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Fa Mulan (花木蘭) is the main protagonist of Disney's 1998 animated feature film of the same name and its 2004 direct-to-video sequel. She is inspired by the legendary Hua Mulan from the Chinese poem The Ballad of Mulan. Her speaking voice is provided by Ming-Na Wen while her singing voice is provided by Lea Salonga. Mulan is the 8th official Disney Princess and the only one in the line-up who is not actually royalty through either birth or marriage.
Mulan, aberrant and unlike most previous female roles, is courageous and more self-reliant. She also does not fit in with the expectations of a young Chinese girl of the time; despite her natural beauty, she is clumsy, outspoken, and independent rather than graceful, obedient, silent and demure. Which is why her meeting with the matchmaker ended in chaos, that and help from a certain lucky cricket, and why the matchmaker claimed that even though she has the looks of a bride, it will never work because all she will do is dishonor her parents and her future husband. However, her courage, intelligence, and determination, helped her through her adventures of defeating the Hun Army. She is also kind and warm-hearted despite her clumsiness.
Powers and Abilities
Although Mulan possess no magical or superhuman powers, she has military training ranging from use of swords to kung fu fighting style thanks to Shang in his training of new army recruits. Also, Mulan demonstrated skilled accuracy during her training with the use of her archery skills. Mulan is also intelligent and resourceful as she was able to quickly think of using the last rocket to cause an avalanche on the entire Hun army and lure Shan-Yu into Mushu's firing range. Her intellect is also proven by her skills in strategy during the Hun invasion.
Mulan is a sixteen-year old tomboy of Chinese origin. She is a natural beauty, with dark brown eyes and straight, black hair, however, its length changes. In the beginning of the original film, her hair was long, which went down to her waist. Later in the film, when she leaves to join the army; she cuts her hair with her father's sword, and ties it up in a bun, which helps her blend into the army, so that the other soldiers don't know that she's really a woman. In the 2nd film, her hair was grown, not to its original length, but it's noticeably longer than before. In promotional works, her hair is always shown as it's original length, down to the waist. During the two films, Mulan wore a range of outfits, from beautiful Hanfus (Chinese dresses) to her soldier's get up, though her most notable outfits come from the original film; in which her promotional dress comes from, which is a simple Hanfu, which consisted of either a creamy green-yellow dress, with blue over shirt, which has green sleeves, and a red band around her waist. She also sports kung-fu styled solider's outfit, as well as her pink matchmaker's Hanfu and her father's armor. Besides when she goes to the matchmaker, Mulan does not to
wear any makeup or anything to beautify her appearance and does not use her beauty to her advantage. Most likely not even caring about looks in that way (though nature to her is beautiful). She is often said to have had her crush on Shang for his strength and love him for his personality and sort of had a breakup. It is to be noted that Li Shang also never comments on any part of Mulan's looks or has that moment with "the girl steps into the light and angels sing." Also, it is to be noted, that they never actually say that they love each other directly to the other. When she sleeps, she wears a light blue tank top, short blue shorts, and is barefoot. She wears a dress consisting of green long-sleeved shirt with olive brims and both yellow skirt and inside shirt with a low cut neckline, blue wrap, red waistband, black ballet flats, but also has been seen barefoot as well. To impress the matchmaker, she had her face painted in white, red lips, black hair tied in a loose bun with a red hair ribbon, narrow crimson and pale pink Chinese skirt, pink jacket with long, flowing sleeves, aqua and plum collar, blue wrap with a red ribbon to fasten it, light purple scarf, same color shoes, jade bead necklace, gold dangling earrings, and a special lotus flower hair pick. When she was disguised as "Ping," she has black hair tied to a bun with a teal ribbon to look like a man (when cuts her long, beautiful hair with her father's sword), and dark green soldier armor. In the Karate sequence, she had a Cream karate suit. In the Shan Yu battle, she wore a teal dress consisting of poet-sleeved blouse, long olive vest with a crimson collar, crimson belt, light pink sash, same color shoes.
