Hua Mulan (Hanzi: 花木蘭) adalah seorang pejuang wanita legendaris yang menjadi panutan heroik bagi para pahlawan-pahlawan bangsa Han di zaman-zaman berikutnya.

The word mulan refers to the “Magnolia liliiflora“. ( by itself means “wood” and lán means “orchid“.) The heroine of the poem is given many different family names in versions of her story. According to History of the Ming, her family name is Zhu, while the History of the Qing say it is Wei. The name Huā (meaning “flower”) has become the most popular in recent years in part to its more poetic meaning. Her complete name is then 花木蘭, transcribed as Huā Mùlán in Pinyin and Hua1 Mu4-lan2 in Wade-Giles.

Mulan (1998)

Mulan is a 1998 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation, and released by Walt Disney Pictures on June 19, 1998. The thirty-sixth animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics, and a part of the Disney Renaissance, the film is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan.[2] Mulan was the first of three features produced primarily at the Disney animation studio at Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida. [3] It was directed by Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook, with story and screenplay by Robert D. San Souci, Rita Hsiao, Philip LaZebnik, Chris Sanders, Eugenia Bostwick-Singer, and Raymond Singer. Development for the film began in 1994, when a number of artistic supervisors were sent to China to receive artistic and cultural inspiration.

The film opens when the Huns, led by the ruthless Shan Yu (Miguel Ferrer), invade China. The Chinese emperor commands a general mobilization in which each family is given a conscription notice.

The story then switches to the Fa family where the only child Fa Mulan (Ming-Na) is preparing to meet the matchmaker that day.

She gets ready and meets the matchmaker only to make a spectacle of herself and fail miserably.

Later, at home her father Fa Zhou (Soon-Tek Oh) comforts her just as Imperial forces arrive to give out conscription notices.

Fa Zhou, having no son to fight, is forced to enlist despite his age and disability (a limp from a previous war).

Mulan poses as a man and flees to join the army in his place.

The Fa family ancestors, in a bid to protect Mulan, attempt to send the ‘Great Stone Dragon’ to protect her.

Instead, Mushu (Eddie Murphy), a small dragon, ends up travelling with her, in an attempt to regain his position as family guardian after failing to protect an earlier member of the Fa family. He, in turn, is accompanied by a dubiously “lucky” cricket named Cri-kee.

Mulan proceeds into camp and meets fellow soldiers, but under advice from Mushu on how to act like a real man, unwittingly starts a camp-wide brawl. In one of the tents, General Li (James Shigeta) promotes his son Captain Li Shang (B.D. Wong) to Captain and orders him to train new troops while the General attempts to stop Shan Yu at a nearby mountain pass.

Outside, Li Shang stops the brawl and questions Mulan, who manages to pass herself off as ‘Ping,’ the son of the fabled Fa Zhou. Shang begins a grueling training schedule and is visibly disappointed at his new troop’s lack of abilities. He is most disappointed by Mulan, whom he eventually orders to return home. She instead succeeds in impressing him by retrieving an arrow from a tall pole while weighed down with brass amulets. The troops, inspired by this, all improve and become good soldiers, particularly Yao, Ling and Chien-Po, who become Mulan’s “buddies”.

Mushu learns that Chi-Fu, the Emperor’s advisor, is still not satisfied with the troops’ fighting abilities and is preparing to send a negative report on Shang’s soldiers to the General. Fearing that Mulan would fail to get a warrior’s fame (thus minimizing Mushu’s chances of regaining his old post of a family guardian), Mushu forges a letter from the General, ordering Captain Shang to meet him at the pass. The troops set out to meet General Li, but find the village at the pass razed and the Imperial Troops slaughtered. After pausing to mourn, they make their way to the Emperor. As they journey, Mushu accidentally fires a cannon, giving their position away to the Huns. Shan Yu and a massive force begin stampeding down a snowbank towards the outnumbered troops. Mulan races to a snowbank and fires the last cannon at the mountain above, causing an avalanche and burying the Huns. Shan Yu, outraged at the loss, critically wounds Mulan before being overcome by snow. Mulan and the troops barely escape the snowbank, with Mulan saving Shang in the process. She succumbs to her wounds shortly after, and while in care, is discovered to be a woman. When Chi Fu, the Emperor’s advisor (who had hidden beneath a rock while the others fought) demands she be killed, Shang relents and spares her for saving him, but banishes her from the army as they head to the city. Mulan and Mushu discuss the true reason why they are there: he to get back in the good graces of the ancestors, she to prove she can do something right for a change. As they prepare to leave, Shan Yu and half a dozen of his best warriors emerge from the snow, and head towards the Imperial City. Mulan quickly decides to follow them and warn Shang.

