Tag Archives: Jerry Goldsmith

My Thoughts on: Aliens (1986)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

There is, based on my experience, a long-running argument as to whether Alien or Aliens is the superior film. I’ve heard valid arguments for both films, but the fact is, you can’t compare them to each other. At the end of the day, Alien is first and foremost a horror film (albeit one set in space) while Aliens is firmly set in the action genre.

Aliens-inside.jpg

I have a confession to make about Aliens: I can’t watch the beginning of the film. Learning that Ripley has been in stasis for 57 years and no one believes her story about the alien is just too painful, for lack of a better word, to watch. I don’t know if it’s just subconscious frustration on my part (because we know Ripley’s telling the truth) but I just can’t watch the opening; I usually just skip to Burke’s visit to Ripley’s home.

Issues with the opening aside, I love Aliens; I love the set up, I love the characters and I love the various plot twists. In summary, Ripley unwillingly returns to LV-426 after a colony established there goes radio silent. She’s accompanied by a squad of colonial marines, Bishop (another android, but one more advanced than Ash) and Burke, an executive who is definitely as slimy as you think he is. In predictable fashion, everyone except Ripley completely underestimates the gravity of the situation, resulting in the marines walking straight into an alien nest (though granted they don’t realize that’s what it is at first). This is one of my favorite scenes in any science fiction film because you just know from the start that most of these characters are going to die, and since it’s an Alien movie, it’s not going to be pretty. After the initial massacre, the plot focuses on Ripley working with the survivors to escape back to their ship, while also bonding with Newt, the lone colony survivor.

alien_queen.jpg

The biggest difference between this film and the original is that the first film only had ONE Alien on the loose; Aliens has several hundred and it’s also responsible for introducing the Alien Queen to the story. And speaking of the queen….what a terrifying creature she is! Until Jurassic Park, the Alien Queen was the largest animatronic/puppet of its kind, requiring over a dozen people to operate at any given time. Technical details aside, the scene introducing the queen is terrifying, I love how the camera only shows bits and pieces before suddenly pulling back and showing the creature in all her scary glory.

Another sub-plot I want to highlight is Ripley’s relationship with Bishop. Given that the last android she knew tried to kill her, Ripley understandably wants nothing to do with Bishop at first. But as time goes on and Bishop proves himself time and again, Ripley comes to respect the android and the feeling is mutual.

Shop Video Games + Spend $35, Get Free Shipping on Select at Target.com

 

James Horner’s score is a big part of why Aliens is so great: there are hints of the horror/suspense that Goldsmith created in the original film, but also moments of full blown action (notable example: when Ripley charges in to rescue the surviving marines, the score goes into overdrive).

Few more random thoughts:

-Burke’s comeuppance is one of the greatest things you will ever see. My only regret is we don’t get to see more (a lot of it is left to the imagination).

-Since it is the 80s, if you look carefully you can see the wires manipulating some of the Alien puppets (the most obvious one comes when an Alien surfaces out of the water right behind Newt, you can see it attached to the tail).

-That scene where the facehuggers are loose in the medical lab is downright terrifying, but they move so realistically you can’t really tell they’re puppets.

At the end of the day I highly recommend both Alien and Aliens as they’re both great films (just for their own reasons). Let me know what you think of Aliens in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film/TV Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Advertisements

My Thoughts on: Alien (1979)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

As long as I live I will never forget the first time I saw Alien. I was in college, it was my sophomore year and I was feeling really bored and in the mood for something new. There was an Alien marathon on TV and I decided to just sit down and try them (since I’d never seen them before). And for the record, I did know about the chestburster scene going in, I just didn’t know where in the film it would be.

alien-1979-movie-still-1-1.jpg

Alien, if you’ve never seen it before, is a dark, gritty piece of science fiction horror that is about as far from the sanitized utopia of Star Trek as you can get. The story follows the crew of the Nostromo, a commercial space tug hauling a massive shipment back to Earth. The ship is clean (for the most part) and functional, but it’s not what you’d call elegant. There are no sleek lines or holographic displays here; this is a ship that feels real. The crew is abruptly pulled from stasis when the ship’s computer “Mother” detects a transmission coming from LV-426, a barren moon. There they stumble across the wreckage of an alien spacecraft which is carrying a strange cargo of eggs…and the situation deteriorates from there.

