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MULAN

SYNOPSIS:
There are many versions of the Mulan legend, some dating back to 386 Ė 534 AD, but all with the common theme of a young daughter saving her fatherís life. When the Emperor calls for one male from each family in every village to join his army in defence of the Chinese Empire from threatening Huns, Mulan takes on boyís clothes to stand in for her ailing father in the army. After enduring the training, barely, Mulan gets into the front lines, and endures several hardships. Battles rage and when the invading Huns descend on the Emperorís palace, everything hangs in the balance. For Mulan, survival is secondary to bringing honour to her family.

"Mulan is a wondrously created animated film with some of the greatest nuanced animation Iíve ever seen (Iíll explain this later). It shows the positive and quite modern sensibilities of a young woman in the setting of ancient Chinese (paternilistic) culture. I really enjoyed Mulan, both for its technical flair, which helps create the necessary suspension of belief, and for its robust story telling. The nuances I refer to earlier concern the animation of the Mulan character in particular, whose body language is extraordinarily sophisticated at times. There are also some striking, epic aerial sequences of Hun hoards riding across snowfields, and some excellent action scenes. The romantic undercurrent is handled with finesse, making it work for adults and children alike. BUT Ė you must first of all accept the fact that this is a Chinese story told through entirely (modern) American sensibilities and with Americanisms. Now, donít go frothiní at the mouth, this is an American filmÖ.a Disney film."
Andrew L. Urban

"After such lacklustre efforts as Pocahontas and last year's Hercules, Disney's animated division has fought back with a vengeance in bringing to life this classically structured tale of heroism, family and honour. Mulan is the studio's most cinematically accomplished work since Lion King, a rich tapestry that weaves a hypnotic magic. It's a breathtaking masterpiece comprising some of the most meticulously stunning animated images ever put on film, combined with a taut screenplay and unusual depth of character. On a visual level, Mulan is sumptuous, engrossing, a technical feat. There are some sequences, such as an extraordinary, snowbound battle sequence, featuring dark-clothed soldiers pounding through snow, that has to be seen to be believed. The film's design of ancient China has been meticulously crafted, and the film's direction is never clunky, but smooth and consistent. Vocal talents are equally impressive, as one might expect, with Eddie Murphy providing typical comic relief as a protective, if not somewhat puny, dragon. Musically, Mulan is fine, but not exceptional, but thematically, the film is perfect family entertainment with its spirited depiction of a true heroine. With its emotional centre, Mulan is a triumph of classic family entertainment, a masterful, film that is both narratively and cinematically exciting, and a film for all, not just children, to marvel at."
Paul Fischer

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MULAN (G)
(US)

VOICES: Ming-Na Wen, Lea Salonga, Eddie Murphy, B.D. Wong, Donny Osmond, Harvey Fierstein, Jerry S. Tondo, Geddy Watanabe, Matthew Wilder, James Hong, Miguel Ferrer, Soon-Tek Oh, Freda Foh Shen, Pat Morita, June Foray, Marni Nixon, George Takei, Miriam Margolyes, James Shigeta, Frank Welker

DIRECTOR: Barry Cook, Tony Bancroft

PRODUCER: Pam Coats

SCRIPT: Rita Hsiao, Christopher Sanders, Philip Lazebnik, Raymond Singer, Eugenia Bostwick-Singer (based on a story by Robert D. San Souci)

ART DIRECTOR: Ric Sluiter

EDITOR: Michael Kelly

MUSIC: Matthew Wilder; lyrics, David Zipel; score, Jerry Goldsmith

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Hans Bacher

RUNNING TIME: 88 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: September 3, 1998

VIDEO RELEASE: Mar 31, 1999
VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista







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