Mulan: Wikis


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"Mulan" redirects here. For other uses, see Mulan (disambiguation)
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Hua Mulan
Hua Mulan.jpg
Oil painting on silk, "Hua Mulan Goes to War"
Traditional Chinese 花木蘭
Simplified Chinese 花木兰
Hanyu Pinyin Huā Mùlán

Hua Mulan is a heroine who joined an all-male army, described in a famous Chinese poem known as the Ballad of Mulan. The poem was first written in the Musical Records of Old and New from the 6th century, the century before the founding of the Tang Dynasty; the original work no longer exists, and the original text of this poem comes from another work known as the Music Bureau Collection, an anthology of lyrics, songs, and poems, compiled by Guo Maoqian during the 12th century. The author explicitly mentions the Musical Records of Old and New as his source for the poem. Whether she was an historical person or whether the poem was an allegory has been debated for centuries—it is unknown whether the story has any factual basis.

The time setting of the story is uncertain. The earliest accounts of the legend state that she lived during the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534) but there has been no proof. However another version reports that Mulan was requested as a concubine by Emperor Yang of Sui China (reigned 604–617). Evidence from the extant poem suggests the earlier interpretation.

The poem is a ballad, meaning that the lines do not necessarily have equal numbers of syllables. The poem is mostly composed of five-character phrases, with just a few extending to seven or nine.

There are three uses of onomatopoeia in the poem. The sound of Mulan's weaving (or her lamentations) is 唧唧 jī-jī (i.e., "click-clack"); the Yellow River babbles 濺濺 jiān-jiān (i.e., "splish-splash") to her as she departs from it; at the military encampment the horses cry 啾啾 jiū-jiū (i.e., they whinny).

The story was expanded into a novel during the late Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). Over time, the story of Hua Mulan rose in popularity as a folk tale among the Chinese people on the same level as the Butterfly Lovers. It is one of the first poems in Chinese history to support the notion of gender equality, but has also been interpreted by authors such as Maxine Hong Kingston (The Woman Warrior) to represent Chinese culture as sexist. In 1998, Disney released an animated movie entitled Mulan based on the story.



The word mulan refers to the "Magnolia liliiflora". ( by itself means "wood" and lán means "orchid".) The heroine of the poem is given many different family names in versions of her story. According to History of the Ming, her family name is Zhu, while the History of the Qing say it is Wei. The name Huā (meaning "flower") has become the most popular in recent years in part to its more poetic meaning. Her complete name is then 花木蘭, transcribed as Huā Mùlán in Pinyin and Hua1 Mu4-lan2 in Wade-Giles.

The Disney animated film popularised the version "Fa Mulan". This "Fa" pronunciation of " 花 " is found in various Chinese languages including Cantonese whilst in Mandarin it is pronounced "Hua". "Mulan" is the phonetic translation from Mandarin.

Hua Mulan in popular culture


English language literature

  • Maxine Hong Kingston re-visits Mulan's tale in her text, The Woman Warrior. Kingston's version popularized the story in the West and led to an adaptation by Disney, but contained many arbitrary changes that have been widely criticized by other Asian-American scholars such as Frank Chin.
  • Yao Mulan, Lin Yutang's main character in his English novel Moment in Peking, is named after the legendary warrior.
  • In the alternative-history fantasy series Temeraire, by Naomi Novik, specifically, the book Throne of Jade, the legend of Mulan is (indirectly) referred to, as a woman taking her father's place in the military, taking the role of an aerial commander on dragonback. In deference to this honored legend, all officers in the Chinese Aerial Corps are women, which sets it apart from the English Corps, which uses female officers only for Longwings, a dragon breed which refuses male captains.
  • Cameron Dokey created 'Wild Orchid', a retelling of the Ballad of Mulan as part of the Once Upon A Time (novel series), a series of novels published by Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
  • In The Dragonstone by Dennis McKiernan, the character Aiko is a Hua Mulan inspired warrior who sneaks off to battle against imperial decree.

The Legend of Mu Lan: A Heroine of Ancient China ( was the first English language picture book featuring the character Mulan published in the United States in 1992 by Victory Press.


The story of Hua Mulan has inspired a number of film and stage adaptations without taking into account pre-modern Chinese plays and operas about the subject. These include the following:

  • Hua Mulan Joins the Army (1927 film) - a Chinese silent film released by the Tianyi Film Company and directed by Li Pingqian
  • Mulan Joins the Army (1928 film) - Mingxin Film Company production, directed by Hou Yao. The film was unsuccessful, in part due to the Tianyi film that was released the previous year
  • Mulan Joins the Army (1939 film) - popular Chinese film made during the war, directed by Bu Wancang
  • Lady General Hua Mulan (1964 film) - Hong Kong opera film
  • A Tough Side of a Lady (1998 film) - Hong Kong TVB drama series of Mulan starring Mariane Chan as Hua Mu Lan
  • Mulan (1998 film) - Disney animated feature based on the Mulan legend
  • Mulan II (2004 film) - Disney animated sequel following Mulan
  • Hua Mu Lan (1999 series) - Taiwan CTV period drama serial starring Anita Yuen as Hua Mu Lan
  • Mulan (2009 film) - Live action film about the Chinese Legend. Stars Zhao Wei (Vicky Zhao) as Hua Mulan and Chen Kun as Wentai, and theme song sung by award-winning songstress Stefanie Sun.



