Saturday, February 22, 2014

Saturday Movies: Mulan (1998)

So in 1998 Disney would sort of redefine what it would be to be a lead female in a Disney movie. Most of the popular ones were white, fair skinned, and well very dainty. There is no problem with that, but diversity and power were definitely missing from the idea they presented of females, until Mulan that is came along. While watching Mulan though I saw why it was unappealing to me as a kid though. This movie deals with some pretty adult ideas. It's one of the few that might be more interesting as an adult than a kid, and the talking drago does nothing to entertain!

Summary: This Disney movie is based on a Chinese folk tale. When Mulan's father is called to be in the army to defend against the invading Hans, Mulan knows that he is too weak to fight. He's older and now lame. In order to take his place Mulan sneaks away and pretends to be male to fight for him, even though her father is unaware of this. Her ancestors though are aware of her plan and want to prevent her from fighting, so they send a dragon, Mushu.

Acting: Well not exactly acting, but voice acting that is. Lea Salonga is the voice of Mulan, and I think she has one of the most memorable voices from a Disney movie I've heard. She has that perfect combination of feminine yet strength in her voicing that works to give Mulan that personality that works for her in the movie. To be honest though the other voices fall a bit more flat. Eddie Murphy is a very easy to recognize voice as Mushu, and honestly I feel like he does everything here that he did with the donkey in Shrek, yet somehow it's less funny. To be honest I wasn't aware of who the other voices were, and they weren't extremely filled with character. I also felt that even the songs in this movie were a bit weaker than other Disney movies.

Filming: The movie has pretty use of imagery to convey the cartoons. I've very bright, but it also contrasts well with the seriousness of Mulan's situation. China though did have a lot of complaints about the movie once it was allowed to be shown there including how Westernized the character was. The movie though is very pretty, and it does utilize a lot more of a modern cartoon movement that works well.

Plot: The plot has a lot of great themes, particularly for girls. While the character does of course involve a love interest, it also focuses on other aspects of being a strong woman. Overall, for some reason this movie just didn't compel me as much as other Disney movies though. I still had that bored feeling I did as a kid when I watching this movie. It didn't leave me feeling moved or like I was having fond childhood memories either.

Mulan is for the very hardcore Disney fan. I know people who really enjoy the movie, but I can't say I'm on of them, which was shocking for me considering I thought I would like the more powerful depiction of a female in the movie. The songs and even the characters meant for humor just didn't get that across to me in this movie.

Rating 6.5 of 10.

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