Based upon a Chinese folktale, Mulan could have been the first attempt for Disney to make a more serious entry but with the exception of it being the mouse studio's first movie that deal with warfare it is pretty childish making the film fall between two chairs.
What a disappointment. All these years, I thought of Mulan as a break in the narrow representation of Disney female characters. Just watched it. It does use a classical theme. The girl that disguises as a boy to escape the confines of society and her expected role. But the characters have irritating American mannerisms, they speak as 20th century teens. The plot is dull. If this is a big step for Disney that's scary.
I don't have any of the memories, nostalgia seemingly necessary for loving Disney films. My partner saw them young and consequently likes them a lot more. I am fascinated by the way so many of their fans seem to be at the forefront of demanding representation/dynamics/positive messages in media. Maybe works like Mulan were crucial in developing that, an idea I find more inspiring than this particular film.