|Story by||Robert D. San Souci|
|Based on||Ballad of Mulan|
by Guo Maoqian
|Produced by||Pam Coats|
|Edited by||Michael Kelly|
|Music by||Jerry Goldsmith|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures Distribution|
|Box office||$304.3 million|
Mulan is a 1998 American animated musical adventure film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation for Walt Disney Pictures. It is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, and was Disney's 36th animated feature, and the ninth animated film produced and released during the Disney Renaissance. It was directed by Barry Cook and Tony Bancroft, with story by Robert D. San Souci and screenplay by Rita Hsiao, Chris Sanders, Philip LaZebnik, Raymond Singer, and Eugenia Bostwick-Singer. Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, Miguel Ferrer, and BD Wong star in the English version, while Jackie Chan provided the voice of Captain Li Shang for the Chinese dubs of the film. The film's plot takes place in China during an unspecified Imperial dynasty, where Fa Mulan, daughter of aged warrior Fa Zhou, impersonates a man to take her father's place during a general conscription to counter a Hun invasion.
Mulan was the first of three features produced primarily at the Disney animation studio at Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney's Hollywood Studios) in Bay Lake, Florida. Development for the film began in 1994, when a number of artistic supervisors were sent to China to receive artistic and cultural inspiration. Mulan was well received by critics and the public who praised the animation, plot, characters (particularly the title character), and musical score, and grossed over $304 million. It earned a Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination and won several Annie Awards, including Best Animated Feature. It was then followed by a direct-to-video sequel, Mulan II in 2004. A live-action adaptation directed by Niki Caro was released on September 4, 2020.
The Huns, who are led by the ruthless Shan Yu, invade imperial China by breaching the Great Wall. In the Imperial City, the Emperor orders a general mobilization, with conscription notices requiring one man from each family to join the Imperial Chinese Army. To the South, Fa Mulan is an adventurous and active young woman to the dismay of her family, who hope for her to bring honor to the family. She is arranged to meet a matchmaker to demonstrate her fitness as a future wife; but following a few mishaps, the matchmaker deems her a disgrace to the family.
Mulan's elderly father Fa Zhou - the only man in their family and an army veteran - is conscripted. She tries to dissuade him from going, but he protests that he must do his duty. Fearing for his life, she cuts her hair and takes her father's sword and armor, disguising herself as a man so that she can enlist in his stead. Quickly learning of her departure, Mulan's grandmother prays to the family's ancestors for Mulan's safety. In the local temple, Mushu, a small red dragon, is a disgraced former family guardian who is demoted to the role of awakening the spirits of the ancestors. The Great Ancestor decides that the powerful stone dragon guardian should guide Mulan; and sends Mushu to wake him. After accidentally destroying the guardian's statue, Mushu travels to Mulan's aid himself, desiring to redeem himself to the ancestors by making Mulan a war hero.
Reporting to the training camp, Mulan passes as a man named "Fa Ping", with Mushu providing encouragement and clumsy guidance throughout her deception. Under the command of Captain Li Shang, she and her fellow recruits—including three named Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po—gradually become trained soldiers. The Emperor's belligerent counsel, Chi-Fu, threatens to dissuade the Emperor from allowing Shang's men to fight. Mushu then crafts a fake letter from Shang's father, General Li, ordering Shang to follow the main imperial army into the mountains. The reinforcements set out and arrive at a burnt village, discovering that the Huns have massacred General Li and his troops.
As the soldiers march up a mountain pass, they are ambushed by the Huns. Mulan cleverly uses a Huolongchushui cannon to cause an avalanche, which buries the entire Hun army. Angered, Shan Yu wounds Mulan during the battle, and her deception is revealed when the wound is bandaged. Instead of executing Mulan as the law requires, Shang spares her life and expels her from the army. Mulan is left behind as the other soldiers depart for the Imperial City to report the Huns' defeat. However, Shan Yu and several of his warriors have survived, and Mulan sees them heading towards the city.
