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Chi-Fu is an antagonist in Disney's 1998 animated feature film Mulan.

Appearance

He is Slender, black hair, mustachioed, both blue cap and robe with purple sash, bad teeth, black beady eyes, brown shoes

Appearances

Mulan

Chi-Fu first appears when General Li arrives to inform the Emperor of the Hun invasion, of which Chi-Fu expresses disbelief, citing the strength of the Great Wall. However, the Emperor takes the threat seriously and tasks Chi-Fu with distributing conscription notices to all of China. The notices require one man from every family to serve in the Imperial Army.

During this task, Chi-Fu comes to Mulan's village and announces the Emperor's orders. He is insulted when Mulan pleads with him to spare her father, citing Fa Zhou's previous war service. Here is where he first reveals his sexism, telling Fa Zhou to teach his daughter silence in the presence of men, not even dignifying her with a reply to her face.

After this task is done, Chi-Fu is next seen with General Li at the military camp. He is dismayed to find that General Li has promoted Li Shang to Captain, putting Shang in charge of training the new recruits, believing Li Shang is too inexperienced and irritated that he only got the promotion simply because he is General Li's son. Chi-Fu is charged with observing the training and, when the recruits are ready, to allow them to report to General Li with the rest of the army. Though the recruits technically complete their training after some time, Chi Fu points out to Li (with relative validity) that this does not make them soldiers, having written a scathing report on their performance. Chi-Fu then goes to bathe but quickly leaves after being bullied by the army men. Mushu, disguised as an army messenger, delivers him a forged message, which has "orders" that Shang's troops are needed at the war front.

Chi-Fu is next seen during the "Girl Worth Fighting For" song sequence, citing his own girl back home (his mother), which brings much mocking from the troops. He hides for most of the Hun battle (because of not being a soldier) after Mushu accidentally fired a cannon causing their position to be given away to Shan Yu and the Huns, but is next seen discovering Mulan's identity as a woman. He reveals the news to the troops and cites the law which states that Mulan must be executed (as women are forbidden to join the army), and also stops Khan, Yao, Ling and Chien Po from halting the execution. However, much to Chi-Fu's surprise, Shang spares Mulan's life, as he owes Mulan a debt from when she saved his life during the battle. Chi-Fu attempts to argue the matter and begs to execute Mulan, but gives in when Shang refuses to execute her and orders the army to move out.

Chi-Fu returns to the Imperial City, alongside the army, to a hero's welcome. He is shown to be the only one who is truly happy, however, as the rest of the platoon is upset about losing Mulan because of what Chi-Fu did to her. Chi-Fu disappears for most of the final battle against the Huns. He reappears after Mulan defeats Shan Yu, angered at his official's hat being burned by the fireworks, citing it as a deliberate attempt on his life. When Shang defends her, noting that Mulan is a hero, Chi-Fu dismisses the thought by arrogantly stating his belief that as a woman, Mulan will never be worth anything. Shang angrily prepares to assault Chi-Fu, but is stopped by the Emperor. When the Emperor begins to list the faults Mulan has committed, Chi-Fu then shows a grin, which turns to a look of shock when the Emperor instead honors Mulan by bowing to her. He is the first to follow the Emperor's example by throwing himself down to kow-tow (an Eastern bowing position that consists of kneeling with one's face and palms to the floor). When the Emperor offers Mulan a council position, Chi-Fu attempts to downplay the offer, citing that there are no open council positions, but faints when the Emperor offers Chi-Fu's own council position. However, Mulan declines the offer, leaving Chi-Fu's fate unknown.

He is not seen again for the rest of the film. But since he doesn't appear in the sequel, he may have possibly resigns from his post and then isolates himself in shame.

Trivia

  • Though he is not a Hun, Chi-Fu can be seen as an antagonist, especially to Mulan. He is the one who ordered her father to go to war, ignoring his old injuries, silencing her protests. He also encouraged her would be husband Shang to execute Mulan for lying to the army, and also stops her horse Khan and her friends Yao, Ling and Chien Po from halting the execution, regardless of her recent acts of heroism, but Shang refuses and chose to spare her for saving his life.
  • "Chi Fu" means "to bully" or "bully" in Chinese, particularly fitting to his personality.
  • Chi Fu is the only character in the film not to appear in the sequel.
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