Mulan has inspired a number of video games and characters adaptations taking Mulan into modern Chinese culture and across the globe. These include the following:

See also


  1. ^ c o n e n t

External links

Directed by Tony Bancroft
Barry Cook
Produced by Pam Coats
Written by Robert D. San Souci
Rita Hsiao
Starring Ming-Na
Eddie Murphy
B.D. Wong
Miguel Ferrer
Harvey Fierstein
Beth Fowler
George Takei
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s) June 19, 1998
Running time 90 minutes
Language English, Mandarin
Budget $70,000,000[1]
Gross revenue $304,320,254
Followed by Mulan II (2005)

Mulan is a 1998 American animated feature film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation, and released by Walt Disney Pictures on June 19, 1998. The thirty-sixth animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics, and a part of the Disney Renaissance, the film is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan,[2] and was the first of three produced primarily at the animation studio at Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida.[3] It was directed by Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook, with the story by Robert D. San Souci and Rita Hsiao, among others.



The film opens when the Huns, led by the ruthless Shan Yu (Miguel Ferrer), invade China. The Chinese emperor commands a general mobilization in which each family is given a conscription notice. The story then switches to the Fa Family where the only child Fa Mulan (Ming-Na Wen) is preparing to meet the matchmaker on the day. She gets ready and meets the matchmaker only to make a spectacle of herself and fail miserably. Later, at home her father Fa Zhou (Soon-Tek Oh) comforts her just as Imperial forces arrive to give out conscription notices. Fa Zhou, having no son to fight, is forced to enlist despite his age and disability. Mulan poses as a man and flees to join the army in his place. Mushu (Eddie Murphy), a small dragon, travels with her, in an attempt to regain his dignity among the family ancestors by making her a war hero. He, in turn, is accompanied by a dubiously "lucky" cricket named Cri-kee.

Mulan proceeds into camp and meets fellow soldiers, but under advice from Mushu on how to act like a real man, unwittingly starts a camp-wide brawl. In one of the tents, General Li (James Shigeta) promotes his son Captain Li Shang (B.D. Wong) to Captain and orders him to train new troops while the General attempts to stop Shan Yu at a nearby mountain pass. Li Shang stops the brawl and questions Mulan, who passes herself off as 'Ping'. Li Shang begins a grueling training schedule and is visibly disappointed at his new troop's abilities, or lack thereof. Eventually he orders Mulan to return home, but she succeeds in impressing him by retrieving an arrow from a tall pole while weighed down with brass amulets. The troops, inspired by this, all improve and become good soldiers, particularly Yao, Ling and Chien-Po, who become Mulan's "buddies".

Mushu forges a letter from the General, ordering Li Shang to meet him at the pass. The troops set out to meet General Li, but find the village at the pass razed and the Imperial Troops slaughtered. After pausing to mourn, they make their way to the Emperor. As they journey, Mushu accidentally fires a cannon, giving their position away to the Huns. Shan Yu and a massive force begin stampeding down a snowbank towards the outnumbered troops. Mulan races to a snowbank and fires the last cannon at the mountain above, causing an avalanche and burying the Huns. Shan Yu, outraged at the loss, critically wounds Mulan before being overcome by snow. Mulan and the troops barely escape the snowbank, Mulan saving Li Shang in the process. She succumbs to her wounds shortly after, and while in care, is discovered to be a woman. When Chi Fu, the Emperor's advisor (who had hidden beneath a rock while the others fought) demands she be killed, Li Shang relents and spares her for saving him, but banishes her from the troops as they head to the city. Mulan and Mushu discuss the true reason why they are there: he to get back in the good graces of the ancestors, she to prove she can do something right for a change. As they prepare to leave, Shan Yu and half a dozen of his best warriors emerge from the snow, and head towards the Imperial City. Mulan quickly decides to follow them and warn Shang.

In the Imperial City, the troops are part of a parade in their honor as the 'Heroes of China', but none except Chi Fu are enjoying themselves, as they are in shock about Mulan. Shang is surprised when Mulan rides up, but dismisses her warning. Mulan pleads with the members of the crowd to believe her, but they shake her off. Mushu reminds her she is a girl again, and they will not listen. Shang presents the Emperor with the sword of Shan Yu, but Shan Yu's falcon snatches it from his hands and carries it to his master on the roof of the palace. Shan Yu and his troops reveals themselves, abducting the Emperor and sequestering themselves in his palace. Mulan leads Shang and her three "buddies" (comically disguised as concubines) in a ploy to rescue the Emperor. After a struggle, Mulan eventually overcomes Shan Yu by luring him into the path of fireworks to his apparent death. The Emperor and others in the Imperial City all respect Mulan. The Emperor presents her with his crest and Shan Yu's sword to prove her deeds to anyone.

Mulan travels home and presents the gifts to her father, but he throws the priceless treasures aside and embraces her, calling her his 'greatest gift and honour'. Shang, having being advised by the Emperor that 'you don't meet a girl like THAT every dynasty', has followed her under the guise of returning her helmet. He gladly accepts her invitation to stay for dinner. In addition for helping Mulan, First Ancestor Fa, who grieves the truth about it, gives Mushu his job as a guardian again. Soon, he, Cri-Kee and the ancestors celebrate.


