Mulan

B

I remember seeing this movie at the theaters and liking it, but it was not of the same caliber as Aladdin. I don't have a review from that time, so instead I am writing one now almost 20 years later having just rewatched the movie on Blu-ray. This is a good movie, but not a great one. One problem is they had a no doubt very expensive performance by Eddie Murphy which paled in comparison to Robin Williams' Genie, but seems out of place in this epic story compared to his similar perforrmance in Shrek a few years later. They needed some comedy, but I don't think Eddie Murphy as a Chinese dragon really works and hasn't aged well as Murphy has phoned in similar performances in other movies. That's not necessarily Murphy's fault since he still needed good material to work with. Otherwise the story is good, based on an actual Chinese legend, and the artwork seems appropriate with Chinese flourishes, and they even touch on some ancestor worship. But the story needs some zip. It seems like maybe there isn't a lot of character development with anyone except Mulan herself and even she is mostly just reacting to events, though she does get some fighting skills and strength. The songs at the beginning don't add much and don't stand out. Maybe the problem is that the story is primarily about people so it doesn't need to be animated. Disney is worrking on a live action remake of the movie which could actually work pretty well with better writing and richer characters.