Released in 1998, Disney’s retelling of Mulan broke some barriers, had a killer soundtrack, and still remains as wonderful 20 years later.
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Disney has a knack for creating magical films and even more magical characters. In 1998, they released one of their best, albeit extremely underrated, film, Mulan. Based on the legendary warrior of the same name, the Mouse House created an unforgettable movie. Here’s why it’s still one of the best films Disney has produced.
Just a little bit of backstory on the film’s original release: Mulan was originally released in June of 1998, at the very end of the Disney Renaissance. Upon its release, the film was a critical and commercial success, receiving nominations and winning multiple awards.
Mulan was extremely different from other Disney movies before it. While Disney had introduced non-white princesses before, Mulan was their first Asian princess. In addition, she wasn’t like a princess in the traditional sense. Mulan was a warrior who risked her life for her father and actually changed the Disney princess code.
Before Mulan was introduced, the rules for becoming a princess were simple. Basically, you had to star in your own movie, be a human and not be introduced in a sequel. Mulan checked all those boxes, but that’s not it. Before the rules stated, a princess either has to be royalty, marry royalty, or commit an act of heroism. I’d say saving China is an act of heroism.
Beyond the changing of the princess criteria, Mulan had an incredibly talented cast. Mulan was voiced by Ming-Na Wen while Mushu was voiced hilariously by Eddie Murphy. Some other well-known actors featured in Mulan include George Takei, Pat Morita and Harvey Fierstein.
A huge reason why Mulan is remembered now is the amazing songs. The soundtrack for the film has garnered a following all its own. The one most people remember is “I’ll Make A Man Out of You,” performed by Donny Osmond. Some other memorable songs are “Reflection,” “Bring Honor to Us All,” and “True to Your Heart.”
Unfortunately, since the movie’s release, it has been overshadowed. Even so, the movie still stood the test of time. The tale of a young woman risking her life for her family is as relevant as it was back then. In a time where Elsa and Moana are hailed as feminist princesses, Mulan was doing it first.
Obviously, we have to talk about the live-action film coming out in 2019…
Mulan will be getting the live-action treatment next year. Not much is known about the film, but fans are eagerly anticipating it. After such coveted success with Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella, let’s hope they stay true to the original film while bringing a little something new.
With Mulan turning 20 years old this year, it’s hard not to see how Disney still pays homage to it today. Princesses are becoming less dependent on men and are focused on being warriors, growing up, and family.
Even in 2018, Mulan is still as relevant as ever. Think about Rick and Morty’s Szechuan Sauce, a promotional item introduced because of Mulan. 20 years later, people are still talking about it. Companies like Hot Topic and Box Lunch feature Mulan-themed merchandise in their stores.
20 years later, Mulan is still one of Disney’s best movies with a great cast, great songs and even an even better message. Mulan has truly stood the test of time!