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 writer Robert San Souci suggested making a movie of the Chinese poem, "The Song of Fa Mu Lan" and Disney combined the two separate projects.[4]

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.[5] The filmmakers decided to change Mulan's character to make her more appealing and selfless[6] 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.[7]

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.[8]


Mushu; Cri-Kee]]
  • Ming-Na as Fa Mulan (singing voice provided by Lea Salonga), the female protagonist, based on Hua Mulan. She disguises herself as a man and joins the Chinese Imperial Army in her father's place. Instead of being punished for doing so, she ends up a war hero.
  • Eddie Murphy as Mushu, a dragon and one of the Fa family's guardian spirits, previously demoted after misguiding one of the Fa family ancestors. He is reinstated as a guardian after successfully aiding Mulan in her efforts in the army.
  • B.D. Wong as Captain Li Shang (singing voice provided by Donny Osmond), the son of General Li and the officer in charge of training the Imperial Army's new recruits.
  • Miguel Ferrer as Shan Yu, the film's main villain and the head of the Hun army who attempts to conquer the Chinese Empire.
  • Harvey Fierstein as Yao, an Imperial Army recruit who was initially antagonistic towards but later befriends Mulan.
  • Gedde Watanabe as Ling (singing voice provided by Matthew Wilder), an Imperial Army recruit who later befriends Mulan.
  • Jerry Tondo as Chien-Po, a good-natured overweight Imperial Army recruit who immediately befriends Mulan.
  • James Hong as Chi-Fu, a member of the Emperor's consul and advisor to Li Shang who refuses to allow the recruits to join the battle against the Huns.
  • Soon-Tek Oh as Fa Zhou, Mulan's father and a renowned war veteran.
  • June Foray as Grandmother Fa (singing voice provided by Marni Nixon), the grandmother of Mulan, who is encouraging her to find a husband.
  • Pat Morita as The Emperor of China, the target of a Hun kidnapping who commends Mulan after saving him and the Chinese Empire.
  • George Takei as First Ancestor Fa, the head of the Fa family ancestors.
  • Freda Foh Shen as Fa Li, Mulan's mother.
  • James Shigeta as General Li, Li Shang's father who was killed in a battle against the Hun army.
  • Frank Welker as Khan, Mulan's horse, Cri-Kee, a cricket given to Mulan as a good luck charm and Little Brother, Mulan's dog.
  • Mary Kay Bergman as various ancestors.


Critical reaction

Reception of Mulan was mostly positive, gathering a 87% fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes.[9] Stephen Wong described the visuals as "stunning,"[10] Kyle Suggs described the visuals as "breathtaking,"[11] and Dan Jardine described the visuals as "magnificently animated."[12] Film critic Roger Ebert gave Mulan three and a half stars out of four in his written review. He said that "Mulan is an impressive achievement, with a story and treatment ranking with Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King". Negative reviews described it as a "disappointment." The songs are accused of not being memorable, and slowing down the pace of the movie.[13] Some reviewers suggest that the film is "soulless" in its portrayal of Asian society.[14]

This movie was also the subject of comment from feminist critics. Mimi Nguyen says the film "pokes fun at the ultimately repressive gender roles that seek to make Mulan a domesticated creature."[15] Nadya Labi agrees, saying "there is a lyric in the film that gives the lie to the bravado of the entire girl-power movement." She pointed out that she needed to become a boy to do it. Kathleen Karlyn, an assistant professor of English at the University of Oregon, criticizes it suggesting "In order to even imagine female heroism, we're placing it in the realm of fantasy". Pam Coats, producer of Mulan, aimed to produce a character that exhibits both masculine and feminine influences, being both physically and mentally strong.[16]

Box office performance

Mulan's opening weekend box office figures were $22.8 million,[17] placing it as the second highest grossing movie that week to The X-Files.[18] It went on to make $120 million domestically and $304 million worldwide, placing it the second highest family film of the year, behind A Bug's Life, and the 7th highest of the year overall.[19] While Mulan outgrossed the two Disney films which preceded it, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hercules, its box office returns failed to match those of the Disney films of the early 1990s such as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King.[20] Top international releases include United Kingdom ($14.6 million) and France ($10.2 million).[21]


Mulan won many Annie Awards. The film itself won the award for Best Animated Theatrical theatres. Individual achievement awards were awarded to Pam Coats for producing; Barry Cook and Tony Bancroft for Directing; Rita Hsiao, Christopher Sanders, Phillip LaZebnick, Raymond Singer and Eugenia Bostwick-Singer in Writing; Chris Sanders for Storyboarding; Hans Bacher for Production Design; David Tidgwell for Effects Animation; Ming-Na for Voice Acting Mulan; Matthew Wilder, David Zippel and Jerry Goldsmith for music and Ruben A. Aquino for Character Animation. Tom Bancroft and Mark Henn were also nominated for Character Animation.[22] It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Original Music Score in 1998, but was beaten by Stephen Warbeck's score for Shakespeare in Love.[23] The music score also received significant praise. Jerry Goldsmith won the 1999 BMI Film Music Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score in 1998. Matthew Wilder and David Zippel were also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song the same year for "Reflection". They were beaten by The Truman Show and "The Prayer" from Quest for Camelot respectively.[24]

Reception in China

Disney was keen to promote Mulan to the Chinese, hoping they might replicate their success with their 1994 film The Lion King, which was one of the country's highest-grossing Western films at that time. Disney also hoped it might smooth over relations with the Chinese government which had soured after the release of Kundun, a Disney-funded biography of the Dalai Lama that the Chinese government considered politically provocative.[25] China had threatened to curtail business negotiations with Disney over that film and, as the government only accepts 10 Western films per year to be shown in their country, Mulan's chances of being accepted were low.[26] Finally, after a year's delay, the Chinese government did allow the film a limited Chinese release, but only after the Chinese New Year, so as to ensure that local films dominated the more lucrative holiday market.[27][28] Kelly Chen, Coco Lee (Taiwan version) and Xu Qing (Mainland version) voiced Mulan in the Cantonese and Mandarin dubs of the film respectively, while Jackie Chan voiced Shang in all the three dubs.

