After some less-than-exceptional animation releases such as 1995’s Pocahontas (which I was turned off by the commercials alone) and 1996’s The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (which I found depressing), Disney managed to recover some of its lost magic with 1998’s hit Mulan. This movie is based upon an ancient Chinese poem about girl named Fa Mulan who, when her father is called into service to defend the China against the Huns, steals her father’s armor and goes into her father’s place by pretending to be a man, and ends up becoming a legend.
The music in this film is quite good. Jerry Goldsmith provides the score for most of the movie, while Matthew Wilder provides the music and David Zippel provides the lyrics for the (mercifully few) four songs that are played in the first part of the movie. (“True To Your Heart” and “Reflection” are, I believe, played during the end credits.) Both Matthew and Jerry make use of woodwind instruments, and give the music a somewhat Oriental feel while not alienating western audiences.
However, as much as I enjoyed the music and the movie, I found the CD lacking. One of the pieces of music when Mulan decides to join the army, prays to her ancestors, takes her father’s armor, cuts her hair, and rides off into the night was missing – yet it was one of the most dramatic pieces of music in the movie.
The booklet included with the CD includes the lyrics to the songs, along with a photograph from the movie relating to each song.
In conclusion, if you enjoyed the movie, you might enjoy this CD, but expect some missing pieces.
- Honor to Us All (Song) (3:03)
- Reflection (Song) (2:27)
- I’ll Make a Man Out of You (Song) (3:21)
- A Girl Worth Fighting For (Song) (2:26)
- True To Your Heart (Single) (4:16)
- Suite from Mulan (7:06)
- Attack At The Wall (Score) (4:59)
- Mulan’s Decision (Score) (3:23)
- Blossoms (Score) (6:27)
- The Huns Attack (Score) (4:30)
- The Burned-Out Village (Score) (5:53)
- Reflection (Pop Version) (3:36)
Released by: Disney Music
Release date: 1998
Total running time: 51:34