and generally smelly one, the sweet one, the prissy one... Of course, being the red-blooded young woman that she is, Mulan soon falls for the studly Captain Li-Shang. He, like everyone else, thinks that she's a he - thankfully she gets revealed before it becomes unconvincing a la Yentl. This is a great movie for kids, with some brilliant action - the scene with hordes of Hun warriors sweeping down from the snowy mountains is breathtaking - and some humour that the adults will get. "Ms. Man just had to take her li'l drag show on the road," Mushu complains at
              one point. I for one am very glad she did.

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              21.01.2001 03:39
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              When I first encounter Mulan it was with a bit of mild irritation, Grandparents had bought it as an incidental gift. "Oh I just saw it on the stand and thought that'd be nice, Molly would like that." I wish I had Fifteen pounds to fritter away on a whim!! As it turned out Molly didn?t like it immediately, she watched the first twenty minutes and thought it was boring so turned it off in favour of Snow White (another grandparent purchase). We later discovered Mulan when Snow White had been watched to death and I was pleasantly surprised. I expected another girl power message film along the lines of Pocanhontas (a truly awful Disney film). The story is based on a Chinese legend and goes a little like this..... The Huns invade China and everyone is expected to do their bit. This leads to every family in each village sending a man to war. Mulans father was injured in service many years before but honour dictates he must serve the Emperor. Mulan secretly steals his papers and masquerades as a man, to save her father and face the Huns. I'm not sure about the original story but I expect Disney doesn't follow it to the letter, I'm almost certain the soldiers in the original film weren't prone to bursting into song. From the very beginning of the film the atmosphere is set, the titles are done as a painting in a minimalist oriental style, depicting the great wall of China, swathed in scrolling clouds. This then cuts to ?real? life with superbly animated (computer I expect) flags waving in a dark night. A hawk harasses the watchman and the a hundred grappling irons rise from the darkness below heralding the Huns assault. This introduces the bad guy Shan-Yu, and what a bad guy, Shan-Yu is a hulking brute of a character dripping menace from every pore. This is one of the films strengths, in the same vein as Hercules before it (thanks there to Gerald Scarfe), Mulan's characters are stylised, the Huns are the most
              extreme example of this. The same goes for the backdrop, smoke or clouds are always the scrolling type you see on tea-cups. The whole effect is very evocative of the orient without being patronising, none of the characters are stereotypically Chinese in the least (maybe with the exception of the Emperor (hard to avoid) and the clerk) Mulan (voiced by Ming-Na Wen) comes across as powerful female, strong enough to survive the field of battle and strong enough to stand against the authority of her elders to do what she believes is right. The other standout performance for me was Eddy Murphy as Mushu, Mulans travel sized dragon side kick. This kind of sidekick, as in any Disney movie, has one job; to be cute. Murphy manages to pack so much attitude into his performance he steals the limelight on many occasions. I was surprised and refreshed to have Murphy being funny without swearing. The films set pieces (although computer assisted) are spectacular, particularly the mountain scene. The animators have used the plot device of Shan-Yu's hawk to great effect by adding birds eye views at many points in the film, giving an often stunning third dimension to what would otherwise be a pedestrian scene. The other stand out feature of the movie is the music, it manages to be good while still retaining the character of the film. They are also eminently hummable, I must watch too many kids films because I always find myself humming these tunes at work. I tend to judge kids films on two criteria; can I cope with watching it hundreds of times, Mulan scores a yes here, and how quiet does it keep the kids, what I call a zombification factor. Mulan scores about 9/10 here. All round I'd say it was one of the few modern Disney movies that deserves the title of Classic on the box.

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                15.11.2000 23:14
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                In the last few days, a friend and I decided to rent out a few videos from the local video store. We haven't seen most Disney films, so we rented out Mulan. Mulan is a great film, not all that popular as others, but still a good watch. I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy it as it doesn't look all that. It's set in China, and it's about an army who need a man from each family to help fight off the enemies and stop them taking over the land. When they visited the Fah family, they asked for Mulan's father to join, he agreed as he was the only man in the family. Mulan, his daughter, wasn't happy about her father taking off to fight as he was fairly old. So one night, she stole her fathers army suit, helmet and sword and decided to take matters into her own hands. She ran away and pretended to be a boy, to protect her father, naming herself Ping. The film is pretty funny in some parts, especially in this part of it. She gets away with it for most of the time until she gets shot and they find out the truth, without spoiling the rest, it's a really great film to watch. It basically just goes to show, NEVER JUDGE A BOOK (or film) BY IT'S COVER. I think what makes this and other Disney movies so entertaining are the graphics, very colourful and realistic, so the kids (and older people like myself) can sit through a movie and thoroughly enjoy it. All in all, great movie, I'd watch it again.

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                  31.10.2000 17:59
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                  Directed By - Barry Cook, Tony Bancroft Starring/Voices - Ming Na Wen, B.D. Wong, Eddie Murphy Length - 88 minutes Hopefully Disney has learnt its lesson with giving us dreadful history lessons in the form of Pocahontas. We now have another Disney film trying to teach us something. A Chinese legend about a girl called Mulan. When a man from each house has to go to war to fight against the Hun, Mulan can't bear to see her father go. With fears that he might not come back alive she decides to take his place by dressing as a man (cross-dressing in a Disney movie!?). Coming along for the ride is a cricket considered as good luck, and a wisecracking Dragon voiced by Murphy (desperately trying to top Robin Williams' genie from Aladdin). One thing that usually stands out from every Disney movie is the songs. There are four in this movie, and nice as they are, they won't be well remembered as classics. Well it might not score with the songs but its mix of plot, a female heroine (in a Disney movie) and some top laughs from the Murphy voiced Dragon Musha (who'll delight both children as well as adults) make this a winner! The animation is also superb with the stampede of the Hun army down a mountain slope leaving a mark! It's pure family entertainment, so if that's what you're after then this is what you want. It's a great Disney movie for sure, but also like most of the best (along with Toy Story) it suffers from being too short. But despite its time limit this is a worthy watch and proves that Disney is still a major supplier of family entertainment. Points Of Interest: ·Censors in the UK would not certify the film a U certificate until 2 seconds of footage involving a headbutt was cut. ·The film reached number 2 at the US box office and went on to make over $120 million there!

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                  20.10.2000 22:06
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                  Mulan is a masterpiece of artistic illustration, music and story. Based on an ancient Chinese legend, Mulan the movie tells us the story of how a girl saved China by defying her family, village and cultural traditions at the risk of death. Nothing in this movie is what we’ve come to expect from Disney movies, thank goodness. Her heroism doesn’t depend on others; in fact, she very much goes her own way to accomplish what she needs to get done. She also isn’t hanging out of her clothes or simpering to try to win the attention of the nearest male. That’s not to say males are undervalued; on the contrary, a captain who does, ultimately, catch her eye, is quite a heroic figure in his own right. What the movie tells us is the story of how a girl disguises herself as a male to join the army to fight the invading Huns. Eventually, she not only saves her fellow soldiers but the emperor, and thus China itself. You should see this movie if only to see the unfolding of the incredibly intricate illustrations from the scene when the emperor praises Mulan for her deeds. Watch the crowds as they bow down and the gestures of the people gathered around the emperor as they pay her respect. Several Asian-American actors provide the voices for this movie; Eddie Murphy does the voice of the lizard whose goal is to be returned to the full status of dragon. All are terrific, all very different from the usual kid-movie fare. My Chinese-born daughter and I watch it several times a year, but always on our “anniversary” of the day she came home to America. She doesn’t yet understand the real limitations of Chinese society but she understands heroism on a basic level. And we all need heroes.

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