Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 1998. Walt Disney Feature Animation, Walt Disney Pictures. Story by Robert D. San Souci, John Sanford, Tim Hodge, Burny Mattinson, Barry Johnson, Ed Gombert, Chris Williams, Julius Aguimatang, Lorna Cook, Thom Enriquez, Joe Grant, Floyd Norman, Screenplay by Rita Hsiao, Chris Sanders, Philip LaZebnik, Raymond Singer, Eugenia Bostwick-Singer, co-head writer Dean DeBlois, additional story material by Linda Woolverton, Jodi Ann Johnson, Alan Ormsby, David Reynolds, Don Dougherty, Jorgen Klubien, Denis Rich, Joe Ekers, Theodore Newton, Larry Scholl, Daan Jippes, Frank Nissen, Jeff Snow. Produced by Pam Coats. Music by Jerry Goldsmith. Production Design by Hans Bacher. Film Editing by Michael Kelly.
The best Disney animated film since Beauty and the Beast is this animated epic based on a Chinese legend. Mulan (voiced by Ming-Na Wen) is a young girl who dresses up as a man to go off to war in place of her conscripted but ailing father. Her ploy works very well, but she’s only human, so when it comes time for love with the proper Army General (BD Wong), she can’t help but have doe eyes for the hunky boy. Eddie Murphy‘s hilarious Mushu the dragon provides great comic relief, the animation is superb, the music score by Jerry Goldsmith large in David Lean-like breadth and the lighter moments are blended in well enough to never take away from the force of the dramatic areas. The songs by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel are appropriately tuneful, though not as consistently memorable as they deserve to be.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Original Score-Musical/Comedy
Golden Globe Award Nominations: Best Original Score; Best Original Song (“Reflection”)