Tag Archives: Mulan

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

So now we come to the conclusion of Mulan, hope everyone has enjoyed the ride! On to the finale!

First of all, there’s the good news: Mulan survives her injuries. The really bad news? In the course of saving her life, the doctor discovers what we’ve known all along: that “Ping” isn’t a man at all, he’s a girl!! Shang is in disbelief, but even he can’t deny the physical evidence. Chi-Fu (who has disliked “Ping” from the start) is enraged and begins howling about “high treason” and “ultimate dishonor” while Mulan attempts to explain that she only did what she did to save her father’s life.

Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 1.51.35 PM

Things are pretty grim. By law, Mulan should die for what she has done, and as Shang comes forward with Mulan’s sword, it looks like that’s exactly what’s going to happen. However…Shang also can’t deny that Mulan did save his life. Therefore he spares Mulan’s life in return and orders the company to move out towards the Imperial City, leaving a devastated Mulan behind. Mulan and Mushu have a heart-to-heart about their motives, and Mushu finally confesses that he didn’t come on the orders of Mulan’s ancestors, but at least Mulan had good intentions with what she did. The two promise that whatever happens, they’ll get through it together. Which is good, because as it turns out, the adventure isn’t over just yet….as Shan Yu’s falcon flies over the carnage left by the avalanche, a giant hand breaks out of the snow: Shan Yu is still alive!! And he’s not alone, he has almost a dozen warriors who survived the avalanche and the only one who knows they’re headed for the Imperial City is Mulan!!!!

tumblr_inline_nmxfui6e2w1sk742m_540

Meanwhile, down in the city, Shang and his men are being treated to a hero’s welcome. But the only one enjoying the attention is Chi-Fu, the others are downcast because they know THEY didn’t win anything, it was Mulan who earned the victory. And speaking of, Mulan rides up and tries to tell Shang about the Huns, but now that Mulan is openly a woman again, Shang won’t listen to her (even though she’d earned his trust as “Ping” several hours ago). The parade winds its way to the Imperial Palace where the Emperor himself stands waiting to receive Shan Yu’s sword. As Shang climbs the palace steps, a great Chinese dragon follows, seeming to crouch down as the procession reaches a stop (that should’ve been the first red flag).

Ciudad_Imperial

Down in the crowd, Mulan tries to warn everyone about the danger, but again, because she’s a woman, no one listens. But soon everyone is going to believe her, because just as Shang hands the sword over, the falcon sweeps in and snatches it away, flying up to where Shan Yu has been hiding on the palace roof!!! I love the music in this short moment. The strings tremble in anticipation because we know what’s about to happen: out of nowhere, Shan Yu’s arm snaps out and he grabs the sword, a devilish grin on his face. A lot of things then happen very quickly: the rest of the Huns leap out of the dragon, knock Shang down and take the Emperor captive!!

Disguised-as-Women-yao-ling-and-chien-po-24835950-780-440

Yao: Does this dress make me look fat?

Time for Mulan to spring into action: while Shang’s men (futilely) try to batter the doors of the palace down with a large statue, Mulan realizes that there’s a better way to get inside. For the plan to work, Ling, Yao and Chien-Po must dress as women (to pass themselves off as royal concubines) and the quintet climb up into the palace using the pole-climbing technique that they learned in training. At the same time, up on the palace balcony, Shan Yu confronts the Emperor: the Hun leader believes he’s won, and he wants the Emperor to bow to him. Outside, the plan is working, Shan Yu’s men are fooled by the disguise just long enough to be taken out while Shang runs to rescue the Emperor.

With Chien-Po safely taking the Emperor away, the fight is briefly between Shang and Shan Yu, but the former is hopelessly outmatched by the furious Hun. Mulan (who is definitely in love with Shang) distracts Shan Yu and reveals that it was SHE who defeated him in the mountains (pulling back her hair to briefly resemble Ping). Enraged, Shan Yu gives chase and Mulan literally runs for her life, as the Hun will kill her if he catches her. While running, she notices a tower full of fireworks on the opposite side of the roof and briefly tells Mushu her improvised plan. The chase makes its way to the roof and before long Mulan is cornered by a vicious Shan Yu, who believes that Mulan is finally “out of ideas.”

Mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-8846

The technique of using a fan to wrench the sword away is a real martial arts technique

As it turns out, Mulan has one last trick up her sleeve: at the opposite end of the roof, Mushu is ready with the world’s largest fireworks rocket strapped to his back. Mulan uses Shan Yu’s own sword to pin him to the roof as the rocket races towards him, sending him flying into the rest of the fireworks as they all explode!! Mulan saves herself with a flying leap and crash lands onto Shang. The Emperor is saved, China is saved!! But Chi-Fu (naturally) is in a fury because Mulan got involved. But before Shang can finally give the snobby adviser a punch in the nose, the Emperor himself appears and wants to speak with Mulan.

