When the Huns, led by the ruthless Shan Yu, invade China, each family is given a conscription notice. Mulan's father, Fa Zhou has to serve in the army, but due to his age and previous war injuries, is is doubtful that he would survive. Fa Mulan disguises herself as a man, then takes her father's conscription notice, armor, and weapons so that he will not have to go. She rides away on her horse, Khan, to join the army, knowing that if she were caught she would be killed.
Mushu, a small chinese dragon, has been awakened by the family's First Ancestor. Mushu had been demoted to gong ringer after a mishap with one of the ancestors when the other ancestors were awakened. After various choices of which guardian to send after Mulan, he is asked to awaken the "Great Stone Dragon". Mushu accidentally destroys the Dragon but realizes that this could be an opportunity to earn his place among the guardians again if he can make Mulan a war hero.
Mulan trains with a group led by Captain Li Shang, including fellow soldiers Ling, Yao, and Chien Po. The troops complete their training, but Chi Fu, the Emperor's meddling and misogynistic advisor, refuses to let them see battle, accusing the troops of being ill prepared. Mushu forges a letter from the General, ordering Shang to take his men to battle. The troops set out to meet General Li, who has already left on a mission. However, Shang and his troops discover that the General and his men were killed in battle.
Shang and his troops continue, disheartened by their loss, when they are ambushed by Hun archers. After an initial attack, the Huns are believed to be defeated, but the troops soon discover otherwise. As they are setting up the last cannon to fire at the Huns, Mulan spots a precarious mound of snow on the upper mountainside. As the Huns charge down the mountain Mulan takes the cannon and fires the rocket at the snow mound. The collision of the rocket and the snow mound causes an avalanche which spreads over the charging Huns, burying them. Shang's soldiers take refuge while Mulan rescues Shang from being swept away by the snow. The Chinese soldiers initially cheer for their victory, but quickly become somber after Mulan discovers that she is bleeding; she had been wounded by a swipe of Shan Yu's sword. Shang quickly summons a doctor just as Mulan faints.
During treatment, Mulan's true identity is discovered. Shang is notified and is expected to execute Mulan, but spares her life and considers his pardon an exchange for Mulan saving his own life. Instead, Shang expels her from the army. Mulan decides to return home but hears the Huns emerging from the snow that had blanketed them during the earlier battle. She tries to warn Shang's troops as they are heralded by citizens in a parade for their war efforts, but they do not listen. As the Emperor (wikipedia: Pat Morita|Pat Morita) addresses the crowd, the Huns, disguised as parade characters, kidnap him.
Shang and his troops try to follow the Huns into the palace but are unsuccessful. Mulan devises a ploy with the other soldiers to dress as concubines, scale a palace wall and infiltrate the palace. When the Huns lower their defenses in the presence of the "women", Mulan and her friends swiftly dispatch them all. During this attack the Emperor is safely removed from the palace by Chien Po, but Shang and Mulan are both trapped on the balcony with Shan Yu. Shan Yu is about kill Shang when Mulan gets his attention. He recognizes her from the mountain battle and gives chase. Mulan lures him onto the palace rooftop where they face each other in personal combat, until Mushu, as arranged by Mulan, propels a huge firecracker that hits Shan Yu and carries him off to his death. The fate of the remaining five Hun warriors is never fully disclosed.
The Emperor meets Mulan and, in an accusatory tone, lists Mulan's crimes, but he pardons her. The Emperor then bows to Mulan, which is considered an extremely high honor as it implies being of a higher status than the Emperor, while the hundreds of observers kow-tow (an Eastern bowing position with one's face and palms to the floor). The Emperor then offers Mulan a position in his staff, but Mulan politely refuses the offer and confesses that she wants to return home. He gives her Shan Yu's sword, along with his crest, for her to bring home and give honour to her family.
Upon her return, Mulan expects to be reprimanded but is instead embraced by her family. Shang arrives to talk with Mulan, having been encouraged to propose by the Emperor. The ancestors reluctantly agree to make Mushu a guardian once more.