Mulan enters the city and warns Shang. The Huns then capture the Emperor and seize the palace. Mulan, Yao, Ling, Chien-Po, and Shang enter the palace and defeat Shan Yu's men. Shang prevents Shan Yu from attacking the Emperor, and Mulan lures the Hun leader onto the roof, where she pins him there with his own sword. Acting on Mulan's instructions, Mushu fires a large skyrocket at Shan Yu; the rocket strikes and propels Shan Yu into a fireworks launching tower, where he dies in the resulting explosion.
The Emperor initially reprimands Mulan, but then he and the city's assembled inhabitants praise her for having saved them, and they bow to her in honor. She accepts the Emperor's crest and Shan Yu's sword as gifts but declines his offer to be on the royal council. Mulan returns home and presents these gifts to her father, but he ignores them, happy to have her back. Having become enamored with Mulan, Shang also arrives and accepts her invitation to stay for dinner. Mushu is reinstated as a Fa family guardian as the ancestors celebrate.
Main article: List of Disney's Mulan characters
Kelly Chen, Coco Lee and Xu Qing voiced Mulan in the Cantonese, Taiwanese Mandarin and Mainland standard versions of the film respectively, while Jackie Chan provided the voice of Li Shang in all three Chinese versions and appeared in the version of promotional music videos of "I'll Make a Man Out of You". Taiwanese comedian Jacky Wu provided the voice of Mushu in the Mandarin version.
In 1989, Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida had opened with 40 to 50 employees, with its original purpose to produce cartoon shorts and featurettes. However, by late 1993, following several animation duties on Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King, Disney executives were convinced to allow the Feature Animation Florida studios to produce their first independent film. Around that same time, Disney Feature Animation developed an interest in Asian-themed legends, beginning with the optioning of several books by children's book author Robert D. San Souci, who had a consulting relationship with Disney executive Jay Dyer. Also around that time, a short straight-to-video film titled China Doll about an oppressed and miserable Chinese girl who is whisked away by a British Prince Charming to happiness in the West was in development. Thomas Schumacher asked San Souci if he had any additional stories, in response to which San Souci turned in a manuscript of a book based on the Chinese poem "The Song of Fa Mu Lan". Ultimately, Disney decided to combine the two separate projects.
Following the opening of the Feature Animation Florida studios, Barry Cook, who had served as a special-effects animator since 1982, had directed the Roger Rabbit cartoon Trail Mix-Up produced at the satellite studio. At a lunch invitation with Thomas Schumacher, Cook was offered two projects in development: a Scottish folk tale with a dragon or Mulan. Knowledgeable about the existence of dragons in Chinese mythology, Cook suggested adding a dragon to Mulan, in which a week later, Schumacher urged Cook to drop the Scottish project and accept Mulan as his next project. Following this, Cook was immediately assigned as the initial director of the project, and cited influences from Charlie Chaplin and David Lean during production. While working as an animator on the gargoyles for The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tony Bancroft was offered to co-direct the film following a recommendation from Rob Minkoff, co-director of The Lion King, to Schumacher, in which he accepted. He joined the creative team by early 1995.
In 1994, the production team sent a select group of artistic supervisors to China for three weeks to take photographs and drawings of local landmarks for inspiration; and to soak up local culture. Key members of the creative team at the time—Pam Coats, Barry Cook, Ric Sluiter, Robert Walker, and Mark Henn—were invited to travel to China as a research trip to study the landscape, people, and history of the original legend. From June 17 to July 2, 1994, the research trip flew to Beijing, China, which is where Coats became inspired by the placement of flags on the Great Wall. They also toured Datong, Luoyang, Xi'an, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, and Guilin.
In its earliest stages, the story was originally conceived as a Tootsie–inspired romantic comedy film where Mulan, who was a misfit tomboy who loves her father, is betrothed to Shang, whom she has not met. On her betrothal day, her father Fa Zhou carves her destiny on a stone tablet in the family temple, which she shatters in anger, running away to forge her own destiny. In November 1993, Chris Sanders, who had just finished storyboard work on The Lion King, was hoping to work on The Hunchback of Notre Dame until Schumacher appointed him to work on Mulan instead. Acting as Head of Story, Sanders grew frustrated with the romantic comedy aspect of the story, and urged producer Pam Coats to be more faithful to the original legend by having Mulan leave home because of the love for her father. This convinced the filmmakers to decide to change Mulan's character in order to make her more appealing and selfless.
