Not as bad as I thought it was gunna be. Not bad at all.I was expecting the worst. See, the mouse and I, we haven't been on very good terms lately. Since Pochahontas, really. I've been very dissapointed in Monsieur Mousey, and I had him pegged as a sick, twisted tyrant, and the worst possible role model for the next generation. Seriously, what was the Hunchback of Notre Dame? What was that? And Hercules? Let's not go there. So that's basically the state of mind I'm in. And I go to see Mulan because, well fuck all, I'm stuck in this godforsaken country and the choices were this or the freakin Horse Whisperer, and I figure at least Eddie Murphy will make me laugh a little.
"eddie murphy does a flick about cross dressers. haha."
One main problem, in fact, the biggest, most glaring problem I have with the big Mouse is their portrayal of women. If they decide to be the monopoly, the kid's everything, and come out with bullshit like Pochahontas or that hanger they drew for hercules or a freakin gypsy prostitute like in Hunchback, then no thank you, I'll just pop in some teletubbies, alright? They were pushin me towards the teletubbies. That in itself should be a crime.
But they surprised me. Mulan kicks ass. Ok, she wimps out at the end there, but dammit, she kicks Donny Osmond's butt, and puts him and Eddie Murphy and even George Takei in their place.
I like Mulan. Cause she kicks ass, and she's a cross dresser and all that good stuff, but mostly because she saves China by using her mind, not her buff little bod. I mean, it's a streach and all, but the kids don't know that. Disney actually has a positive message. Instead of "Hey little mermaid, give up your life, your family, your voice, your friends, your fins, and really, your whole personality so you can trick this man into loving you and you can belong to him, ok?" it's more like "Your culture may think you're a worthless prize for some idiot, testosterone-driven male, but we want you to put on men's clothing and show those guys how to use thier brains instead of brawn and they may be stupid and ungrateful and incredibly sexist but guess what, you'll save the whole country from those evil huns and you'll do it with style, babe. go get 'em!" I can dig that. I'd much rather that than the teletubbies.
Of course, this being the world we live in, she gives up all her glory and rewards and goes back home to beg the acknowledgment of her father (which he gives...that was so nineties) and to get a husband! that's the important thing! She finally got a husband! WooHoo!
The animation was pretty damn cool. Very stylized and lovely and it worked and I liked it, and that's what matters. My opinion. And unlike Prince of Egypt, the computer stuff was really well integrated. Songs were...let's say... not distracting. And from me, that's a shiny gold star.It's Disney. I know I can't ask for them to really make a movie where women and men come out as GASP! Equals. Much less ones that the kiddies might see. I give it 4 sporks, cause they're gettin there. They better not turn the Joan of Arc story into a young maid's quest to find true love and thus happiness.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=26&reviewer=6
originally posted: 01/04/99 11:27:22