By Ron Wells | June 22, 1998

This is the best Disney animated feature, ever (involving extensive use of cross-dressing.) Here’s the story: The Huns have invaded China. The emperor (Pat Morita) has decreed one man from every family must join the army to fight them. Fa Zhou (Soon-Tek Oh) crippled by injuries from previous wars, has only a daughter, Fa Mulan (Ming-Na Wen). Knowing her father will die if he goes, Mulan steals her father’s armor and horse, cuts her hair, and pretends to be a boy to take his place in the army. The spirits of her ancestors send a small, zany dragon (Eddy Murphy) to help her. Hilarity ensues.
While the movie starts slow, once Mulan is on her way and Murphy shows up, the film never lets up, from then, on. It’s leaps ahead from the formula crap the Mouse house has cranked out since “Little Mermaid”. It’s also, surprisingly, not remotely culturally offensive. It helps that Disney cast nearly all Asians for the voice cast. It seems as if all of the new animation competition has lit a fire under Disney’s collective a*s and they have something to prove again. After the travesty of “Hercules”, I’m happy to see them get their act together. Maybe this is really the best summer movie season since “Star Wars” after all.

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