Alien-xenomorph.jpg

The story is almost literally a case of “curiosity killed the crew.” Once Kane (John Hurt) is attacked by the alien face hugger, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is the only sensible one who wants to follow protocol and keep Kane in quarantine until they can determine if it’s dangerous. Ash (Ian Holm), the science officer, overrules Ripley and allows Kane to come on board, setting the events for the rest of the film into motion. The facehugger implants an egg, which quickly develops into the iconic alien (in gruesome fashion) and one by one the crew is picked off. If they hadn’t been so hellbent on investigating the alien ship in the first place, no one would have died (probably). Though given how ruthless the Company (later retconned to the Weyland-Yutani Corporation) is implied to be, if the crew had returned with nothing they probably would have met with some kind of “accident” back on Earth.

Shop Movies + Spend $35, Get Free Shipping

 

Part of what makes the first Alien film so terrifying is how little you really see of the alien itself. This was done by design as director Ridley Scott wanted audiences to see the alien as a terrifying figure and not just “some guy in a rubber suit” (which is exactly what the alien was, but watching the film you’d never know that). There is also no way of knowing when the alien is going to appear next.

A_tf.png

My two favorite examples involve the death of Captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt) and the climax of the film. In the first scene, Dallas is stalking the alien with a flamethrower…or at least he thinks he is. At an intersection of the ship, Dallas turns with a light and the last thing you see is a jump cut of the alien lunging out of the darkness (it always makes me jump too, even though I KNOW the shot is coming, the way it’s timed always puts me on edge). The second example is even scarier because it’s also a false ending: Ripley has escaped the Nostromo by the skin of her teeth and is preparing to enter a stasis pod until she can be rescued. Just as everyone’s relaxed…THERE’S THE ALIEN! It’s hand literally pops out of the wall as it had burrowed itself into the side of the shuttle to escape detection. Fun fact about this scene? If you examine the wall of the shuttle while Ripley is getting changed, you can just see him sitting there before the moment happens (but you have to look carefully, he’s camouflaged very well).

One scene that makes me intensely uncomfortable is the scene where Ash tries to murder Ripley. I know it was probably designed to make the audience squirm but that doesn’t make it any easier to sit through (in brief, Ash tries to suffocate Ripley by forcing a rolled up magazine down her throat), in fact many times I just skip the scene entirely.

And of course I have to mention Jerry Goldsmith’s fantastic score, which is minimal to be sure, but very effective. Actually, the opening credits were supposed to feature a theme that was more orchestral and Romantic in tone, but Ridley Scott didn’t like it so Goldsmith was obliged to recompose the opening to what you hear in the final cut (he would also grouse that while the first piece took weeks to compose, the piece that made it into the film took all of ten minutes to put together). Despite the difficulties, the score was nominated for a Golden Globe, a Grammy Award and a BAFTA Award (though unfortunately it didn’t win).

Alien is one of those rare films that you can watch over and over and still be scared every single time; it’s definitely one of those films you must see at least once in your life. If you have seen Alien, let me know what you think about it in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film/TV Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Mulan “The Huns Attack” (1998)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

After discovering that the Huns have wiped out the Imperial Army, Shang and his small group of men move towards the pass that leads to the Imperial City, as they need to warn the Emperor of the danger. They seem to be alone…but as they move through a snowy valley, Mushu inadvertently sets off one of the rockets (he tries to blame Lucky Cricket), which quickly reveals that the Huns have been following them all this time as they launch an ambush, destroying many of the valuable rockets in the process. Most of the ambush party is taken out, and suddenly only one rocket is left.

Mulan “Huns Attack” (1998)

maxresdefault (1)

Poor Mushu….

But now the true attack is coming: the smoke clears to reveal Shan Yu up on the hillside, alone. But then his advisors ride up to join him, and then more men and  more men…suddenly the entire top of the mountainside is bristling with Hun soldiers, and a loud roar indicates that there are thousands more behind them. Shang orders everyone to prepare to fight, but this is really a suicide mission now (and everybody knows it). Even if they had a hundred men, they wouldn’t even put a dent in Shan Yu’s massive army, which now comes spilling down the mountainside as their leader charges forward.

hun_army

Mulan “Mountain Fight/Hun Charge” (1998)

This moment never fails to send chills down my spine: the sight of the army pouring down in this huge wave, it really is incredible. In fact, so determined were the Disney animators to get this right, that a whole new software program was invented just to render the Hun army realistically. And Jerry Goldsmith’s music for this moment adds the right level of tension, even though the whole army hasn’t crossed over the mountain yet, you know that this is a huge and awesome force, nothing stands a chance against them!

