Movie Review: Mulan 2020

As is true for many of you, we recently watched Disney’s newly released movie, Mulan, a live action version of the earlier animated film. I don’t have clear memories of the previous Mulan (1998), so I was able to enjoy this movie on its own merits without comparison.

If you’ve seen the first version, you know the story. Disney did a good job refreshing it and keeping it engaging. Likable story. Most of the characters created a level of empathy in me. The conflict and resolution were satisfying. It is predictable to some level. Mulan’s struggle, to be so gifted yet so restricted in her culture at the time, gave it a universal theme. The lead actress in this role, Yifei Liu, brought the character to life.

As with most Disney stories, we watch for some humor and some darkness. Battle scenes and war are never relaxing, never the first choice in a movie for me, but predicting that the good will probably prevail helped. It’s Disney, after all. Not American politics.

Some will want to know what age group this movie would be appropriate for, would appeal to. Those are two different questions. It will depend on the child and the parenting style. The fighting and death might be of concern for younger kids. It is a movie filled with angst with more mature themes of hiding who you really are and the destructive pain of feeling alone. Some children will connect with that on their own level. Some may be too young.

For a better review of what age groups to share it with and major themes to consider first, check out Common Sense Media for their in-depth review and comments.

Common Sense Media Movie Reviews: Mulan (2020)

You’ve probably heard that Mulan (2020) is available on Disney + (Disney Plus) for a fee of $29.99, on top of your fee for channel access. So one has to decide if that is worth it. This streaming movies for a fee on top of subscriptions is new to me, and part of some business models since the pandemic closed the theaters. It could be a win-win. Here in the Los Angeles area, we need the movie industry to survive. It is a major employer in our area and does provide a service, for better or worse. Perhaps this helps the industry create some sort of income.

People have shared that it is cheaper than going to the theater. Perhaps, if you pay regular ticket prices. We are seniors, so we do not. They also mention adding in the cost of popcorn and drinks. True, that boosts the cost of the evening. So in this case, spend $30 and then make your own popcorn, pour your own drinks, and use your own bathroom.

If you have a family of even three or four, you’ve at least broken even by then, and still enjoy the convenience of your own home. Each person will determine if it is worth $30 or not. The cost does go down the bigger the viewing group, so there’s that.

Here’s another great article about Chinese culture captured in the movie, Mulan. For those readers interested in gaining further understanding into other cultures, this is a good article.

Chinese Culture Reflected in Disney’s Mulan (2020)

Here’s a list of some of the information shared in the article that I found interesting:

  • Based on a Chinese folk story created long ago
  • Explanation of Mulan’s make-up in the matchmaker scene
  • Understanding the Chinese characters on her father’s sword – loyal, brave, and true.
  • The meaning of the phoenix in Chinese culture
  • Definition of a “qualified wife” in feudal China

Have you watched the movie? What did you think?

How do you feel about the fee to view?

Did you know being a matchmaker was a serious occupation for women at the time of Mulan’s story? Would you like that as a career choice?

[Spoiler alert] Did you miss the 1998 character, Mushu?

Stay loyal, brave, and true, my friends!

Another Pandemic Holiday

Still “safer at home” for yet another holiday.

My simple red, white, and blue Labor Day Weekend view from the kitchen window as “safer at home” orders continue.

Labor Day is here. We’ve watched time pass for nearly six months, along with other holidays including St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and now Labor Day. In my area of the country, we are still restricted since the transmission rate remains too high. I was reflecting back to when this started in March. I assumed we’d miss out on one or possibly two holidays. I cannot believe we are now at Labor Day without much change.

My memories of holidays and celebrations from previous years and familiar traditions fill my 2020 heart. That will have to do. Up until this pandemic, I held to the expectation that these annual holidays would always be enjoyed in familiar ways. Now I don’t know what to think, but I hope and pray we don’t hit another spike in a few weeks following this weekend. Being cautious and careful now will help so much, and move us off the state watch list sooner rather than later.

On top of the pandemic this Labor Day weekend, we are in a season of conflict and conspiracy surrounding so much of our American life. I never imagined there would even be such disagreement on the values so key to who we are as Americans. Concepts of freedom, liberty, and justice don’t just decorate a holiday plate anymore. They are often clouded by debate that I never imagined.

Hopefully we will dodge another holiday weekend transmission spike and do better than we did following Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July weekend. Hopefully we will find ways to find unity in all the conflict. Sometimes it feels like siblings are fighting, breaking the house rules, we all get grounded for it, and have to stay home longer.

With Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas up next, I make no claims to know what to expect, and cling to hopes that at least some of the favorite elements can still be a part of those seasons. Plus, we have an important election in that timeframe too. It will be an interesting ride all the way through to New Year’s Eve for sure.

In the meantime, let’s relax, make the most of it, and be grateful for the blessings we do have buried in the challenges. Not much changes for us. We usually spend the weekend at home working on projects and then grill good food. Only the heat is slowing down those activities.

Sparkling water with frozen watermelon cubes fill my glass, as I write on this very hot afternoon.

I look forward to raising a glass in a toast to a happier 2021! And cheers to a happy Labor Day for you! Tell me your Labor Day plans and what is different this year for you.

Stay patient, my friends.

Additional Note: Please continue to keep others in your thoughts and prayers, volunteer if you can, and continue to financially and on social media support organizations equipped to address the needs, for those among us who…

  • Are battling or impacted by all the acres of wild fires
  • Do not have shelter
  • Do not have access to air conditioning
  • Are serving those with CoVid, either family or professionals
  • Are struggling with food insecurity
  • Are looking for work
  • Need health care
  • Live in an abusive home situation
  • Feel isolated, anxious, and/or depressed
  • Experience fear due to disparity in treatment by those who are in power