Mulan
G
Entertainment: +3 1/2
Acceptability: +3

With MULAN, Walt Disney Pictures has come up with one of its most entertaining, artistic, and often hilarious, animated features in some time. Based on an old Chinese legend, it's the story of a Chinese teenage girl, Mulan(voice of Ming-Na Wen), who goes to war against the invading Huns in place of her aging father. She disguises herself as a man and eventually becomes a competent soldier, much to the surprise of her handsome commanding officer, Shang (voice of B.D. Wong). But in a show down battle with the Huns, it looks like Shang's army will be wiped out until Mulan comes up with a clever plan which could stop the overpowering Huns.

The animated characters and the musical score in MULAN are superb, but Mulan has a Chinese version of a guardian angel in the form of a pint size, wisecracking dragon who almost steals the show. He is voiced by Eddie Murphy with a decidedly African-American flavor and his offbeat dialogue and quips are hilarious. A very entertaining blend of high adventure, humor and heartfelt emotion, MULAN will likely appeal to adults as well as the kids.

Happily, this delightful G-rated film has virtually no offensive elements. It has only two moderately rough expressions and one subtle, comical reference to Mulan's breasts. And Mulan bathes nude in a pond, but only her upper back is shown. Some hand fighting and a large military battle are depicted, but they are subdued and not gory. In one scene, a huge snow avalanche annihilates many of the Hun soldiers, but none of the violence in the film appears too intense for children. One aspect of the story could cause some concern for Christians, and that is the practice of Mulan and her family praying to their ancestors for guidance and protection. But this is just a neutral portrayal of another religion and does not develop empathy for the religion. In fact, one of the characters expresses doubt that dead ancestors could ever help anyone, and the deceased ancestors are portrayed in a comical vein. MULAN is suitable for the whole family, but those boycotting Disney films will want to avoid it.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution,3900 W. Alemeda Ave., Burbank, CA 91521

Summary
Crude Language: Twice - Moderate(kick butt)
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Many times - Moderate(Rough treatment of soldiers, hand fighting and striking; arrows, explosive cannon shells and fiery missiles shot at soldiers; snow avalanche annihilates many Hun soldiers, chase threats, Emperor kidnapped)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Once - Subtle, humorous remark made about Mulan's breasts; Mulan bathes nude in pond, but only her upper back shown)
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Mulan and parents pray to their deceased ancestors; deceased ancestors portrayed in comical manner and one lady skeptical of effectiveness)
Running Time: 87 minutes
Intended Audience: Persons 6 and older

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