I’ve read a bunch of snarky reviews about this, but I thought I’d write something more substantial. It does nothing for film if we collectively degrade a film without explanation.

Mulan is utterly disappointing, not just because of any racial issues behind the scenes, and not just because it’s poorly made schlock. It’s not because of the bad CGI, the poorly edited (and nonsensical) action sequences that don’t make a lick of sense, or because the plot is so thread bare that it falls apart like my oldest pair of boxers.

It’s disappointing because Disney continues to hire competent people who, if they were given proper creative freedom, could probably make really good movies. Instead, the feeling one gets when they watch Mulan, or Beauty and the Beast, or Cinderella, or The Lion King, etc, is that of decision by committee. And the committee, in this case, is filled with Disney executives who are looking to protect a hoard of growing cash. 

It doesn’t matter who they hand the camera to; everybody makes the same paint-by-numbers fare. Kenneth Branagh. Jon Favreau. Even Tim Burton. How else do you explain consistency like that?

Walt Disney once said, We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.” Outside of the Renaissance period — films they’re still milking to death — that attitude sadly died with Walt.

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