Mulan - Production

Production

Mulan originally began as a short, straight-to-video film titled "China Doll" about an oppressed and miserable Chinese girl who is whisked away by a British Prince Charming to happiness in the West. Then Disney consultant and children's book author Robert D. San Souci suggested making a movie of the Chinese poem, "The Song of Fa Mu Lan" and Disney combined the two separate projects.

Development for Mulan began in 1994, after the production team sent a select group of artistic supervisors to China for three weeks to take photographs and drawings of local landmarks for inspiration; and to soak up local culture. The filmmakers decided to change Mulan's character to make her more appealing and selfless and turn the art style closer to Chinese painting, with watercolor and simpler design - opposed to the details of The Lion King and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

To create 2,000 Hun soldiers during the Huns' attack sequence, the production team developed a crowd simulation software called Attila. This software allows thousands of unique characters to move autonomously. A variant of the program called Dynasty was used in the final battle sequence to create a crowd of 3,000 in the Forbidden City. Pixar's photorealistic RenderMan was used to render the crowd. Another software developed for this movie was Faux Plane which was used to add depth to flat two-dimensional painting. Although developed late in production progress, Faux Plane was used in five shots, including the dramatic sequence which features the Great Wall of China, and the final battle sequence when Mulan runs to the Forbidden City. During the scene in which the Chinese are bowing to Mulan, the crowd is a panoramic film of real people bowing. It was edited into the animated foreground of the scene.

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Famous quotes containing the word production:

    Constant revolutionizing of production ... distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.
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    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694–1773)