Chinese culture in Mulan

The Legend of Hua Mulan

The Chinese legend of Hua Mulan centers on a young woman who disguises herself as a man to take the place of her elderly father in the army. The story can be traced back to The Ballad of Mulan. The earliest accounts of the legend state that she lived during the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534). However another version reports that Mulan was requested as a concubine by Emperor Yang of Sui China (reigned 604–617).[2] The film may take place even later, as it prominently features landmarks such as the Forbidden City which was not constructed until the 15th century during the Ming dynasty. On the other hand, at the time of Northern Wei, the Xiongnu (Huns) had been already absorbed into Chinese culture. However, according to the style of dress (traditional Han clothing, also known as Hanfu), the film takes place sometime in the 15th century or before. The fireworks featured in the movie indicate that the movie is set during the Sui dynasty. Though Mulan is set in north China, where the dominant language is Mandarin,[29] the Disney film uses the Cantonese pronunciation, "Fa", of her family name. Disney's Mulan casts the title character in much the same way as the original legend, a tomboy daughter of a respected veteran, somewhat troubled by not being the "sophisticated lady" her society expects her to be. In the original Mulan legend, Mulan uses her father's name Li and she was never discovered as a girl, unlike the film.


When Mulan masquerades as a man, her name is a pun in Chinese. Her first name is "Ping" (瓶), meaning vase, and her surname (placed first using Chinese naming conventions) means Flower (花). Together they make "Flowerpot", a Chinese term meaning eye candy, decorate-only things or persons, something or someone has got the gift of appearance (usually i.e. a woman or a product etc.) or gab (i.e. a person), but has no wisdom or ability or practical utility. According to Orpheus in Mayfair and Other Stories and Sketches by Maurice Baring, "Ping" in Chinese means soldier-man.[30] But in Chinese dub versions, they chose to use "平"(flat, peace, safe, etc.) for "Ping" instead of "瓶"(vase), to avoid "花瓶's" derogatory sense. Chi Fu's name literally means, in Chinese, "to bully".


Mulan features a score by Jerry Goldsmith and five songs by Matthew Wilder (music) and David Zippel (lyrics), with a sixth originally planned for Mushu, but dropped following Eddie Murphy's involvement with the character.[31] The movie's soundtrack is credited for starting the career of pop singer Christina Aguilera, whose first song to be released in the U.S. was her rendition of "Reflection", the first single from the Mulan soundtrack. The song, and Aguilera's vocals, were so well received that it landed her a recording contract with RCA records.[32] In 1999, she would go on to release her self-titled debut album, on which Reflection was also included. As well as her own, the pop version of Reflection has 2 Spanish translations, because the movie has separate Spanish translations for Spain (performed by Malú) and Latin America (performed by Lucero). Other international versions include a Brazilian Portuguese version by Sandy & Junior ("Imagem"), a Korean version performed by Lena Park and a Mandarin version by Coco Lee.

Lea Salonga, the singing voice of Mulan in the movie, is also the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in Aladdin. The music featured during the haircut scene, often referred as the Mulan Decision score, is different in the soundtrack album. The soundtrack album uses an orchestrated score while the movie uses heavy synthesizer music. The synthesizer version is available on the limited edition CD.[33] Salonga, who enjoys singing movie music in her concerts, has done a Disney medley which climaxes with an expanded version of 'Reflection' (not the same as those in Aguilera's version). Salonga also provided the singing voice for Mulan in the movie's sequel, Mulan II.

The song "I'll Make a Man Out of You" was performed by Donny Osmond, who commented that his sons decided that he had finally "made it" in show business when he was in a Disney film.[34]

References to other media

  • When Mulan sings Reflection, in her father's shrine, her reflection appears in the polished surface of the temple stones. The writing on the stones is the names of the Disney animators who worked on the film written in ancient Chinese.[35]
  • In the scene where Mushu awakens the ancestors, one set of grandparents worry that Mulan's quest will ensure her family loses their farm. This couple appears to be the couple on the farm in Grant Wood's famous painting American Gothic.
  • There are a number of Hidden Mickeys in this film, including the spots on Shang's horse's neck and rump and in the training sequences, the first time the soldiers use their rockets.
  • When Mushu wakes Mulan in her tent, he tells her to show him her 'war face'. This is a reference to the movie Full Metal Jacket.

References to Mulan in other media

References to Mulan in Disney media


References to Mulan in popular culture

  • The British sitcom Spaced referenced Mulan in the second episode of the second series. In the show, characters are frequently hard-pressed to draw a line between fantasy and reality, and in this scene the character Daisy recalls Mulan as someone she has met "when she was traveling" until another character reminds her it was 'a Disney film'. Daisy also sings a very badly-remembered line of 'Reflection'.[38]
  • In the television show Firefly, Shepherd Book mentions a Chinese warlord named Shan Yu who purportedly believed you could only truly know a man by torturing him.[39]
  • When comedian Margaret Cho referred to a fish and rice diet, a tabloid (falsely) reported her adhering to as being "so Mulan," in that it was based on the stereotypes of her ethnic background.[40]