In the Imperial City, the troops are part of a parade in their honor as the ‘Heroes of China’, but none except Chi Fu are enjoying themselves, as they are in shock about Mulan. Shang is surprised when Mulan rides up, but dismisses her warning. Mulan pleads with the members of the crowd to believe her, but they shake her off. Mushu reminds her she is a girl again, and they will not listen. Shang presents the Emperor with the sword of Shan Yu, but Shan Yu’s falcon snatches it from his hands and carries it to his master on the roof of the palace. Shan Yu and his troops reveals themselves, abducting the Emperor and sequestering themselves in his palace. Mulan leads Shang and her three “buddies” (comically disguised as concubines) in a ploy to rescue the Emperor. After a struggle, Mulan eventually overcomes Shan Yu by luring him into the path of fireworks to his apparent death. The Emperor and others in the Imperial City all pay their respects to Mulan by bowing to her. The Emperor presents her with his crest, intending for her to be his successor, technically making Mulan “Princess of China.” She also receives Shan Yu‘s sword to prove her deeds to anyone. He also offers her a position in his cabinet (Chi Fu’s position, since none others are open), but Mulan refuses and asks for permission to return home.

Mulan travels home and presents the gifts to her father, but he throws the priceless treasures aside and embraces her, calling her his ‘greatest gift and honor’. Shang, having been advised by the Emperor that ‘you don’t meet a girl like that every dynasty,’ has followed her under the guise of returning her helmet. He gladly accepts her invitation to stay for dinner. In return for helping Mulan, First Ancestor Fa gives back Mushu his job as a guardian. Soon, Mushu, Cri-Kee and the ancestors celebrate in a very modern day American way.


Mulan II (2005)

Mulan II is a Disney direct-to-video animated feature released in 2005 and is a sequel to the 1998 animated film Mulan. It was directed by Darrell Rooney and Lynne Southerland, and features Mulan, and her new fiancé, General Lee Shang, on a special mission: escorting the Emperor’s three daughters across the country to meet their soon-to-be fiancés. The film deals with arranged marriages, loyalty, relationships, making choices, trust, and finding true love. The entire cast from the first film returned, except for Eddie Murphy (Mushu), Miriam Margolyes (The Matchmaker), Chris Sanders (Little Brother) and Matthew Wilder (Ling’s singing voice). Murphy and Margolyes were replaced by Mark Moseley and April Winchell, and Gedde Watanabe does his own singing for the sequel.

A month after the events of the first film, General Shang asks Mulan for her hand in marriage, which she accepts. Hearing about their engagement, Mushu is thrilled for them- until the leader of the ancestors informs him that if Mulan gets married, he will lose his job as a guardian dragon and have to leave her and his pedestal, his place of honor as a guardian. The reason for this is because Mulan would be getting married to Shang, thus she becomes a part of his family which requires her to have his family ancestors and guardians.

Wanting to keep his job and his friend, Mushu attempts to tear the couple apart (especially for selfish reasons, but, officially, because he sees that they are not very compatible). Meanwhile, the Emperor calls upon Mulan and General Shang to escort his three daughters- Princesses Mei, Ting-Ting, and Su across China to be betrothed to three princes so that an alliance can be formed with the kingdom of Qui Gong. If the task is not completed within three days, the alliance will crumble, and the Mongols will destroy China.

Mulan and Shang set out, along with Yao, Ling and Chien-Po (from the first film), to safely escort the princesses to their new kingdom. However, due to Mushu’s interferences and the fact that the three princesses are upset by their arranged marriages and actually love Chien-Po, Ling, and Yao, Mulan decides to go against her orders and, despite Shang’s wishes, stop the joining of kingdoms. One night, Chien-Po, Ling and Yao take the princesses out to a village where they impress the girls with their antics. Meanwhile, Mushu tricks Shang into thinking Mulan is taking advantage of him.

They then go through bandit country. Pressured by Cri-Kee, Mushu confesses to Mulan on what he had done. Enlightened about the news (yet extremely peeved at Mushu), Mulan tries to talk to Shang when bandits attack. While saving the three princesses, the bridge they’re on breaks, and General Shang and Mulan are left dangling off a broken bridge. Since the rope can only support the weight of one person, Shang sacrifices his life to save Mulan and lets go of her hand, falling into the river.

Mulan then continues alone to Qui Gong. Not wanting the princesses to be forced into marriage, and because Shang is dead, she offers herself to marry one of the ruler’s sons. Shang, who actually survived the fall, finds out about it and tries to stop her. Mushu decides to help by pretending to be the Great Golden Dragon of Unity, who forces the ruler to stop the marriage. Mulan and Shang get married and the princesses are released from their vows, again thanks to Mushu. At the end, Shang combines the family temples. This means that Mushu gets to keep his job, and in his happiness, he accidentally reveals himself to Shang, even though Mulan already told Shang about Mushu. Mulan, Shang, and Mushu live happily ever after.


4 thoughts on “Mulan

  1. This is my all time favorite movie I mean one time, I watched this movie 3 times one week!!! Same with mulan 2.

  2. This is the most wonderful internet page for understanding the background and seeing the beauty of the Mulan movies. Thank you very much. I will use this with my students (who are teachers at 🙂 I will post a message at our “Projects-Based Learning” group with your wordpress link.

    Kindness, KashaKnish

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