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Reflection (song)

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This article is about the Disney song. For the Fifth Harmony song, see Reflection (Fifth Harmony album).
Song by Lea Salonga from the album Mulan: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack
Released June 2, 1998
Recorded 1997
Genre Soundtrack
Length 2:27
Label Walt Disney
Producer(s) Matthew Wilder
Mulan: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack track listing
"Honor to Us All"
"I'll Make a Man Out of You"

"Reflection" is a song written and produced by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel for the soundtrack of Disney's 1998 animated film Mulan. In the film, the song is performed by Filipina singer and actress Lea Salonga as Fa Mulan. An accompanying music video for "Reflection" was included as a bonus to the Disney Gold Classic Collection DVD release of the film in 1998.

A single version of the song was recorded by American singer Christina Aguilera and became her debut single. She was 17 at the time it was released. The single's commercial success funded Aguilera's debut album from RCA, in addition to gaining her credibility amongst established writers and producers. Releases of the single were limited, which resulted in the track charting only on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, at number nineteen. An accompanying music video for the song was included on the DVD release of Mulan. Aguilera has performed the track on four televised performances, including at the CBS This Morning show, which saw her gain the attention of songwriter Diane Warren.

Use in Mulan[edit]

In the film Mulan, the song is recorded by Filipina singer and actress Lea Salonga as Fa Mulan. "Reflection", which lasts for 2:27 (two minutes and twenty seven seconds),[1] was written and produced by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel, in the key of A major. The track begins with the lyrics "Look at me, I will never pass for a perfect bride, or a perfect daughter", with Salonga's vocal range spanning from the low-note of G♯3 to the high-note of D5 in a moderately slow tempo of 92 beats per minute.[2] Irving Tan from Sputnikmusic labelled "Reflection" a "decent" song.[3]

The song is performed after Mulan returns home following a humiliating and failed attempt to impress her matchmaker. The lyrical content expresses the way Mulan feels about wanting to show the world who she really is instead of pretending to be who she is not, but is afraid to disappoint her family by doing so. This scene takes place at Mulan's home in its surrounding gardens and ends in her family temple, where she removes her makeup to reveal her true appearance

Christina Aguilera single release[edit]

Reflection - Christina Aguilera.jpg
Single by Christina Aguilera
from the album Mulan: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack, Christina Aguilera and Disneymania
Released June 15, 1998
Format CD single
Recorded February 1998
Length 3:33
Producer(s) Matthew Wilder
Christina Aguilera singles chronology
"Genie in a Bottle"

Aguilera approached record label RCA, then having financial difficulties, and was told to contact Disney.[4] After being given the opportunity to record "Reflection", it was reported she had gained a record deal with RCA Records.[5] After she was asked to hit a musical note required for "Reflection", she thought that the song could be the gateway into an album deal. Aguilera spent hours recording a cover of Whitney Houston's "Run to You", which included the note she was asked to hit.[4] After successfully hitting the note, which she called "the note that changed my life", she was given the opportunity to record the song.[6] Due to the success around the recording of "Reflection", RCA wished for Aguilera to record and release an album by September 1998 to maintain the "hype" surrounding her at that time.[6] The label laid the foundation for the album immediately and started presenting Aguilera with tracks for her debut album, which they later decided would have a January 1999 release.[6]

Aguilera's version of "Reflection" was released to adult contemporary radio on June 15, 1998.[7] The song was released as a CD single in Japan on September 18, 1999.[8] In 2000, Aguilera recorded the Spanish version of "Reflection" titled "Mi Reflejo" which was adapted by Rudy Pérez for the album of the same name.[9]


Beth Johnson of Entertainment Weekly noted Aguilera has a "who-am-I musings" persona in the song,[10] while Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic commented that the "Matthew Wilder and David Zippel's full-fledged songs [on Mulan] are flat and unmemorable."[11] "Reflection" peaked at number 19 on the Adult Contemporary chart.[12][13] After the success of the track, Aguilera's record label RCA decided to fund her debut album (costing over one million dollars), and eventually funded more than they had predicted initially.[14]

Live performances[edit]

