Starring: Wen Ming-Na, Eddie Murphy, Wong BD
Director: Tony Bancroft, Barry Cook
Running Time: 88 mins
Mulan is an American film about the tale of a young woman, fearing her ageing father will be killed in the Chinese war against the Huns, who disguises herself and takes her place in the Chinese Imperial Army to defend her country, ending up becoming one of history’s greatest heroines.
I love this film so much. It’s the last hurrah of Disney’s last great era, since then, there’s been little to compare with the classics of the 90s, and this epitomises almost all of them.
A beautiful-looking film, with great comedy, a hilarious voice cast, a thrilling story, and an overall extremely entertaining viewing experience. Not only that, but this film goes further than some other Disney classics, touching on some very dark notes regarding the horrors of war.
However, this film is still hugely enjoyable for absolutely anyone. I remember adoring this and watching it constantly when I was only 3 or 4 years old, and unlike many of my childhood favourites, this film is still as great, if not better, when you watch it at an older age.
The comedy in this film is brilliant, and adds significantly to the enjoyable atmosphere amidst quite a dark story. Eddie Murphy is classically hilarious, while there’s a whole heap of slapstick jokes and even pop culture references that make this film one of Disney’s funniest.
Also, this is surprisingly not so cheesy for a Disney film. Technically, it’s the worst brand of film, a Disney Princess movie, but it’s nothing like your generic fairytale. There’s stuff in there for the girls, and a lot for the boys too, with a combination of a strong female lead and a surprisingly gritty and violent story to add some more excitement.
The film starts off as a more comedic story, however as it unfolds, it becomes a lot slower and more thoughtful, as it begins to represent the brutality of a war that you can immediately see on screen was horrific.
One of the other elements that separate this from the rest of the Disney films is its animation. It is a traditionally animated film (which I still prefer to the new 3D sort of things), but there are some subtle touches in there that add a distinct Chinese feel, and they really help to not only make it a more convincing film, but all the more impressive.
And of course, the soundtrack of this film is sublime. There’s no cheesy pop numbers in there, but 5 or 6 hugely catchy tunes that really add to the fun of this film, and definitely show that it’s one of Disney’s best ever, so that’s why it gets an 8.7.