June 19, 2018 is the 20th anniversary of Disney’s Mulan. I couldn’t believe the time has passed so quickly. Mulan was the first movie I ever worked on, and as a result, it holds a special place in my heart.
I had landed a job at my dream company (Disney Feature Animation) a year before on July 7, 1997, and was able to work for the next year on this great movie. It premiered at The Hollywood Bowl on June 5, and it would be the last time the whole Disney crew was invited to the actual premiere – probably because the Hollywood Bowl can seat 30,000 people, and we only made a small dent in their seating capacity. Then, on June 19, it was unleashed on the U.S.A. movie-going crowd.
I was not an artist on the film, so there aren’t any old drawings of mine to share with you. However, I maintained a sketchbook that is filled cover-to-cover with sketches from my colleagues over the six years I worked on Disney movies. I chose this gorgeous sketch by Mulan co-head of story Dean DeBlois to show you. These days, Dean directs How To Train Your Dragon movies for Dreamworks.
Congratulations to the whole Mulan crew for a great achievement, and a special congratulations to co-directors Barry Cook and Tony Bancroft. You have brought honor to us all.