Preview: Film - Mulan (u)

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One of the biggest ironies of Disney's spectacular 36th animated feature (above) is that the studio has found its most interesting and contemporary heroine to date in a 2,000-year-old Chinese legend. Unlike previous Mouse House heroines, Fa Mulan relies on her intelligence rather than her sexuality. She disguises herself as a man in order to join the Chinese army, and in battle against the terrifying Hun demonstrates that cunning is sometimes the most effective weapon. Although the film's association of wiliness with femininity is a (potentially offensive) cliche, Mulan ultimately emerges as a bold and refreshingly subversive figure. When Eddie Murphy's hilarious, Ebonics-spouting dragon tells her, "You da man!", we believe it too. Forget the Spice Girls - Mulan has real Girl Power.

On general release