Sequence Six—in which Mulan takes her father's conscription order, cuts her long hair, and dons her father's armor—served as a pivotal moment in the evolution of Mulan's character. Director Barry Cook explained that the sequence initially started as a song storyboarded by Barry Johnson and redrawn by character designer Chen-Yi Chang. Following the story changes to have Mulan leave to save her father, the song was dropped. Storyboard artist and co-head of story Dean DeBlois was tasked to revise the sequence, and decided to board the sequence with "minimal dialogue". Assisted with an existing musical selection from another film score courtesy of Sanders, the sequence reel was screened for Peter Schneider and Thomas Schumacher, both of whom were impressed. DeBlois stated, "Sequence Six was the first sequence that got put into production, and it helped to establish our 'silent' approach." Additionally, General Li was not originally going to be related to Shang at all, but by changing the story, the filmmakers were able to mirror the stories of both Shang's and Mulan's love for their fathers. As a Christian, Bancroft declined to explore Buddhism within the film.[better source needed]
Because there was no dragon in the original legend, Mulan did not have animal companions; it was Roy E. Disney who suggested the character of Mushu. Veteran story artist Joe Grant created the cricket character, Cri-Kee, though animator Barry Temple admitted "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 – and myself, because I was assigned the character. I would sit in meetings and they'd say, 'Well, where's the cricket during all this?' Somebody else would say, 'Oh, to hell 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.
Before production began, the production team sought out Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, or Korean vocal talents. Tia Carrere was an early candidate to voice the title character. However, Lea Salonga, who had been the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in Aladdin, was initially cast to provide both Mulan's speaking and singing voices, but the directors did not find her attempt at a deeper speaking voice when Mulan impersonated Ping convincing, so Ming-Na Wen was brought in to speak the role. Salonga returned to provide the singing voice. Wen herself landed the role after the filmmakers listened to her narration at the beginning of The Joy Luck Club. Coats reflected on her decision, stating, "When we heard Ming-Na doing that voice-over, we knew we had our Mulan. She has a very likable and lovely voice, and those are the qualities we were looking for."
For the role of Mushu, Disney was aiming for top Hollywood talent in the vein of Robin Williams's performance as the Genie in Aladdin. The filmmakers initially approached Joe Pesci and Richard Dreyfuss until Michael Eisner considered Eddie Murphy. After accepting the role, Murphy initially balked when he was asked to record at the Disney studios, but then asked to record the voice in his basement at his Bubble Hill mansion in Englewood, New Jersey.
For the speaking voice of Captain Li Shang, BD Wong was hired, although his singing voice, for the song "I'll Make a Man Out of You", was performed by Donny Osmond, who had previously auditioned to be the speaking voice of the title character in Hercules. Osmond's casting originated from a suggestion from the casting director, and throughout recording, Osmond studied Wong's dialogue tapes, and aimed to match his inflections and personality. Osmond commented that his sons decided that he had finally "made it" in show business when he was in a Disney film. Likewise for the role of Grandmother Fa, June Foray provided the speaking voice, and Marni Nixon supplied the singing voice.
To achieve a harmonious visual look, producer designer Hans Bacher and art director Ric Sluiter, along with Robert Walker and Head of Backgrounds Robert Stanton collaborated to establish a proper chronological location for the film in Chinese history. Since there was no general consensus on the time of Mulan's existence, they based the visual design on the Ming and Qing dynasties. An important element of Bacher's design was to turn the art style closer to Chinese painting, with watercolor and simpler design, as opposed to the details of The Lion King and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Bacher further studied more than thirty-five film directors ranging from the silent era German Expressionism, British and American epics of the 1950s and 60s, and the Spaghetti Westerns for inspiration for composition, lighting, and staging that would establish settings that enhanced the characters. Additional inspiration was found in the earlier Disney animated films such as Bambi, Pinocchio, and Dumbo to establish a sense of staging.
In October 1997, the Walt Disney Company announced a major expansion of its Florida animation operations constructing a 200,000-square-foot, four-story animation building and the addition of 400 animators to the workforce.
