.

Mulan

Eddie Murphy, B.D. Wong, Pat Morita, George Takei, Harvey Fierstein

Directed by Tony Bancroft, Barry Cook
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
June 19, 1998

Things ain't what they used to be for the Disney animated musical. The house that Walt built reinvented itself in the Nineties with Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, but the formula wore thin with Pocahontas and Hercules, Audiences drifted away.

Drift back, people, Mulan, based on a 4,000 year old Chinese legend about a girl who joins the army as a man — the kind of artful animation that makes this movie worthwhile beyond the ?? die ghetto (a team of artists spent three weeks in China for inspiration). There are amazing sights, including an avalanche and Hun soldiers on the attack. And the film shines at capturing the watercolor delicacy of China's past.

Mulan, assertively voiced by Ming Na-Won, is being set up for marriage by her family. Instead, she replaces her father — he's to sick to fight — in the emperor's army by cutting her hair and acting butch, Mulan could have degenerated into a Chinese Yentl, The songs, by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel, are filler. And did Mulan really need a lucky cricket, Cri-Kee? Still, Eddie Murphy is hilarious as the voice of Mushu, a skinny dragon with more ?? than Godzilla. And Mulan, who won't go back to being submissive after she's revealed as a girl, makes a feisty prefeminist. She doesn't swoon over Captain Shang, the hunky officer (sung by Donny Osmond), which leaves Shang as frustrated as the rest of this summer's action heroes. Mulan, let the record show, does not put out.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Nightshift”

    The Commodores | 1984

    The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com