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Mulan
(1998)
Album Cover Art
1998 Regulars
1999 Promo
Album 2 Cover Art
2001 Bootleg
Album 3 Cover Art
Score Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Score Orchestrated by:
Alexander Courage

Songs Composed by:
Matthew Wilder

Song Lyrics by:
David Zippel
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
Walt Disney Records (Commercial)
(June 2nd, 1998)

Walt Disney Records (Promo)
(February, 1999)

Bootleg
(2001)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
The 1998 commercial CD was a regular U.S. release. An international variant, likely with a different cover depending on your country, often included two additional tracks equaling 5 minutes of music. The promotional release containing Goldsmith's complete score was a rare "For Your Consideration" pressing sent by Disney to voting Academy members in February, 1999. The promo sold in 1999 auctions at a range from $150 to $400, but has since declined in value. Bootleg albums followed a few years later, and these often differed in contents, arrangement, and track order.
Awards
AWARDS
The score was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. The song "Reflection" was also nominated for a Golden Globe. The song "True to Your Heart" was nominated for a Grammy Award.
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ALSO SEE




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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... on the commercial albums if you seek an essentially competent collection of songs and score from the film.

Avoid it... on the commercial albums and seek the promos or bootlegs if you want the finer individual moments of choral beauty and electronic experimentation in Jerry Goldsmith's score.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #37
WRITTEN 6/2/98, REVISED 7/7/07
Goldsmith
Goldsmith
Mulan: (Jerry Goldsmith/Matthew Wilder) With the freshly minted Pixar creeping up behind them and the glory days of their collaboration with composer Alen Menken concluding with a foul note for Hercules in 1997, Disney revisited the formula that gave them success with The Lion King. Putting Menken on ice until a failed attempt to resurrect his success in 2004's Home on the Range, Disney decided to approach a mainstream composer with whom the film could be scored with more serious music than Menken tended to provide. For the songs, Disney solicited the Broadway sound from Matthew Wilder and a touch of The Joy Luck Club sound from Rachel Portman, whose Oscar-won popularity was at its height. Because of Portman's pregnancy early in the process, however, Disney made an odd, but rewarding call to veteran Jerry Goldsmith, who had not scored an animated film since The Secret of N.I.M.H. in the early 1980's. He would provide an ethnically heroic and heart-pounding adventure score, rich with its own themes and creative use of percussion and synthetics. Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Mulan from the perspective of a Disney collector is the complete disconnect between the themes of the songs and those of the score. While Goldsmith recorded a suite of music that combined a few of the song themes with his own, the actual underscore is completely unrelated to Wilder's tunes. Those songs are decent at best, generally considered functional if not unnecessary. Unlike the unbelievably bizarre gospel approach that Disney chose to take with the Greek themes in Hercules, Mulan's songs are appropriately dramatic and contain elements of Chinese influence in their instrumentation. Gone is the traditional prologue song, which will be a disappointment for some, and the commercial album therefore starts directly in with one of the film's weaker songs at its opening. The quantity has also shifted, with only five songs appearing in the film and none of them receiving the normal reprise that these musicals typically offer.

Especially when compared to Goldsmith's score, the Wilder songs are easily an afterthought in Mulan. But they are generally listenable; the employment of percussion and woodwinds in the songs are vital in portraying the Chinese setting, and the showtunes style of simplistic thematic progressions will appeal to the kids. At the forefront, "Reflection" is almost a mirror of the hero's song in Hercules (especially when you strip away the ethnic instrumentation), but it's performed here with better texture and sincerity, losing that sappy and now-corny Menken sound. The pop version of this song at the end is almost identical to the original in-film version, but with the usual electronically boosted base and synthetic chimes. "I'll Make a Man Out of You" breaks up the slower pace of the songs with a jazzy touch, though the comical piece performed by Harvey Fierstein ("A Girl Worth Fighting For") proves that people with annoying speaking voices don't sound any better when they sing. On the other hand, there are no wildly unrestrained comedy numbers in Mulan, and the lack of completely ridiculous dancing numbers performed by gargoyles, muses, etc, is welcomed. The only unforgivable blunder in the songs of Mulan is the Stevie Wonder performance of "True to Your Heart," a totally unnecessary rock piece that has no business in context with the other material. As a pure marketing and selling technique by Disney, the inclusion of such trash is very unfortunate. As previously mentioned, there is a disconnect between the songs and score. Two of the songs are prominently adapted by Goldsmith into his 7-minute suite of music from the film, along with the introduction of his own three primary ideas. Not often do the Disney albums feature sparkling, fully orchestral versions of its songs, but Goldsmith works wonders with Wilder's material for this short amount of time. One of the lingering debates about Goldsmith's career involves what would have happened if Disney had hired him to also write his own songs for one of their musicals. That one will never be answered.

Even if Wilder's songs are only adequate, Goldsmith's score is superb. He pours on the symphonic power, creative percussion, and electronic accompaniment for one of the most dramatically engaging scores of the final years of his career. Prominently bold throughout the film, the score is epic in scope and thematic development. His theme for the title character is an elegantly rising and falling seven-note structure easily identifiable in any situation. A love theme with a momentous performance at the end of the suite is rich with references to other Goldsmith scores. And a third, battle motif accompanies the numerous action sequences in the score. The theme for Mulan is remarkably simplistic but effective, receiving a controversial and defiant expression in the scene in which Mulan cuts her hair and goes to war. Often performed by bold mid-range brass, this theme is the glue holding the score together, and the variants with which Goldsmith expands upon it for extended performances are all enjoyable. The love theme is more sparsely heard, though it makes a grand impact late in the film, when it is given full choral treatment. It combines the nobility and drama of the Air Force One and Star Trek: First Contact themes with some of the drum-pounding bravado of First Knight, and less enthusiastic Goldsmith listeners may be bothered by those self-references. Compounding this situation is the use of the chorus in "The Pendant," which seems quite similar in tone and progression to Goldsmith's popular conclusion to Rudy. The battle music extends the use of brass and timpani to the same levels that shook the floors in the battle sequences for First Knight (and they foreshadow several parts of The 13th Warrior). Lighter moments are equally intelligent with delightful trumpet work at the outset of "The Master Plan" and a fantastic mix of high metallic percussion and synthetic tingling in "Bogus Letter." Goldsmith's synthesized sounds return to the days of Legend, though they serve as better accompaniment here in a secondary role.

Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
10,316 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.96 Stars
***** 4,849 5 Stars
**** 2,427 4 Stars
*** 1,523 3 Stars
** 832 2 Stars
* 685 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
24 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Filmtracks Sponsored Donated Review
Sean O'Neill - July 7, 2007, at 9:09 p.m.
1 comment  (2065 views)
American Regular Release
Colin Y. - January 22, 2007, at 1:43 p.m.
1 comment  (2019 views)
Good!
Rende - October 14, 2006, at 7:41 a.m.
1 comment  (2316 views)
Trade Mulan Promo for Yared's Troy
Carlos - July 21, 2006, at 9:57 a.m.
1 comment  (2520 views)
Pop version of "Reflection" ripped off from James Horner's "My Heart Will Go On"?
Jeff Hietala - June 30, 2004, at 1:09 p.m.
1 comment  (2580 views)
One of Goldsmith´s best...as good as 13th Viking and The Omen.
Cesar - February 13, 2004, at 3:58 p.m.
1 comment  (1838 views)
More...


Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
1998 Commercial American Release Tracks   ▼Total Time: 51:27
• 1. Honor to Us All - song (3:03)
• 2. Reflection - song (2:27)
• 3. I'll Make a Man Out of You - song (3:21)
• 4. A Girl Worth Fighting For - song (2:26)
• 5. True to Your Heart (Single) - performed by 98 Degrees and Stevie Wonder (4:16)
• 6. Suite from "Mulan"* (7:06)
• 7. Attack at the Wall** (4:59)
• 8. Mulan's Decision** (3:23)
• 9. Blossoms** (6:27)
• 10. The Huns Attack** (4:30)
• 11. The Burned-Out Village** (5:53)
• 12. Reflection (Pop Version) - performed by Christina Aguilera (3:36)
* Jerry Goldsmith score not used in film
** Jerry Goldsmith score
1998 Commercial International Release Tracks   ▼Total Time: 56:16
1999 Promotional Release Tracks   ▼Total Time: 70:14
2001 Bootlegs Tracks   ▼Total Time: 76:50

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The commercial album inserts include extensive credits and lyrics to each song.

Lyrics to "Reflection (Pop Version)":

Look at me
You may think you see
who I really am
But you'll never know me
Every day
It's as if I play a part
Now I see
If I wear a mask
I can fool the world
But I cannot fool
my heart

Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me?
When will my reflection show
who I am inside?

I am now in a world
where I have to
hide my heart
And what I believe in
But somehow
I will show the world
what's inside my heart
And be loved for who I am
Who is that girl I see
staring straight back at me?
Why is my reflection
someone I don't know?
Must I pretend that I'm
someone else for all time?
When will my reflection show
who I am inside?

There's a heart that must
be free to fly
That burns with a need
to know the reason why
Why must we all conceal
What we think
How we feel?
Must there be a secret me
I'm forced to hide?

I won't pretend that I'm
someone else
For all time
When will my reflection show
who I am inside?
When will my reflection show
who I am inside?
Copyright © 1998-2015, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Mulan are Copyright © 1998, Walt Disney Records (Commercial), Walt Disney Records (Promo), Bootleg and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 6/2/98 and last updated 7/7/07.
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