In 2012, I embarked on a 52 Week/52 Disney movie journey where each week of the year would be dedicated to one of the movies in Disney Feature Films Animated Canon. From
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the recently released, Wreck-It-Ralph. I shared my opinions, thoughts, trivia, quotes, music, and other tidbits from each one of these legendary motion pictures.
But this year? In keeping with the spontaneity and fun of the current Disney Parks and Resorts\' theme of Limited Time Magic, I will be randomly updating with weeks dedicated to movies from the Disney-Pixar canon, or the Disney Toon Studios releases... or maybe even some non-Disney cartoon classics... Who knows?
So you\'ll have to keep checking in to see what magic I\'ve got up my sleeve... and you may even get some insider tips about what\'s happening at the parks and resorts with Disney\'s latest promotion, Limited Time Magic. So... Let the memories begin!
WARNING: This blog may not be suitable for all ages. While I am discussing Disney movies, I will be using some very UnDisney language and humor. So... There you go.
This was the first full length movie animated only at the Florida animation studio.
The first Disney animated film to openly deal with warfare.
The first Disney cartoon to feature an Asian heroine.
was Disney’s first ever DVD, released in November 1999.
This was originally planned as an animated short entitled “China Doll” about an oppressed and miserable Chinese girl who is whisked away by a British Prince Charming to happiness in the West. Then Disney consultant and children’s book writer ‘Robert San Souci’ suggested making a movie of the Chinese poem, ‘The Song of Fa Mu Lan’, so the two projects were combined.
The movie’s artistic supervisors spent three weeks in China sketching, photographing, and soaking up the culture. Computer animators used the latest technology to add detail and mimic camera techniques that were previously unavailable in animation, like crowd scenes of up to 30,000 people. They used a computer program called “Atilla” to make the sequence featuring 2,000 Huns on horseback.
In total, nearly 700 artists, animators, and technicians worked on the film.
At one point Stephen Schwartz was lined up to be the lyricist for the film. When he couldn’t do it, the job went to David Zippel who had been working on Disney’s
Tony/Olivier Award winning actress Lea Salonga originally auditioned for Mulan’s voice but it was deemed ‘not deep enough’ for when Mulan is impersonating a male soldier. Although Ming Na plays Mulan’s speaking voice, Salonga was retained for Mulan’s singing voice.
Bruce Willis (Shang’s martial arts model) was originally casted as Li Shang.
According to Robert D. San Souci, who retold and researched the original story, Disney didn’t like the idea of putting in a dragon as a companion for Mulan; they feared it would be too big and menacing. San Souci explained to them that in Chinese lore, dragons can be any size, so a small dragon was approved. Thus, Mushu was born. This change is acknowledged when Mulan calls him “tiny” and Mushu replies, “Of course! I’m travel size for you convenience! If I was my REAL size your cow (Khan) here would die of fright!”
In one of the original versions of the film, Mulan was engaged to Li Shang and matching Yin-Yang necklaces were bestowed upon them. Although that part was removed, the Yin-Yang necklaces survive in the sequel (
) as wedding gifts to them after Shang’s proposition.
"Fa" is the Cantonese pronunciation of Mulan’s family name. "Hua" is the correct Mandarin pronunciation, and means "flower". "Hua Ping" (Mulan’s fake name) means "flower vase" or just "vase".
Chi Fu’s name literally means, in Chinese, “to bully”.
When Mulan sings “Reflection” in her father’s shrine, her reflection appears in the polished surface of the temple stones. The writing on the temple stones is the names of the Disney animators who worked on the film written in ancient Chinese.
The scene where Mulan disarms Shan-Yu with a fan shows an actual martial art technique.
The English translation of the Chinese characters on the rocket Mushu has strapped to his back is “The Big Bamboo”, a place in Kissimmee, Florida where the Mulan crew liked to hang out.
In the original Chinese legend upon which this film was based, Mulan succeeds in her deception, and leaves the battlefield with great honors. Months later, Mulan’s fellow soldiers come in search of their “brother”-in-arms, and are shocked to discover that she’s a woman.
The opening titles were put together by simply putting water color on rice paper.
Donny Osmond, Shang’s singing voice, noted that his children only ever really thought that he had made it in show business when he worked on a Disney film.