Aguilera performed the song on television four times, first on the CBS This Morning, and then on the Donny & Marie show; neither of these performances were directed at her demographic of teen viewers.[12] Whilst watching the show on This Morning, Aguilera gained the attention of songwriter Diane Warren, who was astonished by such a young performer being as "polished" as she was. Warren later stated that she had seen the potential in Aguilera.[14] The singer also performed "Reflection" on MuchMusic's Intimate and Interactive on May 17, 2000.[15] An ABC special in 2000, featuring a performance of the song, was recorded and released in a DVD titled My Reflection.[16]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Reflection" – 3:34


Chart (1998) Peak
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[13] 19
Chart (2014) Peak
South Korean International Singles (Gaon)[18] 86

Other languages[edit]

Edyta Górniak recorded a Polish version of the song titled Lustro (Mirror) to promote the movie. Anabela Pires, European Portuguese singing voice of Mulan, along with the whole European Portuguese movie cast, won a prize for the best foreign version, while Yè Bēi (cmn), who provided Mulan's singing voice in the Mainland Mandarin Chinese version, was hailed as one of the "10 best versions of the world" by Disney director of production.[19]

Since its first release, some local TV stations and studios have been dubbing the movie in their local languages, creating some unofficial dubs. Namely: Arabic (TV dub),[20] Armenian,[21] Karachay-Balkar[22] and Tagalog.[23]

"Reflection" in other languages
Language Performer(s)[19] Title Translation
Arabic جاكلين رفيق (Jacqueline Rafiq) "صورتي" ("Sourti") "Image"
Brazilian Portuguese Kacau Gomes (movie) and

Sandy (credits)

"Imagem" "Image"
Bulgarian Йорданка Илова (Yordanka Ilova) (bg) "Различна" ("Razlichna") "Different"
Canadian French Martine Chevrier (fr) "Reflet" "Reflection"
Cantonese 陈慧琳 (“Wai Lam Chan”; Kelly Chen) (movie and credits) "倒影" ("?") "Inverted reflection"
Castilian Spanish María Caneda (movie) and

Malú (credits)

"Reflejo" "Reflection"
Catalan Ángela Aloy "Reflex" "Reflection"
Chinese Mandarin 叶蓓 (Yè Bēi) (cmn) "沉思" ("Chén sī") "Meditation"
Czech Jana Mařasová (cs) ? ?
Danish Pernille Højgaard "Spejlbilledet" "The reflection"
Dutch Linda Wagenmakers "Spiegelbeeld" "Reflection"
European French Marie Galey (fr) (movie) and

Mélanie Cohl (credits)

"Réflexion" "Reflection"
European Portuguese Anabela Pires "Reflexo" "Reflection"
Finnish Heidi Kyrö (fi) "Heijastus" "Reflection"
Flemish Karina Mertens (nl) "Spiegelbeeld" "Reflection"
German Caroline Vasicek-Pfeifer "Wer bin ich?" "Who am I?"
Greek Δέσποινα Βανδή (Déspina Vandí) "Ποιά είμαι" ("Piá íme") "Who am I?"
Hebrew רינת גבאי (Rinat Gabay) (he) "השתקפות" ("Hishtakfut") "Reflection"
Hindi Unknown "परछाई" ("Parchhayi") "Reflection"
Hungarian Auth Csilla (hu) "Bár mindenki láthatná" ?
Icelandic Valgerður Guðnadóttir (fr) "Spegilmynd" "Reflection"
Indonesian Beatrix Renita Purwiastanti "Cermin diri" ?
Italian Marianna Cataldi (movie) and

Syria (credits)

"Riflesso" "Reflection"
Japanese 伊東恵理 (Itō Eri) "リフレクション" ("Rifurekushon") "Reflection"
Korean 이소정 (Lee So-Jung) (movie) and

박정현 (Lena Park) (credits)

"숨겨진 내 모습" ("Sumgyeojin nae moseup") (movie) and

"내 안의 나를" ("Nae ane nareul") (credits)

"My hidden reflection" (movie) and

"My inner self" (credits)

Latin American Spanish Analí (movie) and

Lucero (credits)

"Reflejo" "Reflection"
Malaysian Dina Nadzir "Réflexion" "Reflection"
Norwegian Sissel Heibek "Speilbildet" The reflection
Polish Katarzyna Pysiak (movie) and

Edyta Górniak (credits)

