The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.
"...a consistently rich piece with impressive visual vitality. Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle
|The retelling of the chinese folklore tale of mulan, a young maiden and the only daughter of a lame former soldier who secretly takes her father's place to save him from the ravages of war and becomes one of china's most celebrated heroes.|
"It's the characterization of Mulan, both in voice and visuals, that makes the film a keeper. Corie Brown & Laura Shapiro, Newsweek
"...a sweet and captivating tale that pits gentle, enduring goodness against dark, malevolent forces. Hollis Chacona, Austin Chronicle
"...stunning animation, sharply defined characters, a smattering of catchy tunes all seamlessly woven into a simple, powerfully told yarn. Ian Freer, Empire
"...a timeless story that will delight kids and divert adults with its sweeping scope, emotional intimacy and screwball humor. Michael O'Sullivan, The Washington Post
"The film shines at capturing the watercolor delicacy of China's past. Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"...an impressive achievement, with a story and treatment ranking with "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King." Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Disney fashions a modern-day icon of girl power with its animated adaptation of the 2,000-year-old Chinese folktale MULAN. When barbarous Huns attack ancient China, the fiercely independent Mulan (voiced by Ming-Na Wen) defies tradition by disguising herself as a man in order to take her ailing father's place in the Imperial Army. With the help of Mushu (voiced by the resilient and newly kid-friendly Eddie Murphy), a wisecracking guardian dragon sent by her ancestors for protection, Mulan trains in boot camp and then heads off to face the brutal Hun leader Shan-Yu (voiced by Miguel Ferrer)--all the while struggling to keep her gender identity a secret. Chock full of the usual Disney delights--breathtaking visuals, catchy songs, and an inspirational protagonist of courage and conviction--MULAN is a welcome addition to the studio's annals of classic animation.
Cast & Crew
||Matthew Wilder, et. al., Nominee, Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score
Golden Globe (1999)
||Jerry Goldsmith, et al., Nominee, Best Original Score-Motion Picture
||Matthew Wilder, et al., Nominee, Best Original Song-Motion Picture
||Jerry Goldsmith, Nominee, Best Original Score - Motion Picture
||Matthew Wilder, David Zippel ("Reflection"), Nominee, Best Original Song - Motion Picture
||Matthew Wilder, David Zippel ("True To Your Heart"), Nominee, Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television
"...The film shines at capturing the watercolor delicacy of China's past..."
Sight and Sound
"...Kids everywhere will love MULAN....One of the most advanced uses of computer animation ever seen in an animated film..."
"...An elegantly epic affair....Meet the warrior queen who fights with her wits, not fists..." -- 3 1/2 out of 4 stars
"...[MULAN has a] newfound sophisticated sensibility and sensational visual style..."
"...Disney is back in top form with graceful, vibrant animation; hummable tunes; and a coming of age story that shoots straight to the heart..."
"[T]he girl-power message continuously rings true."
San Francisco Chronicle 8 of 10
Mulan is Disney's first journey to China for an animated feature, and it's a spectacular trip
- Peter Stack
ReelViews 9 of 10
My concept of a "family film" is a movie that can be enjoyed by viewers of all ages: undiscriminating young children, teenagers with short attention spans, and adults with somewhat more refined standards. Unfortunately, too often Hollywood equates a "family film" with something aimed at the under-10 crowd. While Disney's live-action pictures have often fallen victim to this approach, the corporation's animated features have remained largely exempt (although it's possible to argue about how widespread Hercules' appeal is). Mulan, Disney's 36th animated movie, continues this trend. Arguably the most mature of the eight "new wave" (post- 1988, beginning with The Little Mermaid) films, Mulan effortlessly blends serious, comic, and cute elements into a whole that should entertain the majority of movie-goers, regardless of race, gender, or age...After several years of less-than-stellar entries, Disney has rebounded with Mulan, which once again raises the bar for animated quality. Now, if only the production company would apply the same effort to their live-action features. Then I might not cringe at the thought of reviewing any non-animated offering from the Magic Kingdom.
- James Berardinelli
Reel.com 9 of 10
After getting lambasted for their portrayal of Native Americans in Pocahontas (1995), it would have been easy for Disney to just stay out of the sensitive multicultural arena. But they tried once more with Mulan, sending a research team to China for three weeks in order to animate the legend of a girl who fought invading Huns in place of her aging father. The result is typical Disney, a blend of cultural-historical accuracy and deliberate departures, with cartoon characters inserted for comic relief, and songs and voices in English that belie strict adherence to ethnicity. But you know what? It works...The Nineties (which really began in 1989, with The Little Mermaid) were a Silver Age for Disney, with animation teams discovering how to marry Broadway-style tunes and ensembles to the cartoon format. It was a think-big decade, and while Mulan may not quite rise to the grand production level of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, or The Hunchback of Notre Dame, it's close. The battle scene where hordes of Huns sweep across snow-covered mountains is as memorable any animated scene you'll find, and their leader, Shan-Yu (Miguel Ferrer) is believably menacing without being over-the-top. In short, it's near-epic fun.
- James Plath