See also


  1. ^ Mulan (1998) - Box office / business
  2. ^ a b J. Lau. "Ode to Mulan". Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  3. ^ a b "Disney Princess Official Homepage" (SWF). The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved on 2007-09-08. 
  4. ^ Brown, Corie and Laura Shapiro. "Woman Warrior." Newsweek. Jun 8 1998. Vol 131: p. 64-66.
  5. ^ "Discovering Mulan". Mulan DVD: Walt Disney Home Entertainment. 
  6. ^ "Finding Mulan". Mulan DVD: Walt Disney Home Entertainment. 
  7. ^ "Art Design". Mulan DVD: Walt Disney Home Entertainment. 
  8. ^ Mulan DVD Commentary. [DVD]. Walt Disney Home Entertainment. 
  9. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  10. ^ Wong, Stephen (1998). "History? Close enough...". Entertainment Insiders. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  11. ^ Suggs, Kyle (1998). "Review of Mulan". Christian Spotlight. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  12. ^ Jardine, Dan (1998). "Review of Mulan". Apollo Guide. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  13. ^ "Review of Mulan". Need Coffee. 1998. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  14. ^ Gonzales, Ed (1998). "Review of Mulan". Slant Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  15. ^ Nguyen, Mimi. "Negotiating Asian American superpower in Disney's Mulan". Pop Politics Media LLC. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  16. ^ Labi, Nadya (1998-06-26). "Girl Power". TIME Magazine. pp. 1-2.,9171,988643,00.html. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  17. ^ "Box Office Report for Mulan". Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  18. ^ "Box Office Report for X-Files". Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  19. ^ "1998 WORLDWIDE GROSSES". Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  20. ^ Corliss, Richard (2002-06-24). "Stitch in Time?". TIME Magazine.,9171,1002724,00.html. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  21. ^ Woods, Mark (1998-12-01). "'Mulan' hits $100 mil". Variety. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  22. ^ "26th Annie Award Winners". 1998. Retrieved on 2007-08-09. 
  23. ^ "1998 Academy Award Winners". 1999. Retrieved on 2007-08-09. 
  24. ^ "1998 56th Golden Globe Awards". LA Times. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  25. ^ Fessler, Karen (June 23, 1998). "Will Mulan open China to Disney?". Bloomberg News. Retrieved on 2007-06-23. 
  26. ^ Michael Fleeman (1998). "Hollywood hopes more movies will follow Clinton to China". The Associated Press. Retrieved on 2007-06-23. 
  27. ^ Kurtenbach, Elaine (February 8, 1999). "China Allows Disney Film Screening". Associated Press. Retrieved on 2007-06-23. 
  28. ^ Shelly Kraicer (August 14, 1999). "China vs. Hollywood : the BBC World Service talks to me". Retrieved on 2007-06-23. 
  29. ^ "China Factbook". 
  30. ^ Baring, Maurice. Orpheus In Mayfair And Other Stories And Sketches. Mills & Boon. ISBN 1-404-32312-0. 
  31. ^ "Songs of Mulan". Mulan DVD: Walt Disney Home Entertainment. 
  32. ^ Smith, Andy. "One talented teen". Providence Journal. 
  33. ^ Clemmensen, Christian (July 7, 2007). "Filmtracks: Mulan (Jerry Goldsmith)". Retrieved on 2007-07-28. 
  34. ^ Scheerer, Mark (1998-07-08). "Donny Osmond rolls with the punches for 'Mulan' success" (HTML). CNN. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  35. ^ Mulan Easter Egg Archive
  36. ^ "Lilo & Stitch Easter Egg Archive". Retrieved on 2007-08-18. 
  37. ^ a b "Official Kingdom Hearts Website" (SWF). 2006-02-08. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  38. ^ Nick Lee. "Spaced Out - Episode Guide". Retrieved on 2007-09-09. 
  39. ^ Shack, Twop (2002-12-10). "Girl-on-girl action! Woooo!". Yahoo! TV. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  40. ^ Gates, Anita. "Don’t Get Hysterical, Mom. Just Leave a Message. Beep!" (in English). New York Times. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Mulan is a 1998 Disney movie based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan.

Directed by Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook. Written by Robert D. San Souci and Rita Hsiao.
The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.



  • I'm travel-sized for your convenience. If I was my real size, your cow here would die of fright. [Khan snorts angrily at him] Down, Bessie!
  • [to Crickey] A loser! How 'bout I pop off one of ya antenna and toss it across the yard! Then who's the loser? You or me?
  • [to Mulan] Dra-gon! Not lizard. I don't do that tongue thing. [does 'that tongue thing']
  • [to Mulan] That's it! Dishonor! Dishonor on your whole family! [aside to Cri-Kee] Make a note of this. [back to Mulan] Dishonor on YOU, dishonor on your COW--
  • Okay, this is it. Time to show 'em your man walk. Shoulders back, chest high, feet apart, head up, and...strut!
  • Now punch him - that's how men say hello.
  • Man, I was this close. This close to impressing the ancestors, getting the top shelf in the entourage. Man, all my fine work--pfft!
  • [sarcastically] Oh, I think my bunny slippers just ran for cover...
  • Then let's go kick some Hunny buns!
  • [about Mulan] My baby's all grown up and...savin' China...
  • Oh, sure. Save the horse!
  • Look, porridge! And it's happy to see ya!
  • [Mulan fired rocket (with Mushu on it) at a mountain instead of Shan Yu] You missed! How could you miss? He was three feet in front of you!
  • Yeah, yeah. [mocking Mulan] Stand watch, Mushu while I blow our little secret with my stupid girly habits! [scoffs] Hygiene!
  • Did you see those Huns? They popped outta the snow! Like daisies!
  • Now what? I'm doomed! And all because Miss Man decided to take her little drag show on the road!