Mulan appears regularly for meet-and-greets, parades, and shows at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, especially at Walt Disney World in Florida. Mulan and Mushu (as a kite) make cameo appearances in the Hong Kong Disneyland and Disneyland Resort versions of It's a Small World. She is usually dressed in her bridal costume/ hanfu from the "Honor to Us All" musical number. She is occasionally seen with Li Shang.
Mulan has her own spell card known as "Fa Mulan's Dragon Cannon" in the attraction Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.
In the Disney's Hollywood Studios version of Fantasmic!, Mulan makes a notable appearance during the bubble montage having her bubble scenes nearly the longest in the montage.
Mulan also has her own portrait hung with the other princesses at the Princess Fairytale Hall in the Magic Kingdom.
In 1998, there was a "Mulan Parade" that took place at both Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios.
On the Disney Cruise Line ships, Mulan and Shang appear in the stage show The Golden Mickeys. Mulan is also known to come out for meet-and-greets on the ships as well. Mulan also has an extended section in the show Wishes where she performs both "Honor to Us All" and "Reflection".
At Disney's Wide World of Sports in Walt Disney World, Mulan, Mushu and Shan Yu participate in the Martial Arts Festival.
Disneyland offers extra theme park entertainment as part of the "Happy Lunar New Year Celebration". In honor of the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese Lunar New Year, the celebration features live performances, activities and food. "Mulan's Chinese New Year Procession" is seen at selected times throughout the day, in which Mulan and Mushu proceed in colorful costumes to a photo location area where guests can meet-and-greet with them along with Chip 'n' Dale dressed in Asian-inspired attire.
Mulan is also featured in several Disney On Ice shows, such as 100 Years of Magic, Princess Classics and Princess Wishes.
Mulan is also featured in Disneyland's new stage show "Mickey and the Magical Map".
Mulan, La Légende
From 1999 to 2002 there was "Mulan, La Légende" (Mulan, The Legend) at Videopolis, Discoveryland, Disneyland Paris. "Mulan, the Legend" opened in the French Park in April 1999 and has been performing every day since. Based on the story as told in the Disney film, the show features a cast of 50 performers who tell the tale through acrobatics, juggling and a lot of hard physical work.The show originally opened with the "Hebei Acrobatic Troupe of China" but in August 1999 the "Flag Circus of China" took over the performing duties. It is currently performed four or five times as day, with more show times added during the summer months. The Mulan show is thirty minutes long and is delivered in a very unusual way. The melodies are from the film, except they have been orchestrated differently. The story is told entirely through pantomime, gesture and acrobatics.
The show begins in front of a huge red curtain, as a group of the Hun's men burst on to the stage from all sides. They tumble, build human pyramids and use aerial equipment to tower over the audience. This section represents the attack on the Great Wall of China that can be seen in the film. They end their attach by demolishing a stone structure built into a circular hole in the great wall. After the smoke clears the Great Wall rolls back to reveal the garden belonging to Mulan's family. Here we are treated to a wonderful display of plate spinning to the music "Honor to us all". Mulan performs in this section using a Diablo. Mulan then enters the house of the Matchmaker and quickly exits in disgrace. The show quickly moves on to Mulan's realization that she must replace her father in the war with the Hun. The show now moves into the Chinese Army training camp where to the music of "I'll make a man out of you" and "A girl worth fighting for" the new recruits perform ever more daring feats. At the end of the training the recruits are sent off to fight the Hun and the action begins. This section features all of the men in the troupe and is one of the most fast and furious pats in the show. Effects are used to portray the falling snow, this includes large while flags that the performers tumble and jump over as they are swung around. Of course good wins over evil and the end of the war is celebrated in a typical Chinese way with acrobatic lions and jugglers outside the royal palace. But before the celebration ends, the Hun himself attacks the palace, using long red curtains to swing across the stage and over the audience. The Hun is defeated and the celebrations continue in a blaze of color and movement. As the show ends the cast take their final bow as the red curtain falls leaving Mushu the playful Dragon in front of it.
