Mulan ★★

Emboldened by my surprise enjoyment of Moana, I wondered whether I’d been missing out by skipping all the other traditional Disney movies over the years. Judging by this, the answer is no.

On The Next Picture Show, Tasha Robinson points out that the quirky scene where the dragon and the cricket ride a panda while impersonating an imperial messenger felt like something out of a Miyazaki movie. That and a less sophisticated visual gag involving watermelons are the only moments that made me smile.

The rest was as awkward and disjointed as Harvey Fierstein’s animated gonads dangling implicitly on screen — except even less diverting than that sounds. Everything that Moana achieves effortlessly in its story regarding heritage and identity, this movie does clumsily, embarrassingly. I’m surprised that two of the writers here would go on to make Lilo & Stitch, which I remember liking a lot. Maybe it’s the 90s that sucked.