Beginning with The Lion King and Pocahontas, Disney's feature animation efforts took on a more ethnically diverse tone in the late 1990s. As a result, the studio that had once specialized in white-bread Americana took on a more global viewpoint. Mulan was another example of this trend, using mostly Asian voices and a diverse group of production talents in the service of a lavish adaptation of a traditional Chinese folk tale. Centering on a young girl who disguises herself as a man and joins the Army in order to save her family's honor, the film is a feminist statement -- which is in keeping with the 1990s Disney trend of stronger female protagonists. The score by Jerry Goldsmith and songs by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel add some lightness to an unusually mirthless Disney drama. Comedian Eddie Murphy is one of the few big-name talents in the production; Ming-Na Wen's strong but compassionate voice carries the bulk of the film.
by Michael Betzold review