At first it seems like the Emperor is berating Mulan by listing everything she’s done: running away from home, impersonating a soldier, deceiving everyone, destroying a sizable portion of the palace AND…saving everyone. As thanks, the Emperor bows (ever so slightly) to Mulan, prompting everyone in the square to fully bow as well (since no one stands higher than the Emperor). It’s one of the highest honors someone in China can receive, and that’s not all. The Emperor would like to give Mulan Chi-Fu’s job (which causes him to faint), but Mulan decides that she’s been away from home long enough, so she’s given Shan Yu’s sword and the Emperor’s personal crest as reminders of what she did for China. After Mulan leaves, the Emperor has a few words for Shang:

disney_quotes_mulan_shang_emperor

“The Flower that blooms in adversity, is the most rare and beautiful of all.” When Shang doesn’t get it, the Emperor gets blunt “You don’t meet a girl like THAT every dynasty!” (translation: go after her and marry her you idiot!)

Back home, Mulan’s father is watching the cherry blossoms fall, and he clearly misses his daughter very much. So when Mulan comes into the garden, loaded with gifts from the Emperor, he’s very much surprised! But her father doesn’t really care about honor, all he knows right now is that his daughter is home and he’s missed her very much. As it turns out, Shang DID follow Mulan home and is invited to stay for dinner by a pleased Mulan. And back in the ancestral temple, the Great Ancestor grudgingly lets Mushu be a guardian of the family again, much to Mushu’s delight. All is well, and as the saying goes: they all lived happily ever after!

Wow, I had a lot of fun working on Mulan, thanks for all your comments and likes, you guys are the best!

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

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

For the rest of the Mulan series:

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 “The Huns Attack” (1998)

And for even 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

Advertisements

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.

maxresdefault (1)

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.

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

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.

For a long time, we’ve been marching off to battle
In our thund’ring herd,
We feel a lot like cattle
Like the pounding beat,
Our aching feet aren’t easy to ignore
 Hey, think of instead
A girl worth fighting for

mulan-81

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

That’s what I said: a girl worth fighting for

I want her paler than the moon
With eyes that shine like stars
My girl will marvel at my strength, adore my battle scars
I couldn’t care less what she’ll wear or what she looks like
It all depends on what she cooks like
Beef, pork, chicken…
Mmm…

Bet the local girls thought you were quite the charmer
And I’ll bet the ladies love a man in armor
You can guess what we have missed the most since we went off to war
What do we want?
A girl worth fighting for

My girl will think I have no faults
That I’m a major find
Uh… How ’bout a girl who’s got a brain
Who always speaks her mind?
Nah!
My manly ways and turn of phrase are sure to thrill her
He thinks he’s such a lady killer

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 sings about a girl with “lots of brains, who always speaks her mind” but that idea is rejected as being “unrealistic.” Chi-Fu (the stuck up advisor from the Emperor’s court) 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).

 But when we come home in victory they’ll line up at the door
 What do we want?
A girl worth fighting for

Wish that I had
A girl worth fighting for
A girl worth fighting-

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 (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, 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: 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, 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 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 that person lost their head, he is soundly rejected. Instead, Mushu is ordered to wake The Great Stone Dragon and have HIM bring Mulan back. After convincing the Great Ancestor Spirit that the Great Stone Dragon is on the way, he heads off himself 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, Mulan causes a huge brawl in camp, and she also falls afoul of two 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 (son of General Li, the head of the imperial army), who demands to know who Mulan is. Introducing herself as Ping, the training begins with a lesson. Shang shoots an arrow into the top of a tall pole, and challenges Yao to climb up and get it. But there’s a catch: he has to do it using two heavy weights. 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

Let’s get down to business to defeat the Huns
Did they send me daughters when I asked for sons?
You’re the saddest bunch
I ever met
But you can bet before we’re through
Mister, I’ll make a man out of you

Tranquil as a forest
But on fire within
Once you find your center
You are sure to win
You’re a spineless, pale pathetic lot
And you haven’t got a clue
Somehow I’ll make a man out of you

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, launching primitive rockets at a target, hand to hand combat, etc. 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.

I’m never gonna catch my breath
Say goodbye to those who knew me
Boy, was I fool in school for cutting gym
[spoken] This guy’s got ’em scared to death
Hope he doesn’t see right through me
Now I really wish that I knew how to swim

(Be a man)
We must be swift as the coursing river
(Be a man)
With all the force of a great typhoon
(Be a man)
With all the strength of a raging fire
Mysterious as the dark side of the moon

big_1446948139_image

Time is racing toward us
Till the Huns arrive
Heed my every order
And you might survive
You’re unsuited for the rage of war
So pack up, go home
You’re through
How could I make a man out of you?

