A Movie Worth Fighting For: Our 33rd Movie!
1. What movie did you watch?Mulan. The film is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, a female warrior, and released in theaters in 1998. Development began in 1994, when the director and a team of writers went to China for several weeks to perform research and interviews. Animators based the visual design on the Ming and Qing dynasties, since there’s no general consensus as to when Mulan existed. Fun fact: Roy E. Disney, nephew to Walt Disney, was the one to suggest the character of Mushu. Bonus fun fact: Veteran story artist Joe Grant created the cricket character, Cri-Kee, but most of the directors “didn't want him in the movie, the story department didn't want him in the movie. The only people who truly wanted him in the movie were Michael Eisner and Joe Grant.” According to animator Barry Temple, other writers and animators in meetings would say “'Oh, to hell with the cricket.' They felt Cri-Kee was a character who wasn't necessary to tell the story, which is true." Throughout development on the film, Grant would slip sketches of Cri-Kee under the directors' door.
2. Have you seen it before/ how long has it been since you last saw it?
Maddie: I haven't seen it in a very long time! I used to watch it frequently when I was younger, though.
Alexis: I watch this one a lot! Most recently I saw it at the end of the summer, we watched it the night before my sister left for a study abroad semester in Europe.
3. What memories did it recall?
Maddie: One of the first Disney songs that I truly loved to sing along to was reflection- it still is one of my favorites- so I love singing along to it.
Alexis: This is another one that my family and I quote a lot. My dad is extremely good at doing the lines. It reminds me of when my sister and I would be playing with our Mulan figurines and he would do the voices from the movie for us!
4. What did you think of it?
Maddie: It was great! I remember my favorite parts were those with Mushu and the ancestors- I always thought they were hilarious. Really, I loved every animal in this movie- especially little brother! He's so cute! That partnered with the feminist message that Mulan only ever had to be herself to be accepted and to save her country makes this a special one.
Alexis: Loved it as always! The story is great and I love the music. I always find myself singing along to this soundtrack! Maddie, I agree with you that Little Brother is cute, but I prefer Mulan's loyal horse Khan. But obviously Mushu is great as the comic relief! Mulan is also a great female role model for girls, and the message is awesome in the end.
5. Favorite moment:
Maddie: I think me favorite part is always Reflection- not only because of how great the song is melodically, but the subject is so important. The fact that Disney is actually addressing the idea of being yourself v. fulfilling expectations is very important.
Alexis: My favorite part is the climax of the movie. I love how Mulan puts together the whole plan, and how they use "Be a Man" again when they all dress up in the dresses. And I love when Mulan faces Shan Yu, and wins, and they all bow to her in thanks. What a great, powerful female moment!