This retelling of the old Chinese folktale is about the story of a young Chinese maiden who learns that her weakened and lame father is to be called up into the army in order to fight the invading Huns. Knowing that he would never survive the rigours of war in his state, she decides to disguise herself and join in his place. Unknown to her, her ancestors are aware of this and to prevent it, they order a tiny disgraced dragon, Mushu to join her in order to force her to abandon her plan. He agrees, but when he meets Mulan, he learns that she cannot be dissuaded and so decides to help her in the perilous times ahead. —IMDb
As a California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) student, Tony’s talent was recognized very early on. As a result, his college career was cut short upon immediately being “drafted” to the big leagues of Walt Disney Animation Studios. His ability to quickly adapt his skills to any given project led him to work on such legendary animated productions as The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. His diligence and a meticulous eye for character performance were rewarded when he became the Supervising Animator for both The Lion King and The Emperor’s New Groove. Memorable characters such as Pumbaa, the lovable warthog and spinach puff specialist, Kronk were two of the comedic creations that Tony brought to those Disney classics. He capped a successful 12-year career at Disney, being named co-director of the award-winning feature Mulan; adding to his list of credits, “youngest director in Disney’s history” and an Annie Award for Best Director that year.
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Barry Cook was born and raised in Nashville, TN, USA. He began making films at the age of ten on the family super 8 camera. He won two prizes in the local PBS-sponsored Young Filmakers Festival with “The Vampire” and “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” at the age of twelve. During summers, he and his brother would work at Opryland USA, drawing caricatures of the guests. At the age of eighteen, Barry moved to California to pursue his career in motion pictures. He studied at Columbia College, where he spent time helping colleagues with their student films. He served as an intern at Hanna Barbera. He joined Disney in 1981 to work on “Tron”. He has worked as an animator on many Disney films, including “Oliver & Company” and “Captain EO”. He has worked at Disney for seventeen years, and “Mulan” was his directing debut. He currently lives in Florida with his wife and four children. —IMDb
Not perfect but a very enjoyable film that blends feminism and traditional Disney excitement with one of the stronger Princesses in its catalogue.
Its good intentions are marred somewhat by the Orientalist approach and a frustratingly anti-feminist coda, but this is still one of the best of its ilk.
Brilliance from Disney moment: Disney acknowledging that all these years of singing songs before/after/in spite of conflict is rather ill-fitting and decides to subvert the expectations they've built over the years. That jarring break from A Girl Worth Fighting For to the harsh realities of war (assist goes to the color red) could be less manipulative, but they were still capable of some god damn film making.
This is much better than how I remember it. Eddie Murphy is miscasted as Mushu, but despite this the rest of the comedy is REALLY funny. The stylized artstyle is fit for the movie and although the main villain has zero personality he is really menacing. My only problem are the last 5 minutes: Why in the hell did she refused the council position?! it makes no sense, but the rest of the movie is indeed really good.