"Lustro" "Mirror"
Romanian Mediana Vlad ? ?
Russian Наталья Улейская (Natalia Uleyskaya) ? ?
Slovak Daniela Kopálová "Obraz" "Reflection"
Swedish Divina Sarkany (sv) "En spegelbild" "A reflection"
Taiwanese Mandarin 李玟 (“Wén Lǐ”; Coco Lee) (movie and credits) "真情的自我" ("Zhēnxīn de zìwǒ") (movie) and

"自己" ("Zìjǐ") (credits)

"The real me" (movie) and

"Myself" (credits)

Thai นฤมล จิวังกูร (Naruemon Chiwangkun) (movie) and

อัยย์ พรรณี วีรานุกุล (Ai Phanni Wiranukun) (credits)

"เงา" ("Ngao") "Reflection"
Turkish Tuğba Önal "Karşımda Bekleyen" "The one who waits in front of me"

Other versions[edit]

The group Mannheim Steamroller covered the song on their 1999 album, Mannheim Steamroller Meets the Mouse. Michael Crawford covered this song in The Disney Album. His rendition replaces the word "girl" with "man" in order to avoid gender confusion. Singer and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks performed the song on the Dedication Week of the sixth season of the show, with the performance she moved forward to the next round.[24] Jackie Evancho also covered the song on her fourth studio album, Songs from the Silver Screen.[25] In La Voz... Argentina (the Argentinian version of The Voice), the Spanish version of the song was covered by Sofia Rangone.[26]


  1. ^ Thomas Erlewine, Stephen. "Mulan: Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Digital Sheet Music – Lea Salonga Reflection (from 'Mulan')". Walt Disney Publishing Company. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  3. ^ Tan, Irving. "Review: Soundtrack (Disney) - Mulan". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Dominguez 2003, p. 43
  5. ^ Dominguez 2003, p. 38
  6. ^ a b c Dominguez 2003, p. 44
  7. ^ "Disney's Mulan: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 110 (19): 20. May 9, 1998. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  8. ^ "リフレクション" [Reflection] (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on March 5, 2015. 
  9. ^ Erlewine, Stepehn. "Mi Reflejo: Overview". Allmusic. Rovi. Retrieved August 1, 2008. 
  10. ^ Johnson, Beth (August 20, 1999). "Christina Aguilera (1999)". Entertainment Weekly. Time Warner. Retrieved October 2, 2011. 
  11. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (June 2, 1998). "Mulan Soundtrack Review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved October 2, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Dominguez 2003, p. 45
  13. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2007). Top Adult Songs 1961-2006. Record Research, Inc. p. 5. ISBN 0-89820-169-1. 
  14. ^ a b Dominguez 2003, p. 46
  15. ^ "Christina Aguilera Live". Intimate and Interactive. 2000-05-17. Event occurs at 60. MuchMusic. 
  16. ^ " Christina Aguilera – My Reflection: Christina Aguilera, Dr. John, Brian McKnight, Bow Wow, Lawrence Jordan (II), Paul Hunter: Movies & TV". June 5, 2001. Retrieved October 2, 2011. 
  17. ^ Reflection (CD single liner notes). Christina Aguilera. Hollywood Records. 1998. 03MS32900. 
  18. ^ "Gaon Singles Chart (International)" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Retrieved April 20, 2016. 
  19. ^ a b "Mulan". Charguigou. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  20. ^ RobodL96 (2014-06-20), Reflection (Arabic TV), retrieved 2016-11-02 
  21. ^ Robodl96 (2016-10-22), Reflection (Armenian), retrieved 2016-11-02 
  22. ^ Robodl96 (2015-08-16), Reflection (Karachay-Balkar), retrieved 2016-11-02 
  23. ^ "Tagalog". Charguigou. Retrieved 2016-11-02. 
  24. ^ "Top 20". American Idol (television show). Jordin Sparks. 2007. 
  25. ^ "Songs from the Silver Screen". Target Corporation. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Termino Una etapa en 'La Voz Argentina'". Diario Show (in Spanish). August 12, 2012. 


  • Dominguez, Pier (2003). Christina Aguilera: A Star is Made: The Unauthorized Biography. Amber Communications Group, Inc. ISBN 978-0-9702224-5-9. 

External links[edit]