It’s officially been 20 years since Disney released its smash film, Mulan, and now the 1998 animated flick is next in line for a live-action reboot.
Despite the initial casting setbacks and controversial changes, the powerhouse studio recently released the first photo of actress Liu Yifei as the female warrior, and of course, it got me in the mood to take another look at the gender-bending flick.
So, without further ado: 52 thoughts I had while watching Mulan as an adult:
1. The Chinese calligraphy scrolling at the beginning is amazing, but why does no one explain how the Great Wall of China came about?
2. How is it that the first of the bad guy Huns is bare-chested, but Shan Yu's got on furs? Is one guy really cold, or is the other really hot?
3. Mulan out here breaking ALL the Chinese stereotypes — she’s out here cheating like the rest of us.
4. Little Brother is a HOT mess with that feed bag.
5.”We’re counting on you to uphold the family honor…” I mean, no pressure, but we’re counting on your to secure a wealthy suitor and bring honor to the family. NO PRESSURE AT ALL.
6. Grandma hella crazy for counting on a cricket to get her across the street. Putting these unrealistic expectations on things seems to be a recurring theme for this family.
7. True story: I hum “You’ll Bring Honor To Us All” whenever I work on something that requires a lot of my time.
8. This song also reminds me of Ursula’s dissertation on men in The Little Mermaid. All they want are tiny-waisted women who work fast, women who don’t say a word, etc. Really laying it on thick here, but it was the time, so I get it.
9. I get mad thinking this little guy dies later on in the film… or at least a little girl with a similar doll.
10. I don’t understand how the Matchmaker calls Mulan's name then deducts points for “speaking without permission.” How was she supposed to know who it was? Also, why is she taking points/notes like this is the DMV?
11. I blame Mulan’s catastrophic time at the Matchmaker on the Cri-Kee. Mulan should’ve just let her drink the damn cup of Cri-Kee flavored tea.
12. I wonder how the Matchmaker — who said Mulan would never bring her family honor — felt when she SAVED ALL OF CHINA. Probably happy to sip some Cri-Kee-flavored tea now.
13. Can I say Mulan’s family had one hell of an estate? They seemed to have been living large off of daddy’s vet checks.
14. Lea Salonga seriously murders whatever Disney tune she’s singing. No wonder they called her back from Aladdin.
15. I liked Daddy Fa’s speech about the flower. Makes me think of puberty though.
16.. Conscription or not, what was Mulan’s father going to do with his broken, limpy leg? Beat them with his cane?
17. “I know my place — it’s time you learned yours!” Oh no, Daddy Fa. You’re not my favorite person anymore.
18. Guess it was a good thing Mulan wasn’t more curvaceous — her being “too skinny” helped her pass for a boy.
19. Look at that, Papa Fa couldn’t even run after Mulan, but he wants us to believe he could help fight the Huns. Yeah, OK.
20. Mushu is so loud, sounding like a guy soliciting flyers on Fulton Avenue in Brooklyn.
21. “No… your great-granddaughter had to be a crossdresser!”
That’s my favorite line in this film.
22. Why didn’t the great stone dragon wake up?
23. “I’m doomed and all ‘cause Miss Man decided to take her drag show on the road!” If I wasn’t convinced this movie was introducing children to drag, I am now.
24. Even Mulan’s horse laughs at her male impersonation. Priceless.
25. I NEVER noticed that Cri-Kee was making fun of Mushu by making a shadow puppet of him. Hilarious!
26. Why is this fool picking his toe jam with his chopsticks?! Where did he come from with such shameful behavior?
27. How did Yao come into the camp with a black eye? What recklessness was he getting into the night before?
28. Can you imagine picking up every single grain of rice? Must’ve been all kinds of tiring.
29. Mulan’s face when Li took off his robe says EVERYTHING.
30. Why doesn’t Yao’s eye heal? That ish stayed blue the entire time. He needs some Visine.
31. Donny Osmond’s voice is so great in “I'll Make a Man Out of You.”
32. “Did they send me daughters when I asked for sons?” Yes, they sent you one daughter — and she was the best.
33. Listen, when Li Shang gave Mulan that out to leave, she should’ve taken it. But I guess she had something to prove. Meanwhile, I would’ve been like, "you ain’t got to tell me but once, sir.”
34.OK, so it’s not the same doll. But still, some little girl died and that’s f—cked up.
35. Mulan out here sneaking baths, but how did she hide her period? How did she pull off training with those cramps? Did she channel it into her aggression?
36. And what would her daddy think if he found out his little girl was out here swimming with these nekkid men?
Or even walking past all THESE nekkid men?
37. This quick shot of all the dead Imperial soldiers… yikes. Disney got a little brutal with this scene, but it’s war and war is never pretty.
38. Earlier on we saw a whole bunch of soldiers, but now it’s down to this little troupe. What’s going on, were they dying along the journey or something?
39. How is it that there are there so many Huns, but they can’t take over China yet? That looks like China’s entire population…
40. This is legit movie magic to think a rope could hold the weight of two people and a horse — and that Chien Po could pull them to safety. Is this rope made with Bamboo and magic?
41. The way Shang is looking at “Ping” right now says EVERYTHING
42. Chi-Fu wasn’t mad that Mulan deceived them — he was mad that Mulan was the closest he’d get to a half-naked woman in his life.
43. What kind of bionic Huns are these to dig out of the several-feet deep snow of an avalanche (some shirtless) and still have the strength to move on? Are they even human?
44. Shang wasn’t shite. Mulan came to warn you and you tell her she doesn’t “belong” there? OK.
45. How the hell did Shang Yu get to the palace so quickly?
46. I love how the "I’ll Make a Man Out of You" reprise plays when the soldiers are in drag.
RuPaul would be so proud.
47. Why is the ENTIRE city watching this fight go on in the palace, and no one is looking to help? All those men in the street and none of them volunteering to help take down Shang Yu? Guess the draft is necessary.
48. Those fireworks should’ve been bloody, filled with Hun chunks and smelling of charred flesh.
49. Look at that — all of China is bowing to a woman. A WOMAN. Where’s the Matchmaker? I want to see her in the crowd bowing, too.
50. When Daddy Fa dropped the sword on the ground, he climbed up the list of people I liked again.
51. “Would you like to stay forever?” Grandma is as man-hungry then as I am now.
52. This is probably one of the first Disney films that doesn’t end in a kiss or some kind of marriage, which I guess is progressive in a way. Mulan doesn’t need a kiss to have her dreams come true ‘cause she saved a country.