With one cannon left, Shang decides to use it to take out Shan Yu. But as Yao prepares to fire, Mulan looks up and realizes that the taller mountain above them is thick with snow. A cannon blast there would trigger a huge avalanche….with no time for explanations Mulan grabs the cannon and runs ahead to get in proper range to fire. With Shan Yu quickly advancing, Mulan is forced to use Mushu to light the cannon, which fires just as Shan Yu rides up. It’s a perfect hit and Mulan can’t help but smirk a little as the massive avalanche begins. It’s also worth pointing out that the music momentarily vanishes during the beginning seconds of the avalanche and all you hear instead is the rumble of the falling snow (a good example of when it’s better to have no music).

A stunned Shan Yu looks back and sees his massive army being slowly wiped out. Enraged, he swings back to Mulan who suddenly remembers that there’s a really angry Hun standing in front of her. He swipes his sword across her chest but Mulan has no time to react as she needs to run with everyone else to safety before the avalanche takes THEM out as well.

maxresdefault

Mulan and Shang are saved in just the nick of time, while the entire Hun army (Shan Yu) included appears to have been taken out. All seems to be well, except now that the adrenaline is wearing off, Mulan suddenly remembers that she has a serious chest wound and quickly passes out. Things are going to be very different when she wakes up….

Next time: Mulan is finally caught, the Huns aren’t all dead and the Emperor is in serious danger!

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

See also:

Mulan “Honor to Us All” (1998)

Mulan “Reflection” (1998)

Mulan “Mulan’s Decision” (1998)

Mulan “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” (1998)

Mulan “A Girl Worth Fighting For” (1998)

Mulan “I’ve Heard a Great Deal About You Fa Mulan…” (1998)

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

Mulan “A Girl Worth Fighting For” (1998)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Mulan_274

Mulan “A Girl Worth Fighting For” (1998)

Believe it or not, this is the last song in the film (though I plan to cover several more orchestral moments to round out the film). Here’s the set up: while Mulan’s training is now going very well, there have been no orders for the soldiers to move out to battle, making it very possible that they won’t see any combat at all. This goes against Mushu’s plans of making Mulan into a hero (to improve his reputation back home) so he conspires with Lucky Cricket to create some fake orders that are ostensibly from Shang’s father General Li. According to the “urgent news”, Shang and his troops are needed at the front, so they quickly head out on the march.

During the long march, the soldiers begin to complain about the never-ending boredom of marching along, but Ling has an idea to keep their minds occupied: talking about girls! Specifically, the dream girls that they’d love to have waiting for them when they get home after the war.

mulan-81

The “dream girls” are animated in a style similar to traditional Chinese art

Ling, Yao and Chien-Po each have their idea of the “perfect woman,”: Ling wants a really pretty girl; Yao wants a girl that admires his physical strength; and Chien-Po (predictably enough), would like a girl that can cook really well. When pressed on the type of girl Mulan/Ping would like, she lamely attempts to sing about a girl with “lots of brains, who always speaks her mind” but that idea is soundly rejected as being “unrealistic.” Chi-Fu (the stuck up advisor from the Emperor’s court, and extremely disliked by everybody) claims to have a girl waiting for him back home (but  Yao is of the opinion that the only girl who could love Chi-Fu is his own mother).

all-depends-on-what-she-cooks-like-beef-pork-chicken

Now approaching the mountains, the men continue to whistle about “girls’ worth fighting for” and everything seems about to break down into a snowball fight when suddenly-the song abruptly ends (indeed, this is one of the few Disney songs to end this way).