To create 2,000 Hun soldiers during the Huns' attack sequence, the production team developed crowd simulation software called Attila. This software allows thousands of unique characters to move autonomously. A variant of the program called Dynasty was used in the final battle sequence to create a crowd of 3,000 in the Forbidden City. Pixar's photorealistic open API RenderMan was used to render the crowd. Another software developed for this movie was Faux Plane, which was used to add depth to flat two-dimensional painting. Although developed late in production progress, Faux Plane was used in five shots, including the dramatic sequence which features the Great Wall of China, and the final battle sequence when Mulan runs to the Forbidden City. During the scene in which the citizens of China are bowing to Mulan, the crowd is a panoramic film of real people bowing. It was edited into the animated foreground of the scene.
Main article: Mulan (soundtrack)
In March 1994, Stephen Schwartz was attached to compose the lyrics and music for the songs for the film. Following the research trip to China in June 1994, Schwartz was contacted by former Disney studio chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg to compose songs for The Prince of Egypt, which he agreed. Peter Schneider, then-president of Walt Disney Feature Animation, threatened to have Schwartz's name removed from any publicity materials for Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Michael Eisner phoned Schwartz, and urged him to back out of his commitment to DreamWorks, but he refused and left the project. After Schwartz's departure, his three songs, "Written in Stone", "Destiny", and "China Doll", were dropped amid story and character changes by 1995. Shortly after, Disney music executive Chris Montan heard Matthew Wilder's demo for a stage musical adaptation of Anne Rice's Cry to Heaven, and selected Wilder to replace Schwartz. In July 1997, David Zippel joined to write the lyrics. The film featured five songs composed by Wilder and Zippel, with a sixth originally planned for Mushu, but dropped following Eddie Murphy's involvement with the character.
Although Danny Elfman and Thomas Newman were considered to score the film, English composer Rachel Portman was selected as the film composer. However, Portman became pregnant during production, and decided to back out. Following Portman's departure, Randy Edelman—whose Dragonheart theme was used in the trailer—and Kitarō were considered, until Jerry Goldsmith became available and signed on after dropping out of a project. The film's soundtrack is credited for starting the career of pop singer Christina Aguilera, whose first song to be released in the U.S. was her rendition of "Reflection", the first single from the Mulan soundtrack. The song, and Aguilera's vocals, were so well received that it landed her a recording contract with RCA Records. In 1999, she would go on to release her self-titled debut album, on which "Reflection" was also included. The pop version of "Reflection" has a Polish version ("Lustro" performed by Edyta Górniak) and two Spanish versions, for Spain (performed by Malú) and Latin America (performed by Lucero). Other international versions include a Brazilian Portuguese version by Sandy & Junior ("Imagem"), a Korean version performed by Lena Park, and a Mandarin version by Coco Lee.
The music featured during the haircut scene, titled Mulan's Decision, is different in the soundtrack album. The soundtrack album uses an orchestrated score while the movie uses heavy synthesizer music. The synthesizer version is available on the limited edition CD. Salonga, who often sings movie music in her concerts, has done a Disney medley which climaxes with an expanded version of "Reflection" (not the same as those in Aguilera's version). Salonga also provided the singing voice for Mulan in the film's sequel, Mulan II.
The film's teaser trailer was released in November 1997, attached to the theatrical releases of The Little Mermaid and Flubber. Teaser spots were shown during CBS's coverage of the 1998 Winter Olympics.
Because of the disappointing box office performances of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hercules, Disney restricted its marketing campaign for Mulan, spending $30 million on promotional advertisements compared to more than $60 million for Hercules the year before. Rather than holding a lavish media event premiere like those of the past few years, such as premiering Pocahontas in Central Park and bringing the Main Street Electrical Parade parade to Fifth Avenue for Hercules, Disney opted to premiere the film on June 5, 1998 at the Hollywood Bowl, complete with Chinese lanterns and fortune cookies. Two days before the general release, McDonald's launched its promotional campaign by including one of eight toys free with the purchase of a Happy Meal. The promotion also included Szechuan sauce for its Chicken McNuggets, which would be referenced in a 2017 episode of the Adult Swim series Rick and Morty and subsequently brought back by McDonald's as a promotional item related to that show.
