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Mulan (1998)
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Review Date: June 23, 1998
Director: Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook
Writer: Anonymous (poem), Robert D. San Souci, Rita Hsiao, Chris Sanders, Philip LaZebnik, Raymond Singer, E
Producers: Pam Coats
Actors:
Ming-Na Wen as Mulan
Eddie Murphy as Mushu
B.D. Wong as Shang
Plot:
The Huns have invaded China. One man from every Chinese family must join the Army and serve in the country's defense. Recognizing that her father is very old and incapable of effective combat duty, Mulan chops her hair into a boy-cut, and pretends to be a man, so that she can take her father's place in the war. She does effectively join the troops, and fight for the honour of her father, her country and herself.
Critique:
Funny, interesting, and mostly entertaining animated Disney feature made for the marketing summer of 1998. Having gone in with little expectations, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised to find many humorous moments in this animated fable, along with some pretty cool action sequences, and an interesting lead character in Mulan. Of course, it goes without saying that the real star of this film wasn't Mulan, but the tiny disgraced dragon Mushu, voiced by Eddie Murphy. This little creature managed to get a crack out of the audience during every single one of its wonderful appearances on the big screen. Reminded me a little of the "young" Murphy on Saturday Night Live, before he got all pretty and serious (Surely, many of the lines in this film were ad-libbed by Murphy himself.).

The story of this film was also very interesting to absorb, seeing that it went within a culture that I knew very little about (Mind you, I really have no idea how accurate this film's facts are, but still...). The animation was also very well done, especially during the winter scenes in the mountains, which really looked like the real deal. On the down side, I guess that the songs in this movie could be considered its weakest link, but then again, I've never been much of a musical guy anyway, so that didn't bother me too much.

Overall, I would say this movie was a touch better than HERCULES (6/10), and just about as good as the unexpectedly decent ANASTASIA (7/10), but on a much funnier level, thanks mostly to the wonderful talents of Eddie Murphy. Kids will love it (As loudly expressed in the theater that I attended with Mrs. JoBlo), and most adults should also enjoy it. The cinema or video question is one that I would just as soon leave in your hands considering that I don't know of everyone's financial situation. But if the movie sounds interesting enough to you, or your lover's begging you to take her/him, by all means, go ahead and see it on the big screen. It's fun and genuinely harmless (At 88 minutes run-time...how could you go wrong?)
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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