  • A life for a life. My debt is repaid.
  • [singing] You must be swift as a coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, with all the strength of a raging fire, mysterious as the dark side of the moon.
  • [singing] Did they send me daughters, when I asked for sons?
  • [shoots an arrow at the top of a tall post and looks at Yao] Thank you for volunteering. Retrieve the arrow.
  • [singing] You're the saddest bunch I ever met.
  • [singing] You're a spineless, pale, pathetic lot and you haven't got a clue. Somehow I'll make a man out of you.
  • [To Mulan] You... You fight good.


  • [singing] Boy, was I a fool in school for cutting gym!

Fa Zhou

  • [praying in the ancestors' temple] Honorable ancestors, please help Mulan impress the matchmaker today. [Little Brother runs in, leaves behind a trail of seeds, and is followed by several chickens] Please, PLEASE help her.
  • [to Mulan] My, my. What beautiful blossoms we have this year. But look! This one's late. But I'll bet that when it blooms, it will be the most beautiful of all.
  • The greatest gift and honor is having you for a daughter.


  • You are a disgrace! You may look like a bride, but you will never bring your family honor!


  • A single grain of rice can tip the scale. One man may be the difference between victory and defeat.
  • No matter how the wind howls, the mountain cannot bow to it.
  • I've heard a great deal about you, Fa Mulan. You stole your father's armour, ran away from home, impersonated a soldier, [beginning to shout] deceived your commanding officer, dishonoured the Chinese army, destroyed my palace, and...! [returns to a gentler tone] You have saved us all.
  • [to Shang, who has just let Mulan go] The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all. [Shang: Sir?] You don't meet a girl like that every dynasty!


Fa Li: [looks at Mulan's wrist] Mulan, what's this?
Mulan: [snatches wrist away] case I forget something? [blinks innocently]

Matchmaker: "Fa Mulan."
Mulan: Present!
Matchmaker: [to herself, writing on clipboard] Speaking without permission...
Mulan: Oops.
Grandmother: [whispering to Fa Li] Who spit in her bean curd?

Mulan: [whispering] Um...Pardon me....
Matchmaker: And silent! [inhales the teacup]
Mulan: [begins to climb on table, reaching for the teacup] Could I just....take that back? One moment....
[They both begin tugging on the teacup, causing it to spill, and Crikee to jump inside the Matchmaker's dress.]
Matchmaker: Why, you clumsy...!
[She begins to leap around the room, due to Crikee being in her dress. She knocks over the furnace, accidentally sits on the coals, and begins jumping around even more. Mulan attempts to help by fanning her behind, causing it to burst into flame. The Matchmaker screams and falls on the table, breaking it.]
Grandmother Fa: [to Fa Li] I think it's going well. Don't you?
Matchmaker: [bursts out of front door, her butt still on fire] Put it out! Put it out! Put it out!!

Mulan: Father, you can't go!
Fa Zhou: Mulan...
Mulan: Please, sir, my father has already fought bravely, and...
Chi Fu: Silence! [to Fa Zhou] You would do well to teach your daughter to hold her tongue in a man's presence.
Fa Zhou: Mulan, you dishonor me.

Fa Li: You must go after her. She could be killed!
Fa Zhou: If I reveal her, she will be.

Mushu: I live!! So tell me what mortal needs my protection, Great Ancestor. You just say the word, and I'm there!
Great Ancestor: Mushu...
Mushu: 'Cause let me say something: Anybody who's foolish enough to threaten our family, vengeance will be mine!!! Grrr...
Great Ancestor: Mushu! These are the family guardians. They...
Mushu: ...Protect the family.
Great Ancestor: And you, O demoted one?
Mushu: I...ring the gong.
Great Ancestor: That's right. Now, wake up the ancestors.
Mushu: One family reunion coming right up. [bangs gong] Okay, people, people look alive! Let's go, get up, rise and shine. Y'all way past the beauty sleep thing, trust me.

Female Ancestor #1: I knew it! I knew it! That Mulan was a troublemaker from the start!
Male Ancestor #1: Don't look at me! She gets it from your side of the family!
Female Ancestor #2: She's just trying to help her father--
Male Ancestor #2: [holding a counter in his hand] But if she's discovered, Fa Zhou will be forever shamed! Dishonour will come to the family! Traditional values will disintegrate!
Male Ancestor #3: Not to mention they'll lose the farm.
Female Ancestor #1: My children never caused such trouble. They all became acupuncturists!
Male Ancestor #1: Well, we can't all be acupuncturists.
Female Ancestor #3: No! Your great-granddaughter had to be a cross-dresser!

[The Ancestors are trying to decide which guardian should fetch Mulan.]
Great Ancestor: We must send the most powerful of them all.
Mushu: [smiles] OK, OK, I get the gist. I'll go.
[The Ancestors erupt in laughter.]

Great Ancestor: [to Mushu] You had your chance to protect the Fa family.
Female Ancestor: Your misguidance led Fa Deng to disaster.
Fa Deng: (holding his severed head) Yeah, thanks a lot.
Mushu: And your point is?
Great Ancestor: The point is, we will be sending a real dragon to retrieve Mulan.
Mushu: Wha-What! I'm a real dragon!
Great Ancestor: You are not worthy of this spot! Now awaken the Great Stone Dragon!

Great Ancestor: Great Stone Dragon, have you awoken yet?
Mushu: (holding the stone head) Um, um, yes! I have just woken up! I am the Great Stone Dragon! Good morning! I will go forth and fetch Mulan! Did-did I mention I was the Great Stone Dragon?

[Shan Yu lets two Chinese soldiers go to deliver a warning]
Shan Yu: [to a Hun] How many men does it take to deliver a message?
Hun: [Drawing his bow and taking aim] One!