In collaboration with Disney, Hyperion Books published The Art of Mulan authored by Jeff Kurtti, which chronicled the production of the film. In addition with its publication, Hyperion Books also issued a collector's "folding, accordion book" of the ancient poem that inspired the film. On August 18, 1998, around 3,700 backpacks and 1,800 pieces of luggage were recalled back to their manufacturer, Pyramid Accessories Inc., when it was discovered they contained lead-based paint.
The film was first released on VHS on February 2, 1999, as part of the Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection lineup. Mulan was released on DVD on November 9, 1999, as a Walt Disney Limited Issue for a limited sixty-day time period before going into moratorium. On February 1, 2000, it was re-released on VHS and DVD as part of the Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection lineup. The VHS and DVD were accompanied by two music videos of "Reflection" and "True to Your Heart" while the DVD additionally contained the theatrical trailer and character artwork. The Gold Collection release was returned into the Disney Vault on January 31, 2002. On October 26, 2004, Walt Disney Home Entertainment re-released a restored print of Mulan on VHS and as a 2-disc Special Edition DVD.
In March 2013, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released Mulan and Mulan II on Blu-ray and DVD to coincide with the film's 15th anniversary.
In September 2017, Mulan became available to Netflix users through their streaming service. In November 2019, Mulan became available for streaming on Disney+. A year later, Mulan was released on 4K Blu-ray.
Mulan grossed $22.8 million in its opening weekend, ranking second behind The X-Files. It went on to gross $120 million in the United States and Canada combined, and $304 million worldwide, making it the second-highest grossing family film of the year, behind A Bug's Life, and the seventh-highest-grossing film of the year overall. While Mulan domestically out-grossed the previous two Disney animated films which had preceded it, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hercules, its box office returns failed to match those of the Disney films from the first half of the Renaissance such as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. Internationally, its highest grossing releases included those in the United Kingdom ($14.6 million) and France ($10.2 million).
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an approval rating of 85%, based on 80 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10. The site's consensus reads, "Exploring themes of family duty and honor, Mulan breaks new ground as a Disney film, while still bringing vibrant animation and sprightly characters to the screen." In a 2009 countdown, Rotten Tomatoes ranked it twenty-fourth out of the fifty canonical animated Disney features. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 71 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". CinemaScore reported that audiences gave the film a rare "A+" grade.
Roger Ebert, reviewing for the Chicago Sun-Times, gave Mulan three-and-a-half stars out of four in his written review. He said that "Mulan is an impressive achievement, with a story and treatment ranking with Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King". Likewise, James Berardinelli of ReelViews awarded the film three-and-a-half stars out of four praising the lead character, its theme of war, and the animation. He concluded that "Adults will appreciate the depth of characterization while kids will love Mulan's sidekick, a colorful dragon named Mushu. Everyone will be entertained [by] the fast-moving plot and rich animation." Todd McCarthy of Variety called the film "a female empowerment story par excellence, as well as a G-rated picture that may have strong appeal for many adults." McCarthy further praised the voice cast and background design, but overall felt the film "goes about halfway toward setting new boundaries for Disney’s, and the industry's, animated features, but doesn't go far enough." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly graded the film a B+ writing, "Vividly animated, with a bursting palette that evokes both the wintry grandeur and decorative splendor of ancient China, Mulan is artful and satisfying in a slightly remote way."
Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune described the film as "a big disappointment when compared with the studio's other recent films about a female hero searching for independence." He was further critical of Mulan's characterization in comparison to Ariel and Belle, and claimed the "design of the film does not take advantage of the inspiration provided by classic Chinese artists, and the songs are not memorable." Similarly, Janet Maslin of The New York Times criticized the lack of detail in the background art and described it as "the most inert and formulaic of recent Disney animated films." Reviewing the film for the Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Turan wrote "Mulan has its accomplishments, but unlike the best of Disney's output, it comes off as more manufactured than magical." While he praised the title character, he highlighted that the "by-now-standard hip patter (prepare for jokes about cross-dressing) is so tepid that not even five credited writers can revive it, and the songs by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel (with Lea Salonga and Donny Osmond singing for the leads) lack the spark that Zippel's lyrics brought to the underappreciated Hercules." Ed Gonzalez of Slant Magazine criticized the film as "soulless" in its portrayal of East Asian society.
This movie was also the subject of comment from feminist critics. Mimi Nguyen says the film "pokes fun at the ultimately repressive gender roles that seek to make Mulan a domesticated creature". Nadya Labi agreed, saying "there is a lyric in the film that gives the lie to the bravado of the entire girl-power movement." She pointed out that Mulan needed to become a boy in order to accomplish what she did. Kathleen Karlyn, an assistant professor of English at the University of Oregon, also criticized the film's portrayal of gender roles: "In order to even imagine female heroism, we're placing it in the realm of fantasy". Pam Coats, the producer of Mulan, said that the film aims to present a character who exhibits both masculine and feminine influences, being both physically and mentally strong.
|List of awards and nominations|
|Academy Awards||Best Original Musical or Comedy Score||Music by Matthew Wilder;
Lyrics by David Zippel;
Orchestral Score by Jerry Goldsmith
|ALMA Awards||Outstanding Performance of a Song for a Feature Film||Christina Aguilera – "Reflection"||Nominated|
|Annie Awards||Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Theatrical Feature||Won|||
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production||Barry Cook and Tony Bancroft||Won|
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for Producing in an Animated Feature Production||Pam Coats||Won|
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Feature Production||Rita Hsiao, Chris Sanders, Philip LaZebnik,
Raymond Singer, and Eugenia Bostwick-Singer
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for Character Animation||Ruben Aquino (for Shang)||Won|
|Tom Bancroft (for Mushu)||Nominated|
|Mark Henn (for Mulan)||Nominated|
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for Effects Animation||David Tidgwell||Won|
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production||Songs by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel;
Score by Jerry Goldsmith
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for Production Design in an Animated Feature Production||Hans Bacher||Won|
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production||Chris Sanders||Won|
|Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Feature Production||Ming-Na Wen||Won|
|Artios Awards||Animated Voice-Over Feature Casting||Ruth Lambert||Nominated|||
|ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards||Top Box Office Films||Matthew Wilder||Won|
|Blockbuster Entertainment Awards||Favorite Animated Family Movie||Nominated|
|BMI Film & TV Awards||Film Music Award||Jerry Goldsmith||Won|
|Florida Film Critics Circle Awards||Special Notice to 1998 animation features||Won[a]|||
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Original Score – Motion Picture||Jerry Goldsmith||Nominated|||
|Best Original Song – Motion Picture||"Reflection"
Music by Matthew Wilder;
Lyrics by David Zippel
|Golden Reel Awards||Best Sound Editing – Animated Feature||Nominated|
|Best Sound Editing – Music – Animated Feature||Kenneth Hall, Kathleen Fogarty-Bennett,
Tom Kramer, and Robert Bayless
|Golden Screen Awards||Won|
|Grammy Awards||Best Spoken Word Album for Children||Disney's Mulan Read & Sing Along – June Foray||Nominated|||
|Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media||"True to Your Heart"
Matthew Wilder and David Zippel (songwriters)
|International Film Music Critics Association Awards||Film Score of the Year||Jerry Goldsmith||Won|||
|Best Original Score for an Adventure Film||Nominated|
|Online Film & Television Association Awards||Best Family Picture||Pam Coats||Nominated|||
|Best Family Actor||Eddie Murphy||Nominated|
|Best Family Actress||Ming-Na Wen||Won|
|Best Voice-Over Performance||Nominated|
|Best Family Score||Jerry Goldsmith, Matthew Wilder, and David Zippel||Nominated|
|Best Original Song||"Reflection"
Music by Matthew Wilder;
Lyrics by David Zippel
|Best Family Ensemble||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards (1998)||Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature||Nominated|||
|Satellite Awards (2004)||Outstanding Youth DVD||Nominated|||
|Young Artist Awards||Best Family Feature Film – Animated||Nominated|||
In 2008, the film was one of 50 nominees listed on the ballot for the American Film Institute's top 10 greatest American animated movies.
Disney was keen to promote Mulan to the Chinese, hoping to replicate their success with the 1994 film The Lion King, which was one of the country's highest-grossing Western films at that time. Disney also hoped it might smooth over relations with the Chinese government which had soured after the release of Kundun, a Disney-funded biography of the Dalai Lama that the Chinese government considered politically provocative. China had threatened to curtail business negotiations with Disney over that film and, as the government only accepted ten foreign films to be shown in China each year, Mulan's chances of being accepted were low. Finally, after a year's delay, the Chinese government did allow the film a limited Chinese release, but only after the Chinese New Year, so as to ensure that local films dominated the more lucrative holiday market. Box office income was low, due to both the unfavorable release date and rampant piracy. Chinese people also complained about Mulan's depiction as too foreign-looking and the story as too different from the myths.
A Windows, Macintosh, and PlayStation point-and-click adventure interactive storybook based on the film, Disney's Animated Storybook: Mulan (titled Disney's Story Studio: Mulan on PlayStation), was released on December 15, 1999. The game was developed by Media Station for computers and Revolution Software (under the name "Kids Revolution") for PlayStation. The game was met with generally positive reception and holds a 70.67% average rating at the review aggregator website GameRankings.
Main article: Mulan (2020 film)
Walt Disney Pictures first expressed interest in a live-action adaptation of Mulan in the 2000s. Zhang Ziyi was to star in it and Chuck Russell was chosen as the director. The film was originally planned to start filming in October 2010, but was eventually canceled.
In 2015, Disney again began developing a live-action remake. Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek's script treatment reportedly featured a white merchant who falls in love with Mulan, and is drawn into a central role in the country's conflict with the Huns. According to a Vanity Fair source, the spec script was only a "jumping-off point" and all main characters will in fact be Chinese. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Jurassic World screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver are to rewrite Hynek and Martin's screenplay with Chris Bender, J. C. Spink and Jason Reed producing. In February 2017, it was announced that Niki Caro will direct the live-action adaptation of the 1998 animated film.
The casting process of a Chinese actress to portray the heroine began in October 2016. The film was originally scheduled to be released on November 2, 2018, but it was later taken off the release schedule with The Nutcracker and the Four Realms taking its old slot. On November 29, 2017, Liu Yifei was cast as the titular character. The film had its Hollywood premiere on March 9, 2020. Disney originally scheduled the film to be released in theaters on March 27, 2020; however, this was pushed back to July 24, and then August 21. The film's theatrical release was canceled in the United States and would instead have its premiere for a premium fee on Disney+ on September 4, 2020. It will still be released theatrically in countries where theaters have re-opened, such as China, as well as in other countries that do not have Disney+.
Donnie Yen was cast as Commander Tung, a mentor and teacher to Mulan. Following him, Jet Li joined the film as the emperor of China, Gong Li was cast as the villain, a witch, and Xana Tang was announced to play Mulan's sister. The next month, Utkarsh Ambudkar was cast as Skatch, a con artist, and Ron Yuan was cast as Sergeant Qiang, the second in command of the Imperial Regiment. In June, Yoson An was cast as Chen Honghui, "a confident and ambitious recruit" who becomes Mulan's love interest. In July, Jason Scott Lee joined the cast as Bori Khan, a secondary villain and warrior seeking revenge. In August 2018, Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao, Cheng Pei-Pei, Nelson Lee, Jimmy Wong and Doua Moua were added to the cast.
Although she is royalty neither by birth nor marriage (her husband is merely a high-ranking military officer), Mulan is part of the Disney Princess media franchise. Mulan was the last addition to the lineup until Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog was added in 2009, 11 years later. In the film Lilo & Stitch, Nani has a poster of Mulan in her room. Mulan is also present in the Disney and Square Enix video game series Kingdom Hearts. In the first Kingdom Hearts and in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Mushu is a summonable character, and in Kingdom Hearts II, the movie is featured as a playable world named "The Land of Dragons", with the plot being changed to accommodate the game's characters (Sora, Donald and Goofy) and Mulan (both as herself and as "Ping") able to join the player's party as a skilled sword fighter. Actress Jamie Chung plays a live-action version of Mulan in the second, third, and fifth seasons of the ABC television series Once Upon a Time. The video game Disney Magic Kingdoms includes some characters of the film and some attractions based on locations of the film as content to unlock for a limited time.
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