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Mulan (2020) 👎

There are too many things here that just don’t work: the acrobatics (cartoonish in a bad way), the believability (live action is less forgiving to cross-dressing, just ask Mrs. Doubtfire), and worst of all, the message, which comes straight from the Big State handbook of propaganda: a woman’s worth is in marriage and — maybe, under extraordinary circumstances — in her service to the country. Self-actualization is allowed, after much hemming and hawing, as long as you are actualizing yourself towards protecting the Empire.

Which is too bad, because the setup provided excellent opportunity for two badass female characters to unite against the common oppressor. Of course, uniting against anything would not have been received with open arms in Mulan’s intended market, said market working diligently towards exterminating threats foreign and domestic even as the movie was made.

One thing that did work was the matchmaker who really should get a show of her own. A Disney+ series of shorts with a match per episode, perhaps, culminating in helping Xianniang the witch find the man/woman/hawk of her life? Disney, you are welcome.

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