Monday, May 14, 2012

What We're Watching: Mulan


"Mulan" (1998/Rated G): In our ongoing effort to expose Peanut to as many princesses as possible before she outgrows this phase (wink wink), we recorded Mulan on the DVR and had a family movie night on Friday. Actually, it was Peanut who spotted it while I was setting her up with another episode of Doc McStuffins. (A review for which is long overdue. Stay tuned.)  She saw the promo, asked to have it recorded, and I obliged knowing nothing of this film except that Mulan is "the Asian princess" who ends up being a strong warrior who saves her country.

And that is actually Mulan in a nutshell. But of course, you can't have a Disney "princess" story without the princess having some sort of shortcoming and the society in which she lives having some sort of huge problem with her or with women in general. (I put princess in quotes because Mulan isn't the traditional Disney princess with the tiara and the prince and the damsel in distress.) Well, in this film Mulan's shortcoming is that she's a girl. Seriously. She lives in China. And let's just say girls are frowned upon in that establishment. And society's huge problem with women is, well, women.

But Mulan sneaks away from her family to fight her country's war on her injured father's behalf. She is a misfit who becomes a cunning warrior with minimal training that is portrayed through an odd musical sequence performed by Donny Osmond. To make a long story short, and without giving up a lot of the rest of the plot, she ends up being the hero. And despite its chauvanistic shortcomings, Mulan is actually the hero. She saves the day and this otherwise ho-hum movie.

Obviously a necessary conversation was had with Peanut both during and after this movie. A conversation about girls being able to do things just as well if not better than boys. About them being just as strong, smart, and capable, if not more. (Ya know, sexism is bad.) All in all, Mulan is entertaining and short, both of which are crucial. But something tells me this one won't be in the rotation too long. And that's fine with me too.

Mulan was one of the few princesses we didn't meet on our trip to Disney. Click here to read about which ones we did.

8 comments:

  1. Oh you might be surprised! I though this was going to be on the back burner before long as well, but my little one STILL asks for it 2 years later! This, of course, is totally fine by me seeing as Mulan is not the typical "get me all dolled up and beautiful" princess. My little one loves the message of strength and oerserverance in the face of adversity - translated to 4 yr old terminology, of course!

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  2. Maybe I'm employing a little bit of wishful thinking, perhaps? :-)

    I agree with you about the message of strength in the face of adversity. That is what really carries this movie.

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  3. I have never actually seen this movie, its sounds like a good one to watch though

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    1. I'd recommend it. Especially if you have a little girl. Definitely needs an explanation though.

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  4. Princess and the Frog is one we like because even though Tiana gets to be the princess, she still works and is never once one of those giggly, oh mah GAWD save me type women. -Megan

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    1. Ya know...Peanut has seen that with her grandmother...and I've never seen the whole thing to properly review it. But I can see what you mean from the little bit I've watched. And Peanut does like it.

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  5. My 4yo girl and 3yo boy love Mulan so we watch it a lot. My boy (who is sweet as can be but admittedly not the brightest bulb) constantly asks why girls can't fight like boys. I've explained it so many times that I'm getting to the point where my answer just becomes "I don't know" when he asks!

    Stopping by from the blog hop. Looking forward to following you. http://www.dollopsofdiane.com/

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    1. I love that a few parents have told me their boys like this movie too. So cool. Thank you for stopping by!

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