Despite not bing a princess by birth or marriage, Mulan is an official member of the highly popular Disney Princess franchise, though not marketed as prominently as other princesses like Cinderella or Ariel. Even so, she remains one of the most acclaimed members of the franchise, often referred to when giving examples of strong female Disney heroines.
Mulan received multiple changes in her late 2012 redesign.
Mulan's face was elongated very slightly and is no longer as rounded as it used to be. The epicanthic folds by her eyes have also been sharpened a bit to give them a more narrow appearance. Her body type was also changed to a more hour glass shape from her original androgynous figure in the film.
Mulan wears an elaborate, bejeweled gold hair clip and her now waist-length hair is long and flowing. The material used in her Hanfu dress is metallic-looking in appearance and texture and still sports the same color from her old appearance. In early redesigns, her dress is more reddish with sparkles, much of her black hair is loose and down instead of having the hair clip.
Her face and the other visible parts of her skin appear to be whitened with powder, with her cheeks touched with rouge and her lips painted red; somewhat resembling a more traditional Chinese bride.
Other early redesigns included her dress being bright gold and dark red instead of green, blue and yellow.
- "Reflect before you snack - act!"
- [in a man's voice] "Ha! I see you have a sword! I have one too! [draws sword] They're very manly and... tough!" [drops sword]
- "It's going to take a miracle to get me into the army."
- [in fear] "Aaah!"
- "A ghost."
- "Who are you?"
- "Hey. I'll hold him, and you punch!"
- [to Shang] "For what it's worth, I think you're a great captain."
- "You're... um..."
- "My ancestors sent a little lizard to help me?"
- "Stop. I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm just nervous. I've never done this before."
- "I should never have left home."
- "Okay, any questions?"
- [disappointed] "Oh. Thank you."
- [to Shang] "Would you like to stay for dinner?"
- "Uh... I, I, uh..."
- "Uh, I've got a name. Ha! And it's a boy's name, too."
- [looking toward Ling] "His name is Ling."
- "Ah Chu."
- "It's Ping."
- "Yes, my name is Ping."
- [muffled] "But I don't wanna kick the other kid's butt."
- "Just because I look like a man doesn't mean I have to smell like one."
- [kneels] "Father. I brought you the sword of Shan-Yu, and the crest of the Emperor. They're gifts, to honor the Fa family."
- [Mulan and Mushu escape back to shore from Yao, Ling, and Chin-Po] "Boy, that was close."
- "I never want to see a naked man again."
- "Oh, hi, guys. I didn't know you were here. I was just washing, so now I'm clean, and I'm gonna go. Bye-bye!"
- "Hello, Chien-Po."
- "I really don't want to take him anywhere."
- "No, we don't. Yet, we could just... close our eyes... and - swim around."
- [in her 'man' voice] "Uhh... I mean, uh, sorry you had to see that, but you know how it is when you get those, uh, manly urges, and you just gotta kill somethin'... fix things, uh, cook outdoors..."
- "You shouldn't have to go!"
- "There are plenty of young men to fight for China!"
- "So you'll die for honor."
- "But if you..."
- "Uh... How about a girl who's got a brain, who always speaks her mind?"
- "The Huns are alive! They're in the city!"
- "Shang, I saw them in the mountains. You have to believe me!"
- "Why else would I come back? You said you'd trust Ping. Why is Mulan any different?"
- "They're disgusting."
- "Well, he doesn't talk about me much."
- "Father! You can't go!"
- "Please, sir. My father has already fought for..."
- "No one will listen to me."
- "Get off the roof, get off the roof, get off the roof!"
- "Not quite."
- "Mushu, if you're so worried, go stand watch."
- "I did."
- "I don't think I can do this."
- "With all due respect, Your Excellency, I think I've been away from home long enough."
- [nervously] "Uh, notes, in case I forget something?"