- Ming-Na as Fa Mulan
- Lea Salonga as Fa Mulan's singing voice
- Eddie Murphy as Mushu
- B.D. Wong as Captain Li Shang
- Donny Osmond as Shang's singing voice
- Harvey Fierstein as Yao
- Gedde Watanabe as Ling
- Matthew Wilder as Ling's singing voice
- Jerry Tondo as Chien-Po
- James Hong as Chi-Fu
- Soon-Tek Oh as Fa Zhou
- June Foray as Grandmother Fa
- Marni Nixon as Grandmother Fa's singing voice
- the late Pat Morita as The Emperor of China
- George Takei as First Ancestor Fa
- Freda Foh Shen as Fa Li
- James Shigeta as Generai Li
- Miriam Margolyes as The Matchmaker
- Frank Welker as Khan & Cri-Kee
- Chris Sanders as Little Brother
- Miguel Ferrer as Shan Yu
- Mark Henn (Fa Mulan, Fa Zhou)
- Tom Bancroft (Mushu)
- Pres Romanillos (Shan Yu, Falcon, and Elite Huns)
- Rubert A. Aquino (Li Shang and Fa Li)
- Aaron Blaise (Yao and the Fa family ancestors)
- Broose Johnson (Chien-Po and Ling)
- Alex Kupershmidt (Khan and General Li)
- Barry Temple (Cri-Kee)
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 The filmmakers decided to change Mulan's character to make her more appealing and selfless and turn the art style closer to chinese pantings, with water color and simpler design - opposed to the details of The Lion King (Film), and Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
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 photeralistic Rec 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.
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. However another version reports that Mulan was requested as a concubine by Emperor Yang of Sui China. 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. 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), 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. Although Mulan is set in north China, where the dominant language is Mandarin, the Disney film uses the Cartonese pronunciation, "Fa", of her family name. In Mandarin her name is pronounced "Hua".
Disney's Mulan casts the main character the same way as the original legend, a tomboyish daughter of a respected veteran, somewhat troubled by being the "sophisticated lady" her society expects her to be after failing the matchmaker's training, dishonoring Mulan's family. In the original Mulan legend, Mulan uses her father's name Li and not the name "Ping" and she was never discovered as a girl, unlike the film. Also in the original legend, Mulan went to war for her father, because her father was getting too old to fight, and had no sons to take his place. However, in the film, it was added that her father's leg was injured.
The script used for most of the text in Mulan is Traditional Chinese, which is no longer used in daily life on Mainland China (but still used in Hong Kong, Macau, and many overseas Chinese communities), although people are still able to read it. The traditional name for the leaders of the Central Asian Huns was Shanyu. The war between the Huns and China was real, called the Sino-Xiongnu War.
When Mulan masquerades as a man, her name is a pun in Chinese. Her first name is "Ping" (瓶), meaning pot, and her surname (placed first using Chinese naming conventions) means Flower (花). Together they make "Flowerpot", a Chinese term meaning an effeminate man. According to Orpheus in Mayfair and Other Stories and Sketches by Maurice Baring, "Ping" in Chinese means soldier-man, and if you wish to express your contempt for a man there is no word in the whole of the Chinese language which expresses it so fully and so emphatically as the word Ping. Chi Fu's name literally means, in Chinese, "to bully".
Mushu calls Mulan Sleeping Beauty when he wakes her up.
- When Ling loses his teeth after getting punched in the face, you see him later with all of his teeth back.
- During the trek to the pass and during the battle, the number of soldiers increases and decreases multiple times.
- Mulan was the first movie created outside LA, California, created by Disney's Studio in Florida.
- Mulan was almost a PG movie but went by different standards to get G.
- During the avalanche, Mulan's helmet gets blown off and Shang's horse disappears but are both seen later in the film.
- It took 5 years to make Mulan.
- The movie was almost a short movie called China Doll until Robert San Souci came along.
- Mulan was originally supposed to be bethrothed to a wealthy man but this was changed so that it wouldn't seem she was joining the army for selfish reasons.
- When the troops discover that the Huns destroyed a village in the Tun Shao Pass, numerous dead bodies of soldiers can be seen, making Mulan the only Disney movie that shows numerous dead bodies.
- Mulan awards, by far, the Disney highest relatively 'on screen' bodycount since the avalanche implies the death of thousands of Hun's leaving only a few survivors.
all information on the Mulan (Film) came from http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Mulan