The Sacramento Bee from Sacramento, California on June 17, 1998 · 76
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The Sacramento Bee from Sacramento, California · 76

Publication:
Location:
Sacramento, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, June 17, 1998
Page:
76
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ft t HO Wednesday June 17 1998 The Sacramento Bee F Mulan listens to advice from Mushu a good-guy dragon in the animated film that is based on a Chinese legend a ‘Mulan’: Filmmakers studied t Chinese movies culture Continued from page 1-1 “I’m a geek for Disney” she said with a giggle v ’ Her choice of words betrayed her middle-class middle-Ameri-can upbringing orn in Macao and raised in I the “white suburbia” of Pittsburgh Wen “tried hard to assimilate and blend in My girlfriends and I would come to Disney World for vacations” “It’s magic it’s wonderment it’s a Jittle bit of utopia” she said of its appeal - She even wanted to change her name from Ming-Na to Doris or Maggie to better fit in “Hon’t ask me why” she shrugged “Really bad choices” Now Wen has achieved the ultimate in assimilation She has stepped through the Disney looking glass to become a “cast member” Disney jargon for someone who works at one of the firm’s theme parks But Wen is more than an employee The character in“Mulan” is her mirror image tMy mom noticed it right away She couldn’t understand She said ‘I know voice is yours but how how ? ’ Think of it” Wen 'marveled “Artists drawing pictures one at a time but capturing a feature of yours a gesture a moment It’s just so flattering” It also makes Wen - who starred in the films ‘The Joy Luck Club” and “One Night Stand” and in the TV sitcom “The Single Guy” - the public face of Disney’s sum- mer marketing campaign from - action figures to Happy Meals But “Mulan” is more than busi- ness as usual This story about a girl who dresses like a man goes to war in place of her father and becomes a hero based on an ancient and beloved Chinese legend is an aesthetic departure for a studio that has art down to a science' While “Mulan” does hit a number of recurring Disney themes it is distinctive: Its simple lines impressionist textures and nuanced narrative add new elements to the Dsney palette It may be the most artistically pure Disney animated film since perhaps “Bambi” ’ Ric Sluiter the “Mulan” art director cited “Bambi” as an inspiration Sluiter described the classic “Bambi” style as “real Zen They could take a tree or a complicated i bush and simplify it to a couple brush strokes We did that a lot too” The “Mulan” filmmakers immersed themselves in Chinese films and Chinese art Director Barry Cook producer Pam Coates and several animators spent three weeks in China to capture the look The filmmakers looked to Taiwanese artist and animator Chen-Yi Chang for guidance “He showed us ways to do fun caricatures that weren’t demeaning or insulting” said Cook “I don’t think there’s one aspect of this film that wasn’t inspired by Chinese culture or artwork in some way shape or form” Bancroft said “It saturated every aspect of the film” “Mulan” will most certainly broaden the world view of its young audience in ways they probably won’t even comprehend nd “Mulan” will surely give young Asian-Ameri-cans a role model of the caliber the film’s stars rarely saw ‘There is a nonexistent discomfort factor for me when I watch the film” said actor BD Wong “and I have a real media-watch antenna when it comes to that” Wong provides the voice of the commander of Mulan’s military unit “I was raised on things that made me uncomfortable throughout my entire childhood and looked forward to the day when I could watch something that was Asian and feel that it illuminated or validated me or honored my culture and didn’t embarrass me” he said “Mulan” said Wong “was made with reverence and respect for the Chinese culture Wen said she has turned down her share of “geisha and hooker roles” And she describes most of the roles available to Asian men as “gangster waiter or computer-nerd-type characters” Wen’s epiphany came while filming “The Joy Luck Club” a story about Chinese-American mothers and daughters with a group of older actresses whose struggles she found inspiring ‘They paved the way for me” said Wen “Now it’s my turn to pave the way for the next generation” Al You are invited to the Grand Opening of the fabulous new Century Roseville 14 Theater! Our luxurious theaters advance movie entertainment to a new tatcrtMt tr m mmmm IS All Digital Sound All Stadium Seating All the Time Featuring the new state of the art in theater design— Digital Theater Sound - full impact digital sound experience Stadium Seating - Clear unobstructed screen views Emms — Just minutes from anywhere in the Sacramento Area! i — - i rr level with all stadium seating design plus all digital theater sound A gala weekend of fun awaits the entire family Be there for all the fun G excitement! ° All Stadium Style Seating aifc 14 Luxury Theaters 0 0 Love Seats t Rocking (hair Loge Style Seatihg 0 All Digital Theater Sound JDDSKr polSyT Pftr- 0 ttUJ Digital Sound digital Tounu (upholder Armrests Cinema Cafe Gourmet Treats 0 Starcade Video Game Room Plenty of Free Lighted Parking All Summer G beyond the very best movies are coming to the Century 14-the new ‘place to go'! EXC All opening weekend enjoy-- FREE Video Game Play! -Mimo the Klown! -S0( Fountain Drinks -50( Hot Dogs PLUS! nter to Win great prizes including- 0ne yearold Pass to Century Theatres Serving fresh popped popcorn with real butter! i 1 i c

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