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Chinese Hero Already Has Global Fan Base

Disney’s “Mulan,” opening nationally today, already seems to have struck a cyber chord with young people worldwide--and not just with Asians, who may already know the ancient Chinese legend of a brave young girl on which the animated feature is based.

Within the past few days, hundreds of “Mulan” fans have posted messages on the Mulan Forum, an Internet Web site created in Mexico by a young Virginia Viadas Diaz. From the Andes in South America, Maria Jose Rodriguez wrote that Fa Mulan, the film’s heroine, “es linda” (“She’s beautiful”). Michael Nguyen, a self-described Disney fanatic, said in a message from Tokyo, “I think it’s gonna be cool.”

Their anticipation speaks not only to the high expectations for the film, but also to the prospect that “Mulan” may appeal across gender and ethnic boundaries. Perhaps even an age gap.

Anaheim bridal designer Jasmine Kung, who has been following the saga of the making of “Mulan” for a year, plans to hit the theater first thing today.

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Kung, whose young nieces are excited about seeing it too, said they aren’t alone. “A lot of Asians are anticipating the movie.”

For some, it might be awhile.

“I hope the movie is good, but it is still five months left until it reaches Sweden!” young Emelie Friberg lamented in a cyber-message.


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