10 best animated films from the Disney Renaissance

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3. Mulan

Based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Mulan tells the story of a girl who tries to save her father from fighting in the war by pretending to be a boy and joining the Chinese army. While in training, she comes to realize she didn’t exactly know what she was getting into.

She struggles to perform the drills and keep up with the men. But when her captain tells her she isn’t good enough, Mulan uses her courage and strength of character (and a little help from her pet dragon/”great stone warrior,” Mushu) to show them exactly how good she is. She goes on not just to save her captain but to defeat the Huns and save China.

Mulan was released in 1998 and is definitely one of Disney’s more empowering films towards women. No matter the obstacles she faces, Mulan rises to the occasion and shows her country, her family, and herself that she is capable of making a difference. Yes, she had to masquerade as a boy to do it, but in the end, she reveals herself and is still accepted for her achievements.

The music had the trademark Disney touch and was composed by Jerry Goldsmith. The film also features “Reflection” by Christina Aguilera. Who of us has not sung along to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” or cried during the “Reflection” scene?

As seems to be the trend right now, there is also a Mulan remake in the works but it doesn’t seem to resemble the Disney version quite as much as the other films coming out. While the basic storyline is the same, many of the characters are different. The remake is scheduled to release March 27, 2020 and will star Liu Yifei as Mulan and Jet Li as the emperor.