My childhood was largely centered around Disney movies. My parents loved (the majority) of these films because they felt Disney often had a moral or teaching hidden within the story line. I loved them because my parents allowed my sisters and I to watch them religiously. When I was young, I would go through phases where I just watched a movie on repeat; Mulan was one of these.
The movie Mulan is centered around Fa Mulan, a young women and only child of the Fa Family, who has failed to fulfill the traditional Chinese duty of becoming a desirable bride. However, when the Huns begin to invade, the empire calls one man from every family to arms. Because the only male in the Fa Family is Mulan’s father, who is elderly and cannot walk properly, Mulan disguises herself and takes her father’s spot in battle against the Huns, sacrificing her life if she is to be caught. Mulan was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released on June 19, 1998, by Walt Disney Pictures. The film grossed over $304 million and received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations.
Mulan is an interesting character because, unlike other Disney princesses, her actions are centered around bettering her family to where other Disney princesses focus their actions around winning over their Prince Charming. This relates to our multiple class discussions on gender roles. Often, the women (especially princesses) in Disney movies focus around winning over a guy by whatever means necessary. For example, Ariel in The Little Mermaid sacrifices her voice. However, many Disney movies centered around men do not focus on the male making major sacrifices for love. Therefore, Mulan is a special and unique Disney character because she sacrificed her life in order to save her family rather than to fulfill her own selfish desires of finding love.
Official Mulan Trailer, youtube.com