- [singing] "Ancestors, hear my plea: help me not to make a fool of me, and to not uproot my family tree. Keep my father standing tall."
- [singing] "Hope he doesn't see right through me!"
- Mulan is the first Disney Princess to be of East Asian descent.
- Mulan's pink bridal outfit is often confused for a kimono (which is Japanese), but it is actualy a hanfu, a Chinese garment.
- Mulan is the first Disney Princess to not be an actual princess, for she was neither born into royalty, nor did she marry a prince. She is the third Disney Princess to not be of royal descent (the first beingCinderella, the second being Belle, and the fourth being Tiana), as well as the third to not marry a prince (the first being Jasmine, the second being Pocahontas, and the fourth being Rapunzel).
- Mulan is the first Disney Princess to have her hair cut, the second being Rapunzel; however, Rapunzel did not cut her own hair, while Mulan did.
- Mulan is the second princess to have her mother in her first film after Auror
a. The third is Tiana, the fourth is Rapunzel, the fifth is Merida, sixth and seventh is Anna and Elsa respectively.
- Mulan is the first Disney Princess to disguise herself as a man in her primary film and the second Disney Princess to disguise
herself as another person, after Jasmine (who disguised herself as a male soldier in a 1994 episode of the Aladdin animated series).
- Mulan is the second Disney Princess to be seen wearing pants after Jasmine, except that she wears them for the most of the film while she wore dresses in other scenes.
- Mulan in the film spends most of the time in either her training uniform, her battle armor, or her blue infiltration dress, while in the merchandise, she is shown mostly either in her "normal" (green and yellow) dress or her pink matchmaker dress.
- Mulan's portrayal in the merchandise has been the origin of the fan-made term, "Mulan syndrome," where a tomboyish female in a source material is re-written as a more effeminate character in spinoffs.
- Mulan is the second Disney Princess to have both parents alive and present during the entire film, the first being Aurora in 1959 and the third being Rapunzel in 2010, and Merida being the fourth in 2012.
- Mulan is the first Disney Princess to be raised by both of her parents for her entire current life, followed by Merida. (Aurora was raised by the fairies for most of her life, Rapunzel was kidnapped and raised by Mother Gothel.)
- Mulan is the third Disney Princess to be played by two actresses, the first being Jasmine in 1992 and the second being Pocahontas in 1995. Ming-Na provides her speaking voice, and Lea Salonga provides her singing voice. Coincidentally, Lea Salonga also provided the singing voice for Jasmine 6 years prior.
- Mulan is the first Disney Princess to kill the film's villain before Tiana in 2009. She may also be the only Disney Princess to intentionally kill the villain; Tiana caused Facilier's death by destroying his talisman , but it is unknown if she was aware what would happen to him by doing so.
- Mulan means "magnolia blossom" in Chinese. It could also mean "wood orchid".
- While her name is "Fa Mulan" in the Disney film, in the actual Chinese legend her name is "Hua Mulan", though they are both pronounced similarly (Fa being Cantonese).
- In the Chinese dub of the movie Mulan, when giving her fake name to Li Shang, she states her full name is Hua Ping. Hua Ping translates directly as Flower Vase, and is modern Chinese slang for an effeminate homosexual male. This is adapted into the Chinese dub so that when Ping introduces 'himself', the others think he is a feminine homosexual male, and use that as the basis as to why 'he' tries, and fails, to be manly.
- Mulan is the only Disney Princess to have a known (and confirmed) family name.
- Mulan is the first Disney Princess to be visibly wounded, the second being Ariel, the third being Merida, and the fourth being Anna.
- Mulan is the third Disney Princess to have a horse companion, the first being Cinderella and the second being Belle, and the fourth being Merida.
- Although Mulan cuts her hair, it remained long in Disney Princess merchandise.