(Be a man)
We must be swift as the coursing river
(Be a man)
Shang: With all the force of a great typhoon
(Be a man)
With all the strength of a raging fire
Mysterious as the dark side of the moon

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 , 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”

tumblr_m9za4a3Oil1r9z4gzo2_1280

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

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.

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 “Reflection” (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.

Reflection-mulan-32957017-1904-1071

To say that Mulan’s visit with the matchmaker went badly would be an understatement: it was an unmitigated disaster. And what’s more, the matchmaker pronounced these words of doom: “You may look like a bride, but you will NEVER bring your family honor!” In other words, Mulan has been deemed incapable of making a good marriage, and considering she’s the only child of her family, that’s nothing short of catastrophic. Upset because she’s let everyone down, Mulan heads home to think about where her place in life really is. This is the song “Reflection” and it touches close to my heart because I’ve been where Mulan is at times.

 

In “Reflection” Mulan expresses how she is suffering from an identity crisis. Her whole life she’s been prepared to be the “perfect bride”, and now that she’s failed, where does she go from here? She can’t really be herself, because that upsets her family. In her guise as a perfect young lady, Mulan doesn’t even recognize herself:

Look at me, I will never pass for a perfect bride, or a perfect daughter.

Can it be, I’m not meant to play this part?

Now I see, that if I were truly to be myself, I would break my family’s heart…

I think this song speaks to everyone, male or female, that is struggling to discover who they really are, not what society dictates they should be. I find the chorus to be very powerful.

Reflection-mulan-32957031-1904-1071

Who is that girl I see? Staring straight, back at me? Why is my reflection someone I don’t know? 

Somehow I cannot hide, who I am, though I’ve tried,

When will my reflection show, who I am inside?

Mulan-Reflection-6

And this image of Mulan with half the makeup on is really striking: this is the visual evidence that she is caught between two worlds: a world where she can be herself, and the traditional world where everyone wants her to live.

I also really like the conversation Mulan has with her father under the cherry tree. He doesn’t yell or rant, he doesn’t even act angry. Instead he talks about how beautiful the cherry blossoms are this year. One blossom, however, hasn’t bloomed with the others. But when it does bloom, it will be the most beautiful blossom of all. This is a beautiful analogy: as her father sees it, Mulan is simply a late-bloomer, and someday he’s sure she’ll make him very proud (despite what the matchmaker said).

Shop Movies + Spend $35, Get Free Shipping

One last note: people keep trying to tell me that this is Christina Aguilera singing in this scene and it is NOT. Christina Aguilera sings the pop version of “Reflection” while Lea Salonga sings in the movie version. What do you think of “Reflection?” Leave a comment below and tell me what you think 🙂 Next time, we’ll take a break and look at an orchestral selection with “Mulan’s Decision.”

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 “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)

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.

 

Mulan was the 36th entry in Disney’s Animated Classics series. The film is based on the legend of Hua Mulan, a woman who lived during the Han Dynasty. For twelve years she practiced kung fu and fought in the army, becoming a well-respected soldier before retiring to her hometown. 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, 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.

In Disney’s Mulan, the story starts at the Great Wall of China. 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 army is superior. 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, Mulan is practicing for some type of examination (she’s painting cheat notes on her forearm). Today is 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 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)

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.

This is what you give me to work with?
Well, honey, I’ve seen worse
We’re gonna turn this sow’s ear
Into a silk purse

We’ll have you washed and dried
Primped and polished till you glow with pride
Trust my recipe for instant bride
You’ll bring honor to us all

Wait and see
When we’re through
Boys will gladly go to war for you
With good fortune
And a great hairdo
You’ll bring honor to us all

During this 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, she makes a move that apparently wins the game for one of the players (though neither of the men could see the move themselves).

image_367787bc

A girl can bring her family
Great honor in one way
By striking a good match
And this could be the day

Men want girls with good taste
Calm, Obedient, who work fast paced

With good breeding (and a tiny waist)

You’ll bring honor to us all

When we’re through, you can’t fail
Like a lotus blossom soft and pale
How could any fellow say “No sale”
You’ll bring honor to us all

Mulan looks distinctly uncomfortable while being dressed up, and deep down she is terrified of disappointing her family. 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

Destiny
Guard our girls
And our future as it fast unfurls
Please look kindly on these cultured pearls
Each a perfect porcelain doll

Please bring honor to us
Please bring honor to us
Please bring honor to us
Please bring honor to us
Please bring honor to us all!

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….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, among 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