This retelling of the old Chinese folktale is about the story of a young Chinese maiden who learns that her weakened and lame father is to be called up into the army in order to fight the invading Huns. Knowing that he would never survive the rigours of war in his state, she decides to disguise herself and join in his place. Unknown to her, her ancestors are aware of this and to prevent it, they order a tiny disgraced dragon, Mushu to join her in order to force her to abandon her plan. He agrees, but when he meets Mulan, he learns that she cannot be dissuaded and so decides to help her in the perilous times ahead. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
There are too few "girl" heroes in stories. According to Chinese legend, Mulan, the only child of an aging soldier, disguised herself as a male to take her sickly father's place fighting evil invaders. While in the disguise of a loyal soldier to the emperor, Mulan falls in love with her commander, who does not suspect the deception. When Mulan saves the entire fighting forces, what she managed to hide up to that point is discovered: She is a girl masquerading as a man. Rather than punish Mulan with death, the commander sends her away (presumably to die). In the end Mulan is honored with a medal for bravery by the Emperor himself. Although "only" a female, she had saved the entire empire from certain doom.
The finest moment is the scene where her father says "I am proud to call you daughter". Legend or history, this is a fine example of telling a story centering around a girl, rather than the countless tales celebrating boys as heroes. Like so many other recent animated Disney features, this is yet another gem in the treasure chest of Walt Disney Studios.
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