D: Barry Cook & Tony Bancroft

Disney (Pam Coats)

US 🇺🇸 1998

87 mins


W: Rita Hsiao, Philip LaZebnik, Chris Sanders, Eugenia Bostwick-Singer & Raymond Singer [based on the folk tale “Ballad Of Mulan” by Guo Maoquin]

Mus: Jerry Goldsmith

Ming-Na Wen (Mulan), Lea Salonga (Mulan - singing voice), Eddie Murphy (Mushu), B.D. Wong (Captain Li Shang), Donny Osmond (Captain Li Shang - singing voice), June Foray (Grandmother Fa), Miguel Ferrer (Shan Yu)

When a war breaks out in China following a Hun invasion, a young girl adopts the disguise of a warrior to take her father’s place in battle.

Based on an ancient Chinese folk tale, the plot has very much been “Disney-fied” here to portray Mulan as more of a California Valley Girl rather than a dutiful young girl who defies tradition to protect her family.

Like all Disney films, there is a target audience for this, and I’m not it, so it’s easy to be cynical about some of the way the themes are addressed, even though it was a film I rather enjoyed.

It isn’t up there with the studio’s finest, and much of the first half of the movie owes more of a debt of gratitude to the classic Pinocchio rather than its original source material.