Thoughts On: April 2017


End Of The Week Shorts #3

Today's Shorts: Film As Subversive Art: Amos Vogel And Cinema 16 (2004), Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back (1967), Joe Rogan: Triggered (2016), Truth (2016), Unenelightenment Supercut (2016), Schwechater (1958), 69 (1969), Three Transitions (1973), Butterfly Of Love (2003)

A, by and large, not very well made documentary that has a lot of character and a great subject, Film As Subversive Art briefly explores a significant organisation in American film history: Cinema 16. Run by Amos Vogel this was a groundbreaking cinema club that showed avant-garde, experimental, scientific and surreal films/documentaries (amongst a plethora of others). Not only did this put into the public eye great works of art, but it rebelled against the censors from the late 40s to the late 60s and redefined what film is and could do for many people when no one, or anything, else would - a notion and concept that easily goes over our heads in the modern age. 
For anyone interested in experimental films and cinematic history, definitely give this one a go.

Though I know very little of Bob Dylan and his music, this is an intriguing look into the life of a celebrity on the road juggling media obligations whilst struggling the idea of his perceived self. The observational, direct cinema, aesthetic and approach can be slightly mundane at points which gives rise to problems with pacing, but I never felt the film become completely disinteresting or boring. 
If not out of simple interest, maybe check out Don't Look Back as an example of direct cinema and an attempt to observe reality like a fly on a wall may. Whilst I don't think this is at all feasible nor managed in the film, there is a strong sense of realism and shades of truth in Don't Look Back as a film about Dylan as a figure constantly in the public eye - and a so constantly performing - which makes this a particularly interesting example of the direct cinema movement.

Through and through hilarious. With minimalist camera work and editing, Rogan delivers powerful, yet meandering and often complex, bit after bit that merges comedy and stoned existential observations masterfully - the dolphin segment is especially ingenious. Having seen this special time and time again, I can confidently say that it doesn't wane or lose a smidgen of energy or intensity; it's just as funny as the first watch. 
No critique from me, just watch if you haven't seen it already.

Not very well made, and not extremely profound, this experimental short plays with the artifice of film in a digital realm, reducing a screen to mere pixels, exposing animation and computer generated imagery for what it really is: just information; 1s and 0s. The injection of reality into this with the shots of an early morning - all of which seem to be exposed or colour graded differently - reveals further artifice in regard to what digital cameras capture. In short, this short asks a question that has been asked since the birth of cinema: what is true on cinema screens? 
This is interesting, but doesn't say anything more or add much to that which someone such as Epstein was questioning in the 1910s and 20s with his term 'photogénie'.

Unenlightenment Supercut. Another experimental short by Cloutier, this time one that's a little more interesting - though a little too long with an off sound design. Sustaining a contemplation on the digital image, this short seems to ask the worth of a frame when it can be manipulated, made transparent, or superimposed - in a certain sense, unenlightened. We think of screens as holding images that can be powerful, lasting and significant, but, with a little manipulation, this all goes entirely out of the window. If cinema is just light and we can control that electromagnetic signal, what exactly separates this short from other digital films with powerful imagery? Is it just people? Audiences? Editors? If so, does that take the magic of cinema away ever so slightly?

Schwechater is somewhat funny when you read a little into it. As most synopsis could tell you, Kubelka, the director, was commissioned to make a commercial for a beer company: Schwechater. He didn't really do this though. He shot people and beer without a viewer then took months to cut together an incomprehensible deconstruction of a beer commercial that, to me, serves as little more than a bit of a middle finger to commercial film.

Like complex moving machinery can be beautiful and mesmerising, so is Breer's 69. In such, it really plays with the mechanical aspect of cinema; flickering frames and the motion it has the ability to imply. Through repetitive animated figures moving in time and synchrony, 69 almost revels in the control that technology allows humans to demonstrate. And having seen Jonas Mekas' quote in this film's description... 
“It’s so absolutely beautiful, so perfect, so like nothing else. Forms, geometry, lines, movements, light very basic, very pure, very surprising, very subtle.” 
... I can only really agree.

This is a pretty ingenious film that speaks for itself with its imagery as it sees the video taped cinematic realm contorted and twisted just like film was in cinema's early days by figures like Méliès. 
For the most part, pure spectacle, but with some inherent ideas of the human body and psyche in relation to this kind of cinema, you could choose to see Three Transitions as more profound. Personally, I really like the creativity of the effects, play with colour and Campus' deadpan stare.

Butterfly of Love. Wow... what the fuck? This is an absolutely stunning experimental film that manipulates Kurosawa's Rashomon with split screen to produce an indescribably beautiful, sometimes horrifying, special effects scene. 
Looked at through the guise of the original picture, this short expands upon Kurosawa's manipulation of truth, human behaviors and reality through mesmerising cinematic language. Whilst I wouldn't want to see this effect applied to the entire movie, this short is certainly a poignant companion piece to a masterpiece that has completely blown me away.

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Battleship Potemkin/Empire - The Short-Hand Arduous Story

Thought On: Battleship Potemkin (1925) & Empire (1964)

The story of a battleship's role during revolutionary times in Soviet Russia; an unbroken 8 hour shot of the Empire State Building.


As a screenwriter, you often ask yourself, what's the difference between books and films? Is it the use of narrative voice? Perspective? Literary devices? Certainly, but, is there something more? In my view, yes, and this is what we're going to explore today.

What distinguishes cinema from all other forms of storytelling is editing. And what the edit does is imbue cinema with speed and short-hand accuracy; a unique variation of visual language. There are few better examples of short-hand, expressive and accurate editing than in Soviet Montage movies like Battleship Potemkin.

Though it is a little difficult to get through, Battleship Potemkin is an undeniable masterpiece and one of the most influential films ever made. With radical camera work and editing, it uses pure cinema to its absolute extreme, mustering an immense amount of energy and intensity, emotionally engaging you in the action sequences like few films ever have. But, seeing Battleship Potemkin as a representative of Soviet Montage, you can identify the language of editing. Eisenstein himself defined 5 types of cut:

1. Tonal. This is the type of cut that has emotional weight and sets atmosphere. 
2. Metric. A cut dictated by a numerical value, e.g. a specified stretch of seconds or an amount frames. 
3. Rhythmic. A cut dictated by continuity within the frame so that you have a clear sense of things happening in a somewhat realistic realm. 
4. Overtonal/Associational. This is a mixture of the above types of cut (tonal, metric, rhythmic). 
5. Intellectual. A use of juxtaposition to create new meaning.

These 5 definitions are a way of expressing cinema's short-hand visual language that cannot truly be replicated in any other medium of art. A novel is one of such mediums, which leaves films such as Battleship Potemkin as a relative antithesis. Whilst a book may describe montage, for example, rockets explode against the enemy gates; one lion lies down; one lion has its head raised; one stands gazing into the distance, this hasn't the weight nor the linguistic dexterity as the scene from Battleship Potemkin that features this intellectual montage.

What we are then seeing defined by this cinematic approach to story telling is what we can call 'short-hand montage'.

Keeping this idea at hand, if we now consider an entirely different film we'll find further variations on the differences between a book and a film. Empire:

There's not much you can say about this Andy Warhol picture. Seen as a film (even of the experimental and avant-garde class) this is an impossible watch and a pretentious attempt to discuss reality, time and its relationship with cinema. However, talking shit about Warhol's films - which I've done plenty - is pretty easy. If you choose to see Warhol's films as conceptual art pieces, they do become quite a bit more tolerable. In such, if you read the synopsis of Empire and spend two minutes looking at this film before walking away (as you might do in a gallery) you may feel like it's worth something; like the commentary on reality and time are worth considering. Nonetheless, with Empire, we are seeing a demonstration of extreme realism. In such, there isn't a story captured by this 8 hour shot of the Empire State Building, rather, space and time have been captured then left in tact; there is no sculpting in time.

Putting aside notions of photogénie and truth in documentary, we can grow to see this approach to, or away from, film as the closest you can get to capturing reality. And so, just like no other art form can capture the edit you find in cinema, no art form can capture reality like cinema can. What cinema then distinguishes itself as, by looking at a film such as Empire, is having the capability to transcend story telling and capture an 'arduous reality'. You can argue against this by bringing back into the picture notions of photogénie, suggesting that a camera inherently manipulates reality, forcing a certain perspective. However, if you consider all other forms of art, let us stick with writing, cinema is much more adept at capturing reality. After all, how would you write Empire? How could you translate these 8 hours into a book? Maybe you could repeat 'Empire State Building' for hundreds of pages at a time and under different chapter headings that describe the light and time of day, but this is clearly far from Warhol's movie and the reality it attempts to capture. What this allows us to then reiterate is that cinema has the capacity to capture an 'arduous reality' like no other form of art.

Taking a step back, let us ask again, why have I brought up these two films? It comes down to how writing and film are different. The most obvious differences come down to the manner in which you can use metaphors, similes, punctuation, meters, rhyme, such and so on in writing and not in film. The reverse can be said when we consider that cinema has lighting, framing, editing, colour composition, mise en scène, such and so on - which cannot be found in any other art form (it comes close in photography, but these are still images). With all this said, I think there is another much more subtle difference between cinema and novels, and that is the manner in which they handle the scope and detail of their stories; in short, how they handle their artistic spaces.

A book has to construct and manage a perceptual space in the reader's imagination, one that is linked to the thoughts that an author's words conjure. Cinema merely has to construct a cinematic space, one that is almost tangible and trapped beyond a screen. Because cinema has this distance from the subjective perception and simply is imagery whilst words can only mean to imply it, it has the ability to provide details and scope that a book simply cannot. In other words, I could spend hours writing paragraph after paragraph describing a Blue Whale, or I could just show you this picture:

There would be qualitative differences between these two descriptions under two different, and already mentioned, classes: detail and scope. The type of detail will get from a book will range from an objective description to sensory exposition; what colour the whale is, what it feels like to touch, maybe how the whale itself feels to be an organic being. The same thing can be said of a film about this whale. Through imagery and cinematic language, you could provide an objective description of the whale in its many parts, and possible imply what it means to swim in the ocean like a whale does - as well as other subjective details. However, the clear difference between books and films in this respect is that cinema is much better at the capturing of objective details whilst books are better with subjective sensory and emotional details. Whilst you could use POV to describe to an audience what it is like to be a whale, it'd be much more difficult to relay what it feels like when that whale comes soaring out of the ocean before bombing back down into it - something that'd be far easier to describe in a novel. This becomes a little less abstract when you think about telling stories about what it means to be a person who feels certain emotions. And in such, a book can say something as simple as "Jeff feels betrayed" and be more articulate than many movies. This is because films couldn't just show you one image to tell you Jeff feels betrayed, but would have to show you an entire scene so you can visually understand all that lead to Jeff's sour expression. So, again, books are better at describing the subjective details of a story whilst cinema handles the objective details better.

Considering the second class of description, we come to scope. The same ideas that were raised in the previous assessment of detail can be used here. Through writing, you can provide a much better subjective picture of scope - for example, what an ocean feels like or reminds a character of.

However, by simply showing an image of an ocean, you can translate to an audience a much richer depiction on a wider, more objective, scale. This all leads to the conclusion that books can handle the smaller scales whilst cinema, the larger scales. In such, books can provide more complex details of specific small things; a single artifact and what it means to an individual or just an emotion. On the other hand, films can convey a much stronger and cohesive picture of something larger - like a town or a battle. This isn't to say that neither medium can do what the other is doing in our examples, just that books are more adept at describe subjective small details, whilst films are readily able to capture rich objective scope.

It's at this point that we reach a cross-roads where it seems like I've described something very banal and pretty useless. However, understanding the relationship books and films have with detail and scope, we can better understand how to construct artistic spaces. For instance, if you are making a film about our blue whale in an ocean, you could consider how a book would provide details that a film may not even try to. For instance, you may attempt to provide the subjective view of a whale through cinematic language. Likewise, if you are writing a book about the very same thing, you may choose to consider how cinema would capture the scope of the ocean that this whale lives in.

What I'm thus suggesting is that, once you understand the differences between books and films, you can begin to see a continuum. On one end we seem to have cinema with its objectivity and scope and on the other, books with their subjectivity and details. However, what about the space in between that? This is a question I'm always asking myself as I write screenplays. After all, is there a better place to consider the difference between books and films when you're trying to somehow write cinema?

When I look at the page (knowing that I write my screenplays to be read on places like this blog) I recognise that I need to somehow capture the scope of a scene, but also the subjective views of characters within without saying "Jim feels...". This is what I find to be one of the hardest things to juggle when writing; how do I translate something like Battleship Potemkin into a script?

Simultaneously, how to I translate something like Empire into a script?

What I'm really asking myself when I raise questions like this is, how do I inject both Short-Hand Montage as well as some Arduous Reality into this story? Because I am writing, I can't use editing. I can imply certain types of it, like an intellectual montage, but I can't come close to implying a metric montage as I don't have 'time' as a writing device. This leaves me in a place that's not really on the writing end of the scale, nor on the cinematic end of the scale either - all in terms of subjectivity, detail, objectivity and scope. What is then daunting is that writing some scenes can feel like I'm trying to write Empire, like I'm trying to write some transcript of reality - I certainly find this to be the case in action scenes. However, I've found a way of rationalising screenwriting, seeing as a form of Short-Hand Arduous storytelling.

Short-Hand Arduous storytelling simply is the meeting of Battleship Potemkin and Empire on a page. To achieve this, you simply have to know that you are manipulating The Infinite Story in a specific way. For those who are not familiar with term, The Infinite Story is a concept I use to describe the fact that no stories have a beginning or an end until you give them one. In such, if we were to tell the story of a blue whale, would we start at its birth? Maybe we should show a little about the parents' past? Maybe the history of blue whales? What about the species around it? What about the history of the ocean? As you could tell this could stretch on infinitely into the past - just as it could the future. But, it is your job as a writer to select an in point and an outpoint of this 'arduous reality' and then delve into that to pick up all the interesting bits. However, in considering the difference between books and films, coming up with the idea of Short-Hand Arduous storytelling, I've come to see that The Infinite Story isn't just about past and present, but details and scope. In such, you can zoom infinitely inward into a story, describing the sub-atomic particles that make up a person's left foot. Simultaneously, you could zoom all the way out until you see the entirety of the universe itself. With these 4 infinite variables, back and fourth on the time scale and inward and outwards on the size scale, knowing what The Infinite Story is will allow you to frame at the right magnitude. And so, if you decide you want to tell the life story of a whale from birth to death, you not only have to think of your plot (the small pieces of time that capture significant events in the whale's life), but the perspectives at which you will show it; how far into the psyche of a whale will you delve, how far out will you zoom to describe its surroundings.

In conclusions, this is Short-Hand Arduous storytelling in the realm of screenwriting; you need to find the images that imply montage, but then also have the ability to describe arduous stretches of reality. So, whilst this won't tell you how to finish the next scene in your script, maybe it will help you frame it in cinematic terms.

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Mulan - Heroes

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Mulan - Heroes

Thoughts On: Mulan (1998)

To save her injured conscripted father from almost certain death, a young girl has to impersonate a soldier and sneak into the Chinese army.

Utterly spectacular, Mulan is a perfect meeting of drama, character, comedy and music that features some of Disney's most memorable figures and songs. With a unique style, Mulan has a simplistic aesthetic that is often stunning - one that distinguishes it as a Disney film of its own. This is despite the fact that there are many common tropes of previous Disney films present in this narrative. The most prevalent of these, especially in the first act, is Beauty And The Beast. Both the tone and structure of the opening sequence that sees Mulan wake, move through town and toward the match maker is very much like the Little Town opening number in Beauty And The Beast.

However, whilst these two sequences feel somewhat the same, Mulan intentionally develops a differing path toward the 3rd act with less romance, more conflict, action and so on. But, the reason why Mulan starts out as very similar to Beauty And The Beast is because, in its early stages, Mulan as a character was supposed to want something new, was supposed to need an escape and freedom from a constrictive town - much like Belle. The directors and animators worked on this story line for some time, but ended up abandoning it because Mulan as a character simply wasn't likable. This was probably the most pivotal and beneficial of decisions made during production as Mulan would have very much been just a gimmick if it employed the 'need to be free' character plot yet again. In such, it would have just been Beauty And The Beast in Ancient China with a war. What's more, the change of Mulan's character to be self-sacrificial elevated this film to be, in my opinion, one of the strongest hero stories Disney has ever produced.

However, we'll return to those ideas later. Coming back to aesthetics, whilst the character design, background design and use of colour is often stunning, these elements do not always come together to produce a uniformally dynamic and immersive story. This is an aspect of the stylistic approach that the animators consciously tried to balance, adopting a simple and minimalist Chinese aesthetic by studying art of the period. This approach came to be coined, by the animators and artists, as 'poetic simplicity'. This poetic simplicity works well in static shots like those in the opening sequence.

Moreover, you grow accustomed to the shallow focus and impressionistic background animation. However, when characters interact in these scenes, the framing sometimes feels a little too tight. Added to this, the direction is a little awkward with, in some sequences, a weak use of close-ups and inserts.

This is a very nit-picky assessment of the aesthetic, but I'm not entirely sure this style works throughout the narrative as it's very dependent on powerful, moody and atmospheric imagery. This is very apparent and quite strong in shots like this...

... but not so much this...

This comes down to the application of detail. Whilst the intention was to develop an aesthetic that felt as if it came from this culture and period, one that was, in simple terms, quite plain with a use of much negative space, I'd like to see the focus deepened and more intricate detail implied or added to scenes through more vibrant colour and sharper imagery.

I'd be interested in seeing this as the aesthetic approach of Mulan has clear links to Bambi, which was also minimalistic and used elements of impressionism, especially in the famous background design.

However, what really makes the style of Bambi so stunning is the injection of realism that balances the cartoonish embellishments and impressionistic implications. In such, the approach to texture, colour, tones and layering in Bambi really puts you in a forest with near-real deer. Mulan lacks this realism and sense of location as it goes for an aesthetic projection of a culture (through their art work) rather than manipulating and playing with shades of photorealism as Bambi does. In the simplest terms, Mulan feels like a bit too much of a cartoon. However, we are comparing it to what is almost unarguably the most beautiful Disney film ever made, so we'll cut it a little slack.

The elements of style that work quite well in this narrative are around the sequences with CGI or faux-plane effects - like the Han Charge and the opening.

Whilst Mulan was mostly hand drawn, animating a scene with thousands of horse-back riders in this way would be an immense task. This is why CG was used, and it briefly gives the narrative an epic sense of scale. What's significant about this sequence is the creation of crowd simulation software that allowed detailed copies of two different riders to be given varying attributes to make them seem dissimilar - all before sending them down a hill as an army. The other interesting use of CG can be seen in this shot:

In this sequence we are seeing a CG version of a technique used in classical animation in which drawings were layered onto sheets of glass in a stack. By placing your background on a bottom layer, the mid ground above that, a character above that and then a foreground at the very top, you'd have an almost 3-dimensional effect when you shot looking down at the glass stack. Animators could achieve a similar 3D effect by pulling 2D drawings apart - almost like you'd see in a pop up book - called faux-plane animation. This distinguishes elements like The Great Wall From the background, adding an interesting dynamic touch to the narrative.

So, in respects to style and aesthetics, Mulan is interesting and sometimes pretty stunning, but is not consistently impressive or supportive/supported by the direction and manipulation of the frame. The only other critique you could delve into with this film would be the plot holes and problems with bits of narrative design - of which there are quite a few; consider the roles of the parents and how likely it was that Mulan would not have been caught for so long. There's no need to delve into these, however, as they're quite obvious.

What I really want to talk about with Mulan is its strongest element: character. As mentioned, Mulan could have been a very different film and character; she could have been an unlikable version of Belle from Beauty And The Beast, but in a war. This, in my view, would have been a grotesque Disney-fication of the original source material - a poem called The Ballad Of Mulan that recounts a legend of a female warrior who fought for China for 10 years. As with all Disney films, and as we discussed in the previous post of the Disney series, there are always differences between the Disney films and the original material. But, if the final product is good, which Mulan is, then this isn't really a point of interest.

On a side note, if you watch the Making Of for Mulan you'll find quite a few interesting details about the different versions of Disney's Mulan. Whilst we've already touched on the major change to her character, there were also many stages of design and Mushu even had a part to sing in the I'll Make A Man Out Of You sequence that just didn't work with Eddy Murphy's approach to the character. Side note within a side note, Eddy Murphy is hilarious in this movie - this is another Disney film that I laugh at like an idiot throughout when I'm by myself. Yet another side note, there's quite a bit of incite given into the production of the plethora of varying language versions of Mulan given in the Making Of documentary. One of the most interesting details that I was somehow blind to was that Jackie Chan plays Captain Li in the Chinese version - and his variation of I'll make A Man Out Of You is pretty awesome just because... Jackie Chan. You can see that here. Anyhow...

Back on track, the decision to align the character of Mulan closer to the essence of the source material produced, in my view, one of the strongest heroes Disney has ever put to screen. This all comes down to the character arc of a hero and the main variations it may take. In short, there are 2 main hero arcs. Firstly, there is the unsuspecting hero who is thrust into a new world with new challenges and a set of powers/skills that he or she has to struggle to acclimate to. Examples of this would be:

This is probably the most common type of hero arc as it allows screenwriters to explore what it means to become a hero through the plethora of conflicts that they will have to face. In short, this character arc has an inherent cinematic or story-esque quality to it because there are so many emotional and physical elements. However, the second kind of hero arc is one in which the hero is not at all reluctant and doesn't really face internal challenges on his or her being a hero. Instead, they accept their heroism and mean to take it to new heights. There are many versions of this, subtle or not, and can be seen in films like these:

Whilst these stories may involve the protagonist learning something about what it means to be a hero, their key distinguishing factors are where they start out in the film - say for instance they are already a cop, a king or a demigod - and how they willingly try to become a hero of greater measures. These two versions of the hero arc are the archetypal and most common types - by far. Whilst variation from film to film has the potential to be massive, you will always get the slight feeling of "I think I've seen this before" because of how common these approach are. With clever screenwriting, you will be immersed into the archetypal story line, but, it is what it is.

The special thing about Mulan, and the reason why it is such a great hero story, is that it finds a mid-ground between the first-time hero arc and the hero trying to reach greater heights arc. And in such, it shaves some of the negative sides of both approaches away. With the first-time hero approach, you often get characters that start out as complete knobs...

Moreover, you're likely to get an awful lot of exposition...

And added to this, the emotional conflict is never going to be too original, leaving the story pretty predictable.

With the pre-established hero with something to prove, you also have downfalls. The first is that these heroes are sometimes not very believable...

And this leads on to the most obvious critique; the heroes are often over-powered - which is, to a certain degree, cool - but this is often over-embellished to the point of there being almost no real conflict which can leave the story pretty ridiculous and heavily romanticised/contrived...

Lastly, the character arcs in these films can be very basic, often seeing the hero stop being so arrogant, such an asshole, so selfish or whatever...

Mulan manages to bypass many of these downfalls by going to war not to prove herself, but to save her father - a journey of learning through which she doesn't only rise to hero status for the badge and t-shirt. This is so refreshing as she doesn't start out as an asshole that needs to change drastically...

What's more, she has a powerful motive for becoming a hero - it's not for country and glory, but her father...

And added to this, she is never projected as over-powered and the story isn't too contrived as Mulan rarely just kicks ass - she has to figure out inventive ways of overcoming a situation that doesn't rely on just brawn...

But, not only does Mulan have this unique approach to its character arc play out physically, there's also a strong subtextual element to Mulan that truly establishes it as one of the most complex hero arcs that can be seen in a Disney film.

I always used to think that the Reflection song was about Mulan wanting to prove to the world that there's more in her; that she yearns for her social reflection to reveal her true inner characteristics. This is not completely true, however. Within this sequence, Mulan is questioning herself, asking who she is supposed to be and what she's supposed to do. Whilst she says that she wants to be her true self, she also doesn't recognise her reflection and so doesn't have a clear image of who she is. Her character arc is then not just about being a hero, but discovering her capabilities and how she may be the person she wants to be for the sake of her family.

There is some sense of emotional profundity in this arc as it does mediate individual and collective ideals, producing a hero that actively balances self-sacrifice with personal incentive. Showing Mulan's struggle with these two sides of her - as the above image perfectly represents - and contextualising this within war allows for a powerful story in which these two shades must both be accepted and merged into one persona by Mulan. This is what fuels the best sequence of the film: the I'll Make A Man Out Of You song.

The reason why this song is so powerful, why it gives you the chills and riles you up, is that these soldiers are joining the army for the greater good of China, but also to become heroes: 'Men'. This not only balances collective and individual goals, but it produces an antithesis to Mulan - she of course never becomes a Man. However, she does end up embodying all that this term means to connote; essentially, this rift between self-sacrifice and personal gain. This drives deep into people as we all have these two sides of us; we all want to look out for ourselves and our small group, but also others alike. And because Mulan inventively taps into this so well, I have to say, yet again, that it's one of the strongest hero stories Disney has ever produced.

So, to conclude, whilst Mulan isn't perfect, it is an excellent movie that acts as a great representative of heroism in screenwriting. But, what are your thoughts? What are your favorite parts of Mulan? Could it have been better?

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