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What to know: Mulan disguises herself as a man to join the army in her father's place.
BALLAD OF MULAN, THE is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 5-12
7 minutes
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BALLAD OF MULAN, THE cover image
Enjoyed it, particularly younger kids of this age group. One said it reminded her of the Disney movie, "Mulan." They easily understood the story and thought it was "neat" that Mulan went to war and came home safe. They identified the images as being old-fashioned, liked the costumes and learning about the Chinese folklore. The fact that Mulan hid her female identify until the end provoked a lot of discussion. One boy noted that the war in this program is not like the way war is today where swords and armor are obsolete. They also discussed how in the U.S. we don't go to war to protect our parents, we go to protect our country.
Beautiful graphics, reminiscent of Chinese drawings - very crisp and clear. The story is interesting, believable and fun. It is similar to the story of Yenta in the Jewish tradition. The music is pleasant as well. Biggest drawback is the iconographic presentation which isn't always a hit with U.S. children. However, the story's strength is that it offers a peek into a different culture and hopefully, that will be compelling enough to hold kids' interest. The historical notes about Mulan clarifies the history behind the story and offers the viewer further insight into the Chinese culture. With the Beijing Olympics taking place this year, everyone's interest in China is peeked, making a ready audience for programming such as this.
Mulan disguises herself as a man to join the army in her father's place. She hides her true identity while showing remarkable skill as a warrior and later becomes a famous general. Mulan continues to be an inspiration to females for her courage. English and Chinese tracks and sub-titles.
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