The reason for the song ending is frighteningly clear: the small army has encountered a burned out village in the mountains. Incredibly, while Mushu’s news was meant to be fake, it seems there really IS danger up at the front, because this is where General Li is supposed to be with the bulk of the Imperial Army.

f226f6f4-2582-4768-9451-c8de90bedb6d

Mulan “The Burned Out Village” (1998)

But the bad news isn’t over. Just over a rise, Chi-Fu sees the full extent of what’s happened: somehow, the entire Imperial Army has been slaughtered, including Shang’s father. Heartbroken, Shang sets up a small memorial to honor his father’s memory and then makes ready to pursue the Hun army. With the Imperial Army wiped out, the only thing standing between the Huns and the Imperial Palace are Shang and his men (and one dragon and a cricket).

mulan-corpses

What should have been an easy mission to support General Li’s forces has now turned into a life or death scenario: Shang’s forces are hopelessly outnumbered by the Hun Army (which has not been seen in full yet), how are they possibly going to defeat them? It’s going to take a lot of ingenuity on the part of a certain soldier named Ping….

Next time: the Huns begin their attack!!!

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

See Also:

Mulan “Honor to Us All” (1998)

Mulan “Reflection” (1998)

Mulan “Mulan’s Decision” (1998)

Mulan “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” (1998)

Mulan “The Huns Attack” (1998)

Mulan “I’ve Heard a Great Deal About You Fa Mulan…” (1998)

And for more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

Mulan “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” (1998)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

2bfa1d60-b950-0132-9a57-0e01949ad350

Mulan “I’ll Make a Man out of You” (1998)

Disguising yourself as a man and then running off in the middle of the night to take your father’s place in the Imperial Army is all well and good, but unfortunately Mulan really hadn’t thought out what to do AFTER that. Despite looking like a man, she has no idea how to act like one, and is therefore skulking in the woods outside camp, unsure of how to get inside without instantly being found out as a girl. Enter… Mushu!!

No sooner was Mulan gone than her ancestors held a little conference to decide what to do with her. All agreed that Mulan had to be forced to come back, lest catastrophic damage be done to the family name. Mushu (Eddie Murphy), a small red dragon, offered to go, but seeing as the LAST time he tried to help a member of the Fa family, that person lost their head (and Mushu lost his place as an official guardian of the family), he is soundly rejected. Instead, Mushu is ordered to wake The Great Stone Dragon and have HIM bring Mulan back. Unfortunately, Mushu ends up smashing the statue into pieces and after convincing the Great Ancestor Spirit that the Great Stone Dragon is on the way, heads off himself (Lucky Cricket in tow) to instead make Mulan a big war hero and thereby put himself back in the good graces of Mulan’s ancestors.

just-hear-me-out-why-disney-should-cut-mushu-out-of-mulan-339543

Which brings us back to where Mulan is hiding outside camp and Mushu puts his plan into action. Convincing Mulan that he was indeed sent by her ancestors to help her, the pair make their way into camp. Due to a series of errors (prompted by Mushu), Mulan causes a huge brawl to break out in camp, and initially falls afoul of two not-so-bright guys named Yao and Ling (a third guy, Chien-Po, is friendly to everybody).

The fight is broken up by the camp commander, Captain Li Shang (also son of General Li, the head of the imperial army), who demands to know who Mulan is. Introducing herself as Ping (meaning “Peace”), the training begins with a little lesson. Shang shoots an arrow into the top of a very tall pole, and challenges Yao to climb up and get it. But there’s a catch: he has to do it using two round weights, one he names “Discipline” and the other he names “Strength,” stating that “You need BOTH to retrieve the arrow.” Yao makes it halfway up, but the weights pull him back down, and one by one everyone fails in the task. This failure prompts the training song “I’ll Make a Man out of You” which follows Mulan in her attempts to train for war.

maxresdefault

To say that her training goes badly at first is a massive understatement. In fact, no one is doing well in the beginning. Various skills are shown: shooting arrows through tomatoes before they hit the ground, deflecting rocks with a staff while balancing a bucket of water on the head, launching primitive rockets at a target, hand to hand combat, etc. In most of these tasks, Mushu is seen attempting to “help” Mulan but the attempts either backfire or get caught by Shang. Finally, after Mulan falls behind in an endurance walk, Shang brings Mulan her horse and tells her to go home, she’ll never be a soldier. At this point, Mulan could go home, but having come this far, she’s not ready to give up.

big_1446948139_image

She sees the arrow at the top and makes another try for it, and then it hits her: everyone has been letting the weights hang at their sides, but if one ties the weights TOGETHER, you can use them to pull you up to the top. Doing this, Mulan sends the arrow down to Shang at sunrise, and is allowed to stay. Not only do Mulan’s fighting skills improve (along with everyone else), she is now accepted as “one of the guys” and is quickly becoming an accomplished warrior.

