'Mulan' at 25: The Disney Heroine Continues to be Underrated

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When Mulan was shown at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on this day 25 years ago, it went on to garner plenty of critical acclaim, grossed an amount good enough at the box office to make it the second highest-grossing family film of 1998, and earned award nominations for both the Golden Globes and Academy Awards. And yet, in the two-plus decades that have passed since its release, it still feels like the film isn't appreciated enough in the Disney catalog. Sure it's gotten in a live action remake, but that didn't captivate the way it was intended to. Think about the conversations you've personally had with people about Disney movie favorites. I can only speak for my experiences of course, but I've often been the only one in those types of discussions who's had Mulan as my favorite Disney princess.

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Perhaps the meaning of underrated in this case differs depending upon generation and each individual's experience with the film, but Mulan can always be appreciated more. Here's some of the reasons why.

Mulan Loved Her Father So Much She Was Willing to Sacrifice Herself

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Mulan's father health-wise was in no shape to battle, and likely would have been killed had she not gone ahead and disobeyed his orders to stay put. Mulan loved her father so much that she was willing to sacrifice herself, and that's something to be commended. A lot of people say they'll die for the ones they love (although a parent would never want their kid to sacrifice themselves for them), but very few put their money with their mouth is. Mulan put her money where her mouth was.

The Visual Imagery Was Ahead of Its Time

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Most if not all of the Disney movies have been enhanced to look more modern, Mulan included, but even before the technological advancements Mulan looked ahead of its time. The VHS version transitioned well into the 2000s in our opinion, and the HD version only enhanced what was already there.

Mulan Could Fight Her Butt Off

The Soundtrack Was Amazing

The Soundtrack Introduced Us to Christina Aguilera

Mulan and Shang Made a Good Team

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For a minute it looked like Shang was going to turn his back on Mulan due to her "deception", but when it came down to the nitty gritty he was on her side, fought alongside her, and they made a good team. Mulan and Shang's actual relationship wasn't explored more until Mulan II, which of course wasn't as popular or memorable as the first. Because of that, they don't get ranked that highly on the "Disney" couples list.

Mulan Saved the City

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And lastly, Mulan saved the city. There was something very touching about everybody bowing down to her towards the end, making it one of our personal favorite scenes in the film.

What are some of the things you enjoyed most about Mulan? If there's anything we can all agree on, it's that time has gone by way too fast.

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