Mulan: Who am I fooling? It's going to take a miracle to get me into the army.
Mushu: Did I hear someone ask for a miracle?! Lemme hear you say "ahhh"!
Mulan: [screams] AAAAAAAAAGH!!
Mushu: That's close enough!
Mulan: A ghost...!
Mushu: Get ready, Mulan! Your serpentine salvation is at hand, for I have been sent by your ancestors... [Crikee does an imitation of Mushu, and Mushu kicks him down] to guide you through your masquerade! [hands Crikee a leaf to fan the flames] C'mon, you gonna stay, you gonna work with me. [coming back to Mulan] So heed my word, 'cause if the army finds out you're a girl... the penalty is DEATH!
Mulan: Who are you?
Mushu: Who am I? Who am I?! I am the guardian of lost souls! I am the powerful, the pleasurable, [he appears to her in his true form] the indestructible Mushu! I'm pretty hot, huh?
[Khan tramples Mushu.]
Mulan: Uh, my ancestors sent a little lizard to help me?
Mushu: Hey, dragon. Dragon, not lizard. I don't do that tongue thing. [hisses]
Mulan: You're...
Mushu: Intimidating? Awe-inspiring?
Mulan: Tiny.
Mushu: Of course, I'm travel-size for your convenience! If I was my real size, your cow here would die of fright. [Khan tries to bite him] Down, Bessie!

Chien Po: Now, Yao, chant with me. (starts chanting in Chinese)
Yao: Hamurabi gahmee tofu dada gu... meh. (passes out, then awakens in a few seconds, now a bit relaxed)
Chien Po: Feel better?
Yao: Meh.
(Chien Po puts him down)
Yao: (to Mulan) Ah, you ain't worth my time, chicken-boy.
Mushu: (as Mulan starts to walk away) "Chicken-boy"?! Say that to my face, ya limp noodle!!
(Yao grabs Mulan. She ducks, causing him to accidentally punch Ling three times.)
Yao: Oh! Sorry, Ling.

(Shang sees the soldiers fighting)
Shang: Soldiers!
(The fighting stops. Yao punches the soldier he's holding one last time. All of the soldiers get up and point to Mulan.)
Soldiers: HE STARTED IT!
Shang: (approaches Mulan) I don't need anyone causing trouble in my camp.
Mulan: Sorry. (in manly voice) Uh, I mean, uh, sorry you had to see that, but you know how it is, when you get those manly urges! And you just gotta kill something! Hm... Fix things, cook outdoors--
Shang: What's your name?
Mulan: Uh... I, uh... I...
Chi Fu: Your commanding officer just asked you a question!
Mulan: Uh, I've got a name. Ha! And it's a boy's name, too.
Mushu: [whispers] Ling. How about Ling?
Mulan: [to Mushu, quietly and nodding in Ling's direction] His name's Ling.
Shang: [apparently hearing her; annoyed] I didn't ask for his name! I asked for yours!
Mushu: Try, uh, uh, ah, Chu.
Mulan: Ah Chu.
Shang: "Ah Chu"?
Mushu: Gesundheit! (snickers) I kill myself.
Mulan: [angrily] Mushu!
Shang: Mushu?
Mulan: No!
Shang: Then what is it?!
Mushu: Ping! Ping was my best friend growin' up.
Mulan: It's Ping.
Shang: Ping?
Mushu: Of course, Ping did steal my gir--
Mulan: [silencing Mushu] Yes. My name is Ping.
Shang: Let me see your conscription notice. [reading it] Fa Zhou... the Fa Zhou?
Chi Fu: I didn't know Fa Zhou had a son.
Mulan: Uh, he doesn't talk about me much. [Attempts to spit, but it ends up dangling from her mouth]
Chi Fu: [whispering to Shang] I can see why. The boy's an absolute lunatic!

Mushu: All right, rise and shine, Sleeping Beauty! Time to get up! C'mon up, up, up! Get your clothes on; get ready! I've got breakfast for ya... (presents a bowl of porridge, complete with smiley face) Look! You get porridge, and it's happy to see you!
(Crikee appears in the middle of the bowl)
Mushu: [picks Crikee out] Hey, get outta there! You gon' make people sick!!
Mulan: Am I late?
Mushu: No time to talk. Now, remember: it's your first day of training. Listen to your teacher, and no fighting; play nice with the other kids - unless the other kids want to fight, then you have to kick the other kid's butt.
Mulan: [chewing] But I don't want to kick the other kid's butt.
Mushu: Don't talk with your mouth full. Now let's see your war face. [Mulan has a blank face] Ooh, I think my bunny slippers just ran for cover(!) C'mon, scare me, girl! [Mulan growls at him] Yeah, that's my tough-looking warrior! That's what I'm talkin' about. Now get out there and make me proud!

Chi Fu: Order! People, order!
Soldier #1: I'd like a pan-fried noodle!
Chien Po: Ooh, ooh. Sweet and pungent shrimp.
Soldier #2: Moo goo gai pan!
Chi Fu: That's not funny.
Ling: Looks like our new friend slept in this morning. Why, hello, Ping. Are ya hungry?
Yao: Yeah, 'cause I owe you a knuckle sandwich!

[A shirtless Shang shoots an arrow at the top of a tall post and looks at Yao.]
Shang: Thank you for volunteering. Retrieve the arrow.
Yao: I'll get that arrow, pretty boy. And I'll do it with my shirt on!

Mulan: I never want to see a naked man again.
[Several naked men suddenly run past.]
Mushu: Hey, don't look at me. I ain't bitin' no more butts.

