I feel like on February 2nd, I should write an article about Groundhog Day, one of my favorite movies and an all-time classic of typical 1990s cinema. Instead I am going to tell you about a recent disappointment in my life (I know for a fact that people like to read about other people’s misery). Don’t think for a second, however, that my misery won’t affect your life, as well. I’ve got you scared now, haven’t I? Alright, let’s cut to the chase:
Do you know the feeling when you’ve been listening to “Year 3000” by the Jonas Brothers your entire life, thinking that they actually came up with one decent song until you find out that even this one good song is a cover? You might be exposed to the same feeling when, after years and years of falling asleep next to your beloved Harry Potter book signed by no other than J.K. Rowling herself, you find out that is was actually your Mum who signed it to bump up your birthday gift from a “Yay” to a “Oh my god, Mum, you’re the best!”. Well, that was the feeling I had watching Disney’s Mulan for the first time on Chinese New Year. Not that Mulan was a disappointment in any way – it REALLY wasn’t – but after this movie I was seriously upset with Peter Jackson. You might wonder: “What does Peter Jackson have to do with Mulan? Wasn’t he just a young guy with very messy hair back when Mulan hit the theaters?” Yes, probably he was. I can assure you that Peter watched Mulan. Because just a couple of years later he would do exactly what the Jonas Brothers did with “Year 3000”. Peter would come to be my Mum of the film industry!
Every Lord of the Rings fan already knows what I’m talking about but for those who haven’t seen the Lord of the Rings or Mulan, I am going to elaborate:
The best scene in movie history (arguably):
After being crowned as the King of Gondor on top of Minas Tirith, Aragorn, Arathorn’s son, slowly walks past the leaders of light and all the heroes who make the Lord of the Rings so unique and had come to congratulate him on being in his rightful place: The throne of Gondor. He walks past Eowyn and Faramir who are now a couple, he shares a bromantic look with Legolas and Gimli and meets up with the love of his life, Arwen, the Elven, before he finally arrives at the place the four Hobbits Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin are trying to catch a peak of what’s happening (because they’re small). Polite as they are they get ready to kneel down in front of the new king. Aragorn, however, with tears in his eyes, thinking back to how much the Hobbits had to suffer in order to eventually save mankind from the roaring fires of Mordor, says: “My friends, you bow to no one!” and, in return, bows to them, followed by his entire people, making the Hobbits feel just as special as they deserve to feel.
What a magical scene, right? Wrong! Because from now on it is tainted. To be quite accurate, it was tainted from the very beginning. Why? This beautiful scene that has brought me closer to tears than even my grandpa’s funeral (I love you pops) was basically stolen from Mulan.
This is what it looks like in Mulan:
Just like in the Lord of the Rings, the king and his people with him, bow to someone who doesn’t expect to be bowed to. Exchange the Hobbits for a Chinese woman and Aragorn for a weird-looking old dude and you’ll see that the scenes are actually very much alike.
Yet, I don’t want to be too hard on Peter, because Mulan just nailed that ending and it’s understandable that other movies want a piece of the pie. Knowing that the ending of the Lord of the Rings is a fraud, doesn’t make the movie any worse or less emotional. This way I have two movies which end the exact same way, giving me twice the emotional potential I knew of before.
PS: Remember to be the weirdest you can possibly be.