25th Anniversary of Mulan

Celebrating The 25th Anniversary of Mulan!

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It is hard for me to believe it but June 19th marks the 25th Anniversary of Disney’s MULAN!

This film has always been special to me for a number of reasons:

First, off it was the first time that I was cast as the supervising animator of the lead villain in the movie… Bao Gung!

What’s that you say? There is no Bao Gung. Well, you are right. Over the course of developing the film the character of Bao Gung was written out and the character of Shan Yu became the primary villain. At the time, the role of Shan Yu had already been assigned to the very talented Pres Romanillios.

This left me without a character in the film… That is until the directors sat me down and asked if I could do several characters? So I ended up designing and animating the character of Yao as well as all of the ancestor ghosts.

This film is also special to me because it was the first film that was really the baby of the Florida Studio. This film was produced and directed out of the Florida animation studio and I think it is one of the best looking films of the 90’s animation era.

It’s clear that we were firing on all cylinders.

Over the years, I have shared a number of videos about Mulan on my YouTube channel and my TikTok – So, I thought to celebrate this milestone I would gather a few of the highlights here. I’ve also included a gallery with some of my drawings from Mualn below.

This film was also very important for my fellow Creature Art Teacher, Tim Hodge. It was his first feature film project as a story artist!

To celebrate the occasion, he has created a new video in his “Tips with Tim” series. Give it a watch below:

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“I was trained by Aaron Blaise. Aaron is Awesome!”

– Byron Howard (Director: “Zootopia”, “Tangled”, “Bolt”)
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About Aaron Blaise

For 21 years Aaron worked with Disney helping to create some of the greatest animated films ever made. During that time he worked as an animator or supervising animator on "The Rescuers Down Under", "Beauty and the Beast", "Aladdin", "The Lion King", "Pocahontas", "Mulan" and more. In 2003 he was co-director of "Brother Bear" for which he earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. After "Brother Bear" he helped to develop several projects but ultimately left Disney to pursue an opportunity back home in Florida. Aaron recently served as 2D Animation Supervisor and Character Designer for the "The Bear and the Hare" an advertisement loved by millions around the world. He is currently also working on a new animated short film, once again involving bears called "Snow Bear".

8 thoughts on “25th Anniversary of Mulan

  1. Thanks for sharing all these amazing art pieces and videos Aaron, truly inspirational.

    Congratulations on Mulan, along with Lion King and Emperor’s new groove and Lilo and stitch is one of my favorites Disney film (although is really hard to pick just a few).

    Love your lessons, I’ve learned a lot from them.

  2. All really great stuff! Love your work and Loved seeing the pencil tests, etc.!

  3. What a fascinating insight into Mulan (not to mention some wonderful movie resources on same) – to think of the villain we never came to have, as well!
    Thanks for sharing this :)

  4. Congrats Aaron, it has been an absolute honor following your work since I was wee lad. From films, to Aarons art tips, and now with Creature art teacher, Snow Bear and Pencilish. You’re an inspiration. Love this content and appreciate your influence. Don’t stop!

  5. All of those early character sketches are positively drool worthy! 🤤 They have such fluid lines, but feel so solid I start to think I can run my hands over them like a sculpture! I long to make character designs that are even a fraction as juicy!

  6. Thank you so much Aaron for sharing your artwork and tutorials, it is a pleasure to learn from those who made the movies that filled our childhood with amazing stories and visuals…I love this kind of content

  7. Hey Aaron,

    I’m always a big fan of posts like this that hold a swath of content for me to pour over. Post as many as you like!

  8. I remember when Mulan came out. I was a sophomore in high school, but my brothers were in 2nd grade, so I still got to watch it and pretend like I wasn’t too cool. The animation was spectacular, and I still have all the songs memorized. You really nailed Yao! He reminds me so much of my uncle, a little pugnacious but a softy on the inside :D Please share more of stuff like this, I love to see how characters develop! Thank you, Aaron!

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