[Chi Fu emerges from the lake with one soggy slipper]
Chi Fu: Insubordinate ruffians! You men owe me a new pair of slippers! And I do not scream like a girl!
[He runs into a panda, who eats the slipper.]
[Mushu operates a puppet of a soldier atop the panda.]
Mushu: Urgent news from the General! [Chi Fu inspects the panda] What's the matter? Never seen a "black-and-white" before?
Chi Fu: [suspiciously] Who are you?
Mushu: Excuse me?! I think the question is, who are you? WE'RE IN A WAR, MAN! There's no time for stupid questions! I should have your hat for that, snatch it right off of your head! [gives Chi Fu a scroll] But I'm feeling gracious today, so carry on before I report you.

Chi Fu: So it's true! I knew there was something wrong with you! A woman! Treacherous snake!
Mulan: My name is Mulan. I did it to save my father.
Chi Fu: High treason!
Mulan: I didn't mean for it to go this far!
Chi Fu: Ultimate dishonor!

Mushu: Hi.
Mulan: I should never have left home.
Mushu: Hey, c'mon you did it to save your father. Who knew you'd end up shaming him and disgracing your ancestors and losing all your friends...

Mulan: Okay, any questions?
Yao: Does this dress make me look fat? [gets slapped] Ow!

Shan Yu: I tire of your arrogance, old man. Bow to me!
Emperor: No matter how the wind howls, the mountain cannot bow to it.
Shan Yu: [furiously] Then you will kneel in pieces!

Shan Yu: [to Shang] You, you took away my victory!
Mulan: No, I did.

Mushu: Citizens, I need firepower.
Fireworks people: Aargh! Who are you?
Mushu: Your worst nightmare.

Shang: You...
Mulan: [Looks hopeful]
Shang: ...You fight good.
Mulan: [Disappointed] Oh. Thank you.

Emperor: The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.
Shang: Sir?
Emperor: You don't meet a girl like that every dynasty!

Grandmother: [to Fa Li, unimpressed] Great, she brought home a sword. If you ask me, she should have brought home a man.
Shang: [walks in] Excuse me, does Fa Mulan live here? [Fa Li and Grandmother, stunned, point in Mulan's direction.] Thank you.
Grandmother: [aside] Ooh, sign me up for the next war!

Mulan: [to Shang] Would you like to stay for dinner?
Grandmother: Would you like to stay forever?

Mushu: Call out for egg rolls!
Great Ancestor: [rolls his eyes] Guardians...

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Directed by Tony Bancroft
Barry Cook
Produced by Pam Coats
Written by Robert D. San Souci
Rita Hsiao
Starring Ming-Na
Eddie Murphy
B.D. Wong
Miguel Ferrer
Harvey Fierstein
Beth Fowler
George Takei
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s) June 19, 1998
Running time 90 minutes
Language English and Mandarin Chinese
Budget $70,000,000[1]
Gross revenue $304,320,254
Followed by Mulan II (2005)
Official website
Allmovie profile
IMDb profile

Mulan is a 1998 animated movie from Walt Disney Pictures, set in old-time China and based on local legend. It stars the voices of Ming-Na Wen as the title heroine, along with Eddie Murphy. Mulan was a success with its fans because it was different from Disney's other movies in terms of music and artistic design. The music was written by Jerry Goldsmith who also wrote the music for another animated movie, 1982's The Secret of NIMH. Christina Aguilera sang Reflections for the movie's soundtrack.

A direct-to-video sequel, Mulan II, was released on February 1, 2005 in the United States and on November 3, 2004 in Italy and Norway.

The Story

An army of Huns from Mongolia, led by Shan Yu, attack China. The Chinese army must face them, and needs one man from every family to enlist. Fa Mulan's father is willing to join, but he is old and has a limp, and it is clear that he cannot fight and will die in the war. Mulan is supposed to get married, but is so clumsy that the matchmaker sends her away in shame, shouting after her that she will never find a man. Mulan fears she has dishonoured her family, but now decides that she must save her father. She secretly takes her father's armour and weapon and leaves to report in the Chinese army.

Mushu is an old spirit guardian of the Fa family, who has lost his job and been turned into a dragon. The family ancestors want to send someone to watch over Mulan on her journey, and Mushu takes the job in order to restore his honour. He and the lucky cricket of the family catch up with Mulan, as she joins the small army led by Li Shang. Mulan presents herself as a man called Ping. All the men in the new army need a lot of training, but after a while the soldiers must face the enemy.

The army meets the Huns in the snowy mountains. When the Chinese are attacked, Ping uses a cannon to start a snowslide that covers all the Mongolians. Ping is hurt by an arrow, and the doctor who examins him finds that he is not a boy but a girl. Li Shang becomes angry and leaves Mulan alone in the mountains. The army then travels to the Emperor's palace in the Imperial City. As Mulan and her animals spend the night trying to light a fire, they witness some of the surviving Mongols climbing from the snow, and they start moving towards the Emperor's city. Mulan decides to follow them and warn her friends in the army.

In the Imperial City the army is celebrated for winning the war, and no one will listen to Mulan's warnings, since she is a girl. Suddenly Shan Yu and his surviving men step forward, kidnap the emperor and hide in the palace. Mulan and her soldier friends, disguise as women and manage to fool the attackers and move the emperor to safety. Mulan, Shang and Mushu also send Shan Yu into the storage of fireworks using a cannon. The emperor rewards her for saving the country.

Mulan returns home with her imperial gifts to show her family. The honour of Mulan, of her family and also of the dragon is now restored. Shang is encouraged by the emperor to woo Mulan. He travels to her town, pays a visit and is invited to dinner by her family.


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