Mulan ★★★★

Some are probably going to be like "huh? 4 stars?" when they see this 'cos I do tend to rave about parts of it as if it's an all-time masterpiece to me - and if I had a few more drinks in me I would probably absolutely allow those best parts of it to define my whole opinion of it, because they are that great (Jerry Goldsmith's score - especially Mulan's Decision, a scene that basically broke my head open when I was 18, even if the opening scene of Tarzan topped it only a year later… - and Reflection, a song that still wrecks me… not the pop version please…)

That said, while those moments render it incredibly special in my memory, the parts where I zone out are the overly slapstick-y moments which jar completely with the way Goldsmith scored the heavier moments, making them as heavy as they could possibly be - also as many will tell you (and I was quite stubborn about accepting for a time) its messages about gender aren't always as great as they seem. For me it's mainly the humour that spoils it though (not all of it, I have to say, I'm not a total curmudgeon and I do laugh plenty through this) - the pop song at the end being the worst offence sending you out of the movie with a vibe that doesn't resemble the best the movie has to offer at all.

I will however say that the premiere for this movie was held 20 years ago today, and it doesn't look or feel that old at all. (I must've watched Mulan's Decision just on its own about 500 times over the years and it still physically overwhelms me… it really is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen/heard…)