It’s about to get real racist up in here. Jk it’s not. But just try to imagine me narrating this post in a Chinese accent. Or don’t. I probably saw Mulan in theaters seven times. No joke. I think sometimes my mom didn’t know what to do with my brother and I so she would just take us to the movies over and over again. Whatevs. No complaints here.
Mulan is the story of a rebellious tom-boy growing up in ancient China. Fa Mulan is such a modern character that it seems weird to refer to her time period as “ancient”, but just trust that I’m right and everything will be fine.
At the start of the movie we are introduced to Mulan and quickly realize that she’s an only child when she calls for her little brother and he turns out to be a dog. Because she’s an only child, it’s Mulan’s responsibility to bring honor to her family. Her father used to be in the military but he is now unable to walk without crutches and makes the entire family look bad. It’s like, sorry dad but maybe I wouldn’t have to bring honor to our family if you didn’t get your leg all messed up. What a disgrace.
Mulan’s mom and grandma take it upon themselves to prepare Mulan for her meeting with the matchmaker so she can get married and start a family. They dress her up like a geisha, giver her a cricket for good luck (and some other cool Chines lucky charms that are magically delicious). Basically Mulan screws up her interview and the matchmaker tells her that she’ll never get married. Which sucks big time because there isn’t anything else to do in ancient China besides get married or cook rice. I really pray that no Asians are reading this.
While in town, Mulan’s family hears a proclamation from one of the emperor’s guards saying that they need men to fight in a war against the Huns. The Huns are these scary guys with gray faces that are from Mongolia. Think mean Asian Eskimos.
Since Mulan’s dad is a gimp, she decides to bring her family honor in another way–by stealing her dad’s army uniform, cutting her hair, binding her boobs, and joining the military. Umm so basically she does the opposite of whatever is honorable.
In basic training, Mulan meets a talking dragon named Mushu (voiced by Eddie Murphy) sent to her by her ancestors who are watching over her. This is when the movie starts to get a bit cray. Mushu is invested in her family’s honor just as much as she is. He helps her and guides her. She also still has that lucky cricket who seems to be more annoying than lucky, but whatevs. A friend is a friend and Mulan cannot afford to be picky.
At camp she doesn’t get along with the other guys at all. They all pick on her and make her look bad in front of sexy Li. He leads the group and tries to train them into becoming fierce warriors and his father is also the General. Unfortunately, they all suck just as bad as Mulan does. But to be honest, the training that he puts them through is pretty bizarre. Like, sorry we’re not all ninjas like you, Li. “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” is one of the best songs from the movie soundtrack. I often say “Let’s get down to business to defeat the Huns!” whenever I need to get down to business. Here’s the clip from the movie:
Why do you have to be as mysterious as the dark side of the moon to be a good warrior? I like how once Mulan climbs to the top of that pillar, everyone in the training camp is all of a sudden amazing at every skill they were taught. Weird/convenient.
Eventually Li leads the army into the mountains only to find his father’s campsite destroyed. Rut roh (That’s Scooby Doo speak for “Uh Oh”). The Huns start to approach Li’s meager group of men and Mulan cleverly aims her homemade rocket (I told you this was ancient China!) at the mountain side to cause an avalanche over the Huns. Shan Yu, the main Hun in charge, injures Mulan and when Li comes to her side to treat her wound, he realizes that Mulan is actually a girl. RUT ROH.
Instead of killing her, he walks away with a look of disappointment. She would probably have rather been beheaded than disappointing him. As her troop leaves, she watches Shan Yu head towards the city to kill the emperor. How did he survive an avalanche?!
Eventually Mulan ends up saving the day by posing as a geisha with her new found army buds. They lure Shan Yu on the roof of the emperor’s palace while Mushu shoots fireworks at him and Mulan fights him. It’s like a scene out of Mortal Kombat, I swear.
The emperor tells the crowd to bow to Mulan because she saved his life and he’s the only person who really matters in all of China. Li comes to the Fa house and makes Mulan’s family happy because now she isn’t totally a lost cause. Her dad says some cute things about lotus blossoms and then the credits role to Christina Aguilera’s “Reflection”.