3 1/2 Stars
Mulan is Disney’s yearly animated offering, and it is a beautifully realized tale set in feudal China and introduces us to a spunky heroine. After falling short of greatness with its trio of middling releases (Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Hercules) the “Mouse House” roars back with a rousing piece of entertainment that could also be considered an artistic achievement in its genre.
To save her father from death in the army, a young maiden secretly goes in his place and becomes one of China’s greatest heroines in the process. The Fa family’s only child, tomboy Mulan, fails to fulfill a Chinese girl’s traditional duty as a desirable bride. When the empire mobilizes a man from every family to fight the invading Huns, Mulan
The visually captivating work of hand-drawn animation was already endangered in 1998. The writing was on the wall that this particular art-form was going to fade out and be overtaken by CGI populated children’s films. So, the care that went into Mulan was of an unprecedented level and the meticulous preparation and execution by Disney’s artists is evident in every moving frame. Eddie Murphy adds some fine comedic touches years before he would conquer the children’s market with his Shrek character.
Directors: Tony Bancroft, Barry Cook
Stars: Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, BD Wong