 

Shop Movies + Spend $35, Get Free Shipping

 

I really like this song: Shang’s singing voice is performed by Donny Osmond and it’s really awesome to watch the training montages as everyone progresses from clumsy to skilled. Next time: Everyone is thinking of “A Girl Worth Fighting For.”

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

See also:

Mulan “Honor to Us All” (1998)

Mulan “Reflection” (1998)

Mulan “Mulan’s Decision” (1998)

Mulan “A Girl Worth Fighting For” (1998)

Mulan “The Huns Attack” (1998)

Mulan “I’ve Heard a Great Deal About You Fa Mulan…” (1998)

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

And don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

Mulan “Mulan’s Decision” (1998)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Note: This moment has also been known as “Short Hair”

Mulan has already had a pretty bad day: she’s been humiliated by the matchmaker, her future is uncertain and now…soldiers have ridden into town, led by the sniveling Chi Fu (one of the advisers to the Emperor) and they bring news: the Huns have invaded China! By order of the Emperor, one man from each family must leave to serve in the Imperial Army. Though suffering from some type of illness (or perhaps injury, or both), Mulan’s father steps forward to receive the scroll giving him orders to report to military duty.

Unable to restrain herself, Mulan attempts to intervene and is publicly rebuffed by her father, upsetting things even more. That night, Mulan and her father get into an argument over whether someone should “die for honor” and Mulan’s father snaps “I KNOW my place, it’s time you learned YOURS.” Mulan flees the house in tears and a storm eventually breaks out.

tumblr_m9za4a3Oil1r9z4gzo2_1280

This scene of Mulan sitting in the lap of the dragon was the introduction of the film’s main trailer.

Mulan “Mulan’s Decision” (1998) Full Scene

As the music begins, Mulan sits and watches while her parents bid each other good night (Mulan’s mother is visibly upset). There is no dialogue, but as her father blows out the lights, you can see a decision has been made in Mulan’s eyes as she rushes off to the family temple. Jerry Goldsmith uses his full musical talents in this sequence as Mulan prepares for what is essentially a suicide mission: in ancient China, women were strictly forbidden from combat; if Mulan is caught, the sentence will be death.

Despite knowing this, Mulan cannot let her father go and gives her parents a last look as she grabs her father’s orders and leaves to finish her tasks (being observed by the “lucky” cricket that she released during “Reflection”)

Mulan “Mulan’s Decision” (1998) Alternate Goldsmith Score

900971_1323764095492_full

The biggest change that must be made is, Mulan’s long hair needs to go. Taking her father’s sword, she hesitates only a moment before cutting most of her tresses away; now she’s passed the point of no return. The next step is to put on her family armor, and by the time she is finished, Mulan is the very image of a young man dressed for war. So complete is the transformation that her horse, Khan, initially doesn’t recognize her.

749334_1308347804753_full

Mulan leaves, knowing that she may very well never see her home or her family again. In this entire scene not a word is spoken, the music tells us everything we need to know. And speaking of the music, I was surprised to discover that there are actually TWO pieces of music written for this scene. The film version that we all know and recognize is not the original piece that Jerry Goldsmith composed. THAT version is completely orchestral and more traditional Chinese in sound (for lack of a better description), whereas the film version features a synthesizer for most of the sequence (used to great effect I might add). Personally, I enjoy both versions, and if I prefer the synthesizer score, it’s only because it’s the version I’m used to.

This really is my favorite scene in the entire movie, the art, the music, everything combines together and nothing is lacking or overdone.

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

See also:

Mulan “Honor to Us All” (1998)

Mulan “Reflection” (1998)

Mulan “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” (1998)

Mulan “A Girl Worth Fighting For” (1998)

Mulan “The Huns Attack” (1998)

Mulan “I’ve Heard a Great Deal About You Fa Mulan…” (1998)

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

And don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Mulan “Honor to Us All” (1998)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

MjLh0jI

Mulan was the 36th entry in Disney’s Animated Classics series. The film is based on the legend of Hua Mulan, a woman who, according to the story, lived during the Han Dynasty. For twelve years (while posing as a man) she practiced kung fu and fought bravely in the army, becoming a well-respected soldier before retiring to her hometown (with nobody suspecting the truth that she was a woman). The score was composed and conducted by the legendary Jerry Goldsmith, while the songs were written by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel.

