|Directed by|| Tony Bancroft
|Produced by||Pam Coats|
|Written by|| Robert D. San Souci
Screenplay Rita Hsiao
Eugenia Bostwick Singer
Story Dean DeBlois
|Music by|| Jerry Goldsmith
|Distributors|| Buena Vista Pictures
|Release date (s)|| June 19th, 1998
|Preceded by|| Hercules
|Followed by|| Tarzan
This is about the movie. For the character, see Mulan (character).
Mulan is a 1998 animated feature film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation, and released by Walt Disney Pictures on June 19, 1998. The thirty-sixth animated feature in the Disney Animated Canon and the ninth film in the Disney Renaissance, the film is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, and was the first of three produced primarily at the animation studio at Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida. It was directed by Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook, with the story by Robert D. San Souci and Rita Hsiao, among others.
While the film today is very popular among young adults, many of which praise it for being the most progressive Disney Princess film, the film did well at the box office, though it's success didn't quite reach the standards of previous Disney Renaissance movies such as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, or The Lion King.
When the Huns, led by the ruthless Shan Yu (Miguel Ferrer), 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 doubtful that he would survive. Fa Mulan secretly 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 (Eddie Murphy), a small Chinese dragon, has been awakened by the family's First Ancestor (George Takei). 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 (B.D. Wong), including fellow soldiers Ling (Gedde Watanabe), Yao (Harvey Fierstein), and Chien Po (Jerry Tondo). The troops complete their training, but Chi Fu (James Hong), 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 (James Shigeta), who has already left on a mission. However, Shang and his troops tragically discover that his father, 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 snatches the cannon and fires the rocket at the snow mound on the mountainside. It hits the mound near the summit and triggers a large avalