Mulan (1998)

Rating: ****
Release Date: 6/19/98
Cast: Ming Na-Wen, Donny Osmond, Miguel Ferrer, George Takei, Eddie Murphy, James Hong

A superbly animated tale of protocol, honor, and war, as the Huns invade ancient China. Mulan, the smart, but clumsy tomboy daughter of a once-great general, disguises herself as a boy and enlists in the Chinese army to save her ailing father. She of course saves everyone and defeats the Huns, bringing tons of shame and dishonor to her family name. The overly worn out and offensively sexist plot becomes tedious, but the action is fantastic. The battle sequences and martial arts sequences are top notch and visually stunning, and the Huns are amazingly rendered (very creepy and scary). The only complaint I have about the animation is with the character designs for the Chinese, and Mulan in particular. Far more stylized and simplistic than I was hoping for, but they do the trick. In an interesting side note, I saw Conan Lee's name in the credits for something - probably as a stunt player or character reference.