I remember seeing the trailers for Mulan in the theater (the footage was taken from Mulan’s transformation into her male disguise), and this film certainly didn’t disappoint me once I saw it for myself. The animation is stunningly gorgeous, the colors are vibrant and the story is very well done. After nearly a decade of churning out great animated films, Disney was in peak form and it really shows here.

mulan-great-wall-624x349

In Disney’s Mulan, the story starts at the Great Wall of China, built as a barrier to keep invaders out. While the guards patrol, invaders suddenly appear: it’s the Huns, led by the feared warrior leader Shan Yu! The Hun leader sees the Great Wall as a personal challenge from the Emperor and he’s more than happy to invade and prove that his Hun army is superior to anything the Chinese can throw at him. News of the Hun invasion is brought to the Imperial Palace, and the Emperor commands that all reserves be called up, as he puts it: “A single grain of rice can tip the scales; one man, may be the difference, between victory and defeat.”

At the same time, across China, a young girl named Mulan is practicing for some type of examination (she’s painting cheat notes on her forearm). Today is apparently a very big day: this is the day Mulan is presented to the local matchmaker to determine what sort of husband she will have. Being a girl in ancient China, making a good marriage is the only way that Mulan can hope to bring honor to her family. Well, for such a big day, it’s not getting off to a great start, because Mulan is LATE!!

maxresdefault (1)

Mulan “Honor to Us All” (1998)

Racing into town on her horse Khan, Mulan is ushered into a series of rooms where she is bathed, dressed and painted to look like a beautiful, traditional Chinese lady from a good family. This is the setting of “Honor to Us All.” Each section of Mulan’s preparation constitutes a different verse of the song, and each verse sings of how obedient girls should be, how finding a great husband is everything, and being the best wife one can be brings great honor to the family and honor is EVERYTHING.

During this entire sequence, there are already hints that Mulan is not your average girl. For one, she has no qualms about riding a horse into town, hair all askew. For another, she appears to have a mind for strategy: in between rooms, she passes by two men playing a game called Go. After observing the board for a moment, she makes a move that apparently wins the game for one of the players (though neither of the men playing could see the move themselves).

image_367787bc

Mulan looks distinctly uncomfortable throughout the process of being dressed up (she makes a face when she sees her painted face), and deep down she is terrified of disappointing her family (whom she wants to please very much). As a finishing touch, Mulan is given a beautiful jade necklace, a yin-yang pendant and a “lucky” cricket by her grandmother. Mulan is barely finished in time and must go racing after the other girls who are already en route to the matchmaker.

maxresdefault

“Scarier than the undertaker, we are meeting our matchmaker!!”

In the nick of time, Mulan is able to join the other girls and comport herself so that she too looks like a perfectly behaved young lady. But while the other girls in line seem quite happy to be meeting the matchmaker, Mulan still isn’t quite sure about the whole affair, but it’s too late to back out now, because they’ve arrived at the matchmaker’s house.

Random thoughts and trivia!

  • I LOVE the reveal of who “Little Brother” really is. You absolutely expect a human, only to find that it’s really….a dog!
  • Mulan’s singing voice is provided by Lea Salonga, who was also the singing voice of Princess Jasmine.
  • Mulan’s SPEAKING voice is provided by Ming-Na Wen, aka Melinda May in Agents of SHIELD
  • Grandmother Fa is voiced by June Foray, better known for voicing Granny and Witch Hazel in the Looney Tunes cartoons, amongst many other roles
  • Mulan is the final film in the Disney Renaissance to be presented in the format of a musical.

I hope you enjoy listening to “Honor to Us All”!

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

See also:

Mulan “Reflection” (1998)

Mulan “Mulan’s Decision” (1998)

Mulan “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” (1998)

Mulan “A Girl Worth Fighting For” (1998)

Mulan “The Huns Attack” (1998)

Mulan “I’ve Heard a Great Deal About You Fa Mulan…” (1998)

Like Film Music Central on Facebook here

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios