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The Foreign and the Other in the Music of Mulan (1998)

The Foreign and the Other in the Music of Mulan (1998) LISA SCOGGIN The Foreign and the Oth er in the Music oM f ulan (1998) Disney’s Mulan (1998), set in “ancient” northern China, ostensibly focuses on the role of gender—specifically, pushing against normative expectations of women’s behavior But alongside that lies the topos of . the Other: the Chinese as Other to the West, the Huns as Other to the Chinese, and the character of Mulan as Other on numerous levels. While part of that topos comes from Disney’s obvious attempt to create a Dis - ney “princess” who is capable of strategic thinking and action, another part stems from the studio’s wish to house the old Chinese tale upon which the movie is based in something that would still be palatable to Western audiences. While several scholars, including Annalee Ward, Lan Dong, and Lisa Brocklebank, have examined the Other in Mulan in terms of cultural and philosophical differences, very little scholarship has considered the role that music plays in this construction. This article will rectify this gap, at least in part, examining not only some of the songs but also the or - ches tral music and how they serve to both support and belie what is on http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

The Foreign and the Other in the Music of Mulan (1998)

American Music , Volume 39 (2) – Aug 31, 2021

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349

Abstract

LISA SCOGGIN The Foreign and the Oth er in the Music oM f ulan (1998) Disney’s Mulan (1998), set in “ancient” northern China, ostensibly focuses on the role of gender—specifically, pushing against normative expectations of women’s behavior But alongside that lies the topos of . the Other: the Chinese as Other to the West, the Huns as Other to the Chinese, and the character of Mulan as Other on numerous levels. While part of that topos comes from Disney’s obvious attempt to create a Dis - ney “princess” who is capable of strategic thinking and action, another part stems from the studio’s wish to house the old Chinese tale upon which the movie is based in something that would still be palatable to Western audiences. While several scholars, including Annalee Ward, Lan Dong, and Lisa Brocklebank, have examined the Other in Mulan in terms of cultural and philosophical differences, very little scholarship has considered the role that music plays in this construction. This article will rectify this gap, at least in part, examining not only some of the songs but also the or - ches tral music and how they serve to both support and belie what is on

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Aug 31, 2021

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