- Out of the 11 Disney Princesses, Mulan is the only one to feature writing down her nationality's language. Ariel just signed her name and Tiana just wrote one word ("OK"), though it was only during her dream song number. Although Belle wrote a book in French, and the viewer sees the words, you don't see her write them, and it is not in the main feature film but is in Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. Aurora also wrote her name, and her nationality is presumed to be British, thus making her the second Princess to write her name in her nationality's language, though it was not in her feature film it was in Disney Princess Enchanted Tales.
- Mulan is the second Disney Princess to get married in a sequel to her film, the first being Jasmine, and the third being Rapunzel.
- Mulan is the first Disney Princess to not take part in a song about her love fore her Hero/Prince or vice versa. However, she is the third Princess who doesn't sing in a song about the love between themselves and the Hero/Prince. (The others being Ariel and Belle.)
- She shares many similarities to Tiana. Tiana being a second of what Mulan does as firsts for Disney Princesses. (Tiana being the second Princess to have her father in the army, and the second to have her mother alive, etc.)
- Mulan is the third Disney Princess (Snow White being the first then Cinderella being the second) with the largest number of animal companions, which include Mushu, Cri-Kee, Khan, and Little Brother.
- Mulan is shown in several deleted scenes in which one she is daydreaming of how she wants to demonstrate her adventurous/tomboyish spirit.
- In many comic strips, Mulan is shown around her farm usually barefoot.
- Mulan is left-handed. She has been seen using the sword in her right hand and may be ambidextrous or possibly just taught to use it that way.
- Originally, Disney made Mulan leave to the army to get out of her society. Though the way she feels about society is still present in the movie, it is not made to be the main point. She seemed selfish and unlikable that way, so animators stuck to the traditional way of her saving her father.
- Mulan's voice was originally going to be done by Tia Carrere, who would later voice Nani Pelekai. Later, Lea Salonga (her singing voice) was considered but her voice wasn't low enough for Ping. She then was voiced by Ming-Na.
- Mulan is the first Disney Princess to be involved in archery, followed by Merida.
- Mulan is the last Disney Princess (second to last if you include Kida) to be created (1998) until the debut of Tiana in 2009.
- Mulan was featured on the 100th issue of Disney Adventures Magazine.
- Mulan is the only Princess whose wedding dress is a different color other than white, in her case, that dress is red, the color of prosperity according to Chinese culture.
- Mulan is the first Princess to be seen only in her undergarments at one point (second if you include Esmeralda), with the second being Merida (third if you count a behind the scenes character of Rapunzel in a white underdress), and the third and fourth being Anna and Elsa.
- When Mulan disguises herself as a male, her eyelashes and double eyelid disappear and her eyebrows grow thicker, but when she dresses like a woman again, her eyelashes grow back, her double eyelid comes in again, but her eyebrows remain thick.
- Mulan touches her hair a lot because animators noticed that Ming-Na did.
- Mulan is, by far, the Disney character (Heroine or villain) with the highest body count ever. The production team draw 2,000 Hun soldiers during the Huns' attack sequence. Only six Huns survived to the avalanche and only one of them (Shan-Yu) is killed later. This makes Mulan's final body count to 1,994 (Shan-Yu is "killed" by Mushu rather than Mulan).
- Mimi Chan did the motion capture for Mulan's martial arts moves, even though Ming-Na could have also done so as she previously played Chun-Li in the Street Fighter movie.
- Mulan is similar to Anna from Frozen since they both touch their hair when nervous.
- In the Disney Princess line-up and dolls, Mulan is often shown as being more tanned than the others besides Jasmine, Pocahontas and Tiana. However, in the new 2013 type line-up and their merchandise, Mulan is shown as the palest one.
- For some reason, none of Mulan's dresses appear in the Kingdom Hearts games (she instead fights Shan Yu in her soldier uniform), therefore defeating the purpose of her, Yao, Chien-Po, and Ling having to disguise themselves as female concubines to infiltrate the Imperial Palace.
- Mulan is the second Disney Princess to have a last name (and possibly take her husbands last name as well). Rapunzel is the third Disney Princess to have a last name, however her last name is by marriage as her parental one was never revealed.
