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Oo la la! A look at Disney in France
Disneyland Paris: Unique Journeys - A photo essay by Ian Parkinson
ONE | TWO

Mulan, the Legend

Located in the Videopolis building is one of the best shows you will find at Disneyland Paris. Mulan, the Legend opened in the French Park in April 1999 and has been performing every day since.

Based on the story as told in the Disney film, the show features a cast of 50 performers who tell the tale through acrobatics, juggling and a lot of hard physical work.

The show originally opened with the "Hebei Acrobatic Troupe of China" but in August 1999 the "Flag Circus of China" took over the performing duties. It is currently performed four or five times as day, with more show times added during the summer months.


The Videopolis Theatre

I'm never quite sure how to define the venue used for the presentation of Mulan. Is it a theatre that serves food, or is a restaurant with a stage? Basically this large building contains a large stage, with excellent technical facilities. It also houses the 'Hyperion Cafe' which serves fast food.

Videopolis Theatre

The seating in the theatre consists of two main areas. Down at the front of the theatre directly in front of the stage are three sections containing rows of wooden bench seats. Immediately behind them is a wide walkway, this area is also used to seat guests with disabilities. Behind the walkway is by far the largest seating area in the theatre, it consists of tables and chairs where you can bring you food to eat. As with most Disney theatres there are generally no bad seats in the house, but you can be unlucky if people decide to stand along the walkway. (I will be covering the Videopolis building in detail in a later 'Unique Journey'.)


The Show

The Mulan show is thirty minutes long and is delivered in a very unusual way. The melodies are from the film, except they have been orchestrated differently. You may be surprised to hear that no voices are heard throughout the entire performance, there is no speaking nor singing. The story is told totally through mime, gesture and acrobatics.

The show begins in front of a huge red curtain, as a group of the Hun's men burst on to the stage from all sides. They tumble, build human pyramids and use aerial equipment to tower over the audience. This section represents the attack on the Great Wall of China that can be seen in the film. They end their attach by demolishing a stone structure built into a circular hole in the great wall.

Mulan Show

Mulan Show

After the smoke clears the Great Wall rolls back to reveal the garden belonging to Mulan's family. Here we are treated to a wonderful display of plate spinning to the music "Honor to us all". Mulan performs in this section using a Diablo.

Mulan Show

Mulan Show Mulan Show

Mulan Show

Mulan then enters the house of the Matchmaker and quickly exits in disgrace. The show quickly moves on to Mulan's realization that she must replace her father in the war with the Hun.

Mulan Show

The show now moves into the Chinese Army training camp where to the music of "I'll make a man out of you" and "A girl worth fighting for" the new recruits perform ever more daring feats.

Mulan Show

Mulan Show

Mulan Show

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Ian Parkinson may be reached at ian@mouseplanet.com

 

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