by Niki Caro

5 Stars

Mulan (2020 film) - Wikipedia

Produced by Walt Disney Pictures and directed by Niki Caro, Mulan is a live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1998 animated film of the same name. Hua Mulan is a fearless, adventurous, and active young girl living in Imperial China. Under the leader Bori Khan, an imperial outpost is invaded by Rouran warriors. The Emperor of China issues a conscription stating that every family must contribute one man to fight against Khan’s forces. Imperial soldiers arrive in Mulan’s village to enlist, making her elderly father forced to pledge his services as he has no sons. Mulan realizes that her frail father will have no chance of survival, so she decides to flee the village with his armour, horse, and sword to join in his place. She disguises herself as a young man and arrives at the training camp, and trains to become a soldier without exposing her true identity. 

Mulan was an amazing adaptation and fresh take on the classic animated version from 22 years ago. The film focused more on the action instead of the musical element. The film explores incredible themes of family devotion and female empowerment. Powerful messages were also conveyed, such as always persevering and believing in yourself to accomplish your goals. The actress who plays Mulan was wonderful and a great choice for her role. Her special moves within the battles were so articulately performed, which was a delight to watch. Throughout the movie, I was constantly on the edge of my seat in suspense and awe while watching. I would highly recommend Mulan to those of all ages as it is truly an inspiring and beautifully created film.

Emily K

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Moana

Walt Disney Studios

The ocean is calling to a young Polynesian girl named Moana, but unfortunately, her father and his strict rules refuse to let her explore the open water to her heart’s content. Nevertheless, her grandmother, who has told her the legendary story of a demigod named Maui and a hero’s prophecy, encourages her to finally set sail in order to fulfill the prophecy. According to the legend, the heart of Te Fiti was stolen from the “Mother Island” herself by Maui, until both his magical hook and the stolen goods were lost in the ocean forever. The rest of the movie showcases the adventures of Moana and her newfound friend, Maui and their quest to cross the seas and return peace to the creator of all things natural and beautiful, Te Fiti.

I think this movie by Disney is excellent for many reasons. First of all, it features a person of colour as a princess who doesn’t have a love interest and is fueled only by her own determination to make change. This is a refreshing spin on the traditional Disney princess stereotype of the women featured depending on a “prince charming” to save her and make her feel worthy. Also, the animation with its vibrant colours and scenery is really spectacular to look at, while the soundtrack, which was developed by several people including Lin-Manuel Miranda, an award winning songwriter and composer, is equally as beautiful.

In conclusion, I think Moana is a great film for the whole family that everyone is guaranteed to enjoy.  — Mady R.

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