- In the Special Edition DVD audio commentary, it is said that though Mark Henn is her animator, Christopher Sanders (Little Brother's animator) was the one who mastered her quirky character.
- Mulan is often noted in audio commentary that Mulan uses her mind to solve problems and with the learning at the camp can use a combination of strength and intelligence.
- In the deleted part of "Reflection", Mulan says, "they want a docile lamb, no one knows who I am," which is true throughout the first movie and sometime between scenes of Qui Gong and Mulan's marriage in the second movie, she claims to have told Li Shang everything.
- Mulan's best friend is Mushu. In fact she is the first Disney Princess to have a mythical creature as a best friend.
- Mulan is the second official Disney Princess to have sort of a misfit/socially awkward effect. Belle is the first as many describe her as odd though you never see this in the actual movie. In Mulan, she is shown throughout the movie to have that effect but nobody ever straight out says it. Anna, the third to be socially impaired, frequently calls herself awkward.
- Mulan is the second Disney Princess to have her life spared. The first Disney Princess was Snow White after the huntsman failed to kill her, while Shang refuses like the huntsman to also kill. But Mulan may actually be the third to be saved if you count Belle being saved by the Beast from a pack of wolves. Elsa is the next, her life being saved by Anna.
- Though Mulan seems to be disorganized and wings it a lot, she must be a master planner and strategist. She even does better than Li Shang, who is the best strategist of his class.
- Even though Mulan seems to be unruly, she really does follow rules and do what's right, (such as filial piety) just in a different way. It is like she says in the sequel, "bending rules."
- Mulan is clumsy yet a master at kung-fu, probably because she used her brain to solve those problems.
- Mulan follows her heart yet still holds intelligence at a place.
- Mulan seems to know a lot about philosophy and nature.
- Mulan's curtain has white ducks or swans on it.
- The recoloring of Mulan's redesign may be due to the fact that red and gold were often considered by the Chinese as the colors of communism or because in ancient China, the royal color was gold and red was the color of luck and prosperity.
- All of Mulan's dresses in the first film had a blue bodice and a red sash.
- Mulan is the 4th Princess to almost die. The first three being Snow White, Aurora, Belle and later Merida and Elsa. (Snow was supposed to be killed by the Huntsman, Maleficent's curse was suppose to have Aurora destined to die, Belle almost drowned, Merida was nearly eaten by Mor'du, and Elsa was almost murdered by Hans.)
- Mulan is the first Disney Princess who didn't share True Love's Kiss with her love interest in her feature film. She and Shang however do share a kiss when they are married in the sequel. Merida and Elsa also receive no kiss as they have no love interests.
- Mulan sings a remix of another song in the play "Mulan Jr." called "Written in Stone". She also sings a remix of "Keep 'Em Guessing".
- On the cover of Mulan 2, Mushu is holding a ring (probably engagement ring), but it is never in the movie or given to Mulan, possibly due to Chinese marriage traditions.
- Some Mulan baby dolls have been sold in which Mulan has dark brown hair instead of black, resulting in the possibility that Mulan's hair was brown when she was born and it darkened to black by the time she was a toddler. (This happens to babies and young children a lot. In the Animator's doll collection in which she is a toddler, she has black hair.
- Fa Mulan has appeared in a comic with Wolverine (that was specially issued when Disney bought Marvel) and a non-Disney version of Hua Mulan has appeared with Deadpool in the Deadpool Killustratedseries.
- Her side of the yin and yang necklace is the yang side, associated with masculinity.
- Mulan is the first Disney Princess to not be portrayed by a celebrity in the Disney Dream Portrait Series.
- Mulan is the second Disney Princess to be nearly beheaded (the first being Jasmine, who almost got executed by a possessed Sultan in the Aladdin episode "Armored and Dangerous").
- Since childhood, Mulan found military affairs interesting, but this was cut out of the movie to emphasize her sacrifice for her father.
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