I recently had the pleasure of watching Mulan 1 and 2, for the very first time. I knew the story behind Mulan but never actually saw the move. Well I am glad I did because I think I found my new favorite princess.
This Blu-Ray will keep you entertained for hours. You get 2 movies, 11 deleted scenes, 15 backstage featurettes, and 6 music videos. I can’t decide which is more entertaining the bonus features or the actual movies.
I think Mulan is the most under rated and under appreciated princess. I love her because she shows little girls that you can do what ever you put your mind to regardless of what other people tell you, even if it breaks tradition.
Most of us know the story of Mulan but I will give you a quick run down. In Mulan 1, her family tries to train in the proper way to bring honor to her family and how to be a good traditional chinese wife. Soon Mulan’s father is called to duty for the Chinese Army. Mulan knows that her father will not survive this because he is older and not in good health but there are no boys in the family. Mulan seizes the opportunity to bring honor to her family and save her fathers life. Mulan has some issues in boot camp but in true Mulan fashion she puts her mind to it and shows them all that she can be just as good as the guys, if not better. This movie shows that being true to yourself is the most important above all. My favorite part in this movie is the battle scene where Mulan did better than any man in her troop by thinking outside the box. The saddest part was when Mulan leaves the child’s doll behind, I have a soft spot for dolls. In the end Mulan gets the praise and recognition she deserves.
More after the jump…
Mulan 2, Mushu finally gets his recognition in Mulan 2 but it doesn’t last long. I love when Mulan is teaching the little girls how to fight while she is giving them advice. I could do without a song every so often, but I guess that adds to the charm of the movie. I like that Mulan is happy about her engagement but it is not her total focus and her life did not revolve around her asking her to marry him. I also loved how the Emperor called on Shang and Mulan when he needed something done. The Emperor’s daughters go on a road trip to their arranged marriage and on the way they realize that they should follow their heart and fight for what they believe in, needless to say Mulan gave them some advice to help them come to this conclusion. One of my favorite things about Mulan is that she speaks up for what is right and follows her heart no matter what anyone says. Even when Mulan thinks Shang is gone she still vows to go on with the mission. I guess Mulan had a positive effect on Shang because in the end he breaks tradition and combines the family ancestor guardians/ temples. Just when you think Shang is by the book he throws you for a loop.
Bonus Content, and there is a lot of it.
You have the option of watching the movie with audio commentary
11 deleted scenes in all. You get to see the sketched scenes that didn’t make into the movie, also there is a song that didn’t make it in as well. The people that worked on the movie tell you about scenes and how they came up with ideas for certain scenes. Its amazing how many scenes they worked so hard on but did not make in the movie and how they switched some characters and ideas. I love how Disney shows you the scenes and has the people that worked on it tell you about the process and give you some history as well. My favorite deleted scene was the alternate opening they had. They wanted to show how she was different and didn’t want to take on the role of a traditional Chinese woman.
Mulan’s fun facts: This is my favorite, it has pop ups of fun facts about the movie. There are a few facts in there you might be surprised to know.
The Journey begins: Discovering Mulan: This tells you about the directors and how they got to spend 3 weeks in China to research the Chinese culture. I think that was a great idea because I think it really made the movie feel authentic. They explain how they used a lot of what they saw in the details of the movie.
The Ballad of Hua Mulan: Tells the story of Mulan. This to me makes the story seem dark and depressing. This is my least favoite bonus feature.
Early Presentation Reel 1995: This features shows some sketches from the movie, when they were just black and white sketches. I liked this because it is always fun to see how things started out.
Early Presentation Reel 1996: This shows color sketches from what was known as The Legend of Mulan. This shows some of the different looks a few of the characters had before they were finalized.
Story Artists Journey finding Mulan: This shows us some different drawings of Mulan before she became the Mulan that we know and love today. It also talks about how the movie was going in a different direction originally. They felt Mulan was not relatable enough so they changed her into the selfless character she is known as today. This also takes you more in depth into who Mulan is as a character.
Storyboard to Film Comparison Mushu breaks the dragon: In this we see the storyboards and the actual scene next to each other. This is cool because you get to see the storyboard come to life.
Art Design: In this we learn how they came up with the style of the movie. They struggled as to how the movie would look. They talk about certain things that inspired them and they translated that to the movie. This move doesn’t have as much detail as some other Disney movies but that doesn’t make it any less incredible.
Character Design: We get to see how the characters looked different and how they evolved over time. He tells us how each character has a different shape to define their individuality. The character designer is from Taiwan, so he added the extra Asian details that some may over look.
Ballad of color: They tell us how important color is in a movie and how it represents mood and feelings in a movie. Color can make you sad, depressed, or happy. Color can be a very powerful tool. The matchmaker had certain details and colors in order to make you feel a certain way about her.
Production and Digital Production: Shows us the difference between hand drawing and computerized animation. They did some harder scenes by computer animation but a lot of the scenes were drawn by hand. The animators would draw some scenes by hand and then hand them off to the CG people to bring it to life. For the scene with the horses the animator went to the Magic Kingdom and watched the horses. Now that is a job I can get used to.
Mulan 2 Bonus features:
Classic Music: This is different music videos from the songs from the movie. My personal favorite is Christina Aguilera singing reflection. There are many other videos by great artists such as Stevie Wonder and 98 degrees. There is also a Spanish version of Reflection.
Voices of Mulan: This shows the people behind the characters. It shows you the stars in the voice booth and how sometimes they had to act out the scene to feel the emotion and make the scene feel more realistic.
I loved these movies and the bonus content was incredible as usual with Disney DVD/Blu-Ray’s.
I give this move an A+
Wishing you Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust
- Classic Disney Movie week on ABC Family (chipandco.com)
- Disney Bluray & DVD Schedule for 2013 (chipandco.com)
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