Monday, July 23, 2012

Movie Review #5: Mulan

Welcome back to another Summer Movie Night here at The Real World According To Sam! So glad you could be here with us today! I've always wondered exactly what it is about a Disney cartoon that has such an impact on the audience. I, personally, have a tendency of tearing up with a smile on my face when it comes to the classics that I grew up with. Those older cartoons have the most heart, in my opinion. This Disney talk leads me to today's featured movie (or rather, cartoon.)

The Featured Film for today is:

Mulan
Release Year: 1998
Genre: Animated Family Adventure
My Rating: 5/5

Here is the premise:

     "Honored with legions of critical acclaim, Disney's 36th animated masterpiece magically transforms an ancient Chinese legend into unparalleled fun and adventure that comes along but once every dynasty!
     Embraced for her lovable, spirited nature, Mulan is a young  girl who doesn't quite fit into her tradition-bound society. When the invading Hun army comes charging over China's Great Wall, Mulan's aging father is ordered into battle! To spare him from harm, Mulan disguises herself as a soldier and secretly takes his place in the Imperial army, training with a comical, ragtag troop, led by the courageous Captain Shang. Never far away are Mulan's hilarious guardian dragon, Mushu, and lucky cricket, Cri-Kee. But Mulan will need more than Mushu's razor-sharp wit to defeat the ruthless Hun leader, Shan-Yu. Only by staying true to herself will she bring victory to her country and honor to her family!
     Triumphant across all fronts, including unforgettable, chart-topping music and rich Disney animation featuring a spectacular fireworks display, Mulan is in the finest tradition 'a total delight!'"

Here is the trailer:

This has to be one of the most amazing cartoons Disney has ever made. The animation is astonishing---especially the scene where they are fighting in the mountain pass. The animations in cartoons these days just doesn't match up to anything done in Mulan. The film score is incredibly dramatic. The featured songs in the movie are fun! There is such a variety of style, that I have a hard time picking a favorite. 

The story is one of the greatest ever told. A girl who feels like she dishonors her family just by being herself does the impossible. She dresses up as a boy and trains as an Imperial soldier...all to save her father from certain death. Mulan faces some of the toughest challenges ever presented to animated characters. She literally puts her life on the line to protect her family and friends. 

The characters are incredibly memorable. Mushu provides some much needed comedy relief to lighten up the otherwise serious mood. Mulan has to be one of the most serious Disney films I've ever seen. Most of the time, Disney likes to make things flowery and innocent. In this cartoon, we are presented with death and war. Several people die and scenes of destroyed villages fill the screen. Cri-Kee is so adorable. He makes a great sidekick to the sidekick. Its really hard to believe that he was ever unlucky (& that's when you have to go back and watch the Matchmaker scene again). Yao, Ling & Chin Po are incredibly funny and provide a lot of the male perspective. They keep the laughs coming. Captain Shang has high expectations to live up to, which in the end make him a good leader (although we all know that if it weren't for Mulan, he would be dead). 

All in all, Mulan is one of the greatest Disney Masterpiece cartoons and I'm so glad I've been able to enjoy it for so long. We're pretty old school when it comes to our videos. We still have a couple of VCRs and in case you haven't guessed it, our copy of Mulan is a VHS (as well as Housesitter, Soul Man, & Splash). Yes, we own a Blu-Ray and DVD player, but there is something wonderful about watching VHS tapes on a VCR. These videos have been with us for a long time. When I was around 4, we actually saw Mulan in the theater with my grandparents. We saw it on post (military base, etc.) and I will never forget watching it. It was incredible! Even watching it now, I still can't believe how much time has passed since Mulan was first released. 

Mulan is a must-see for everyone. It wonderfully depicts hardships and the bond between Father and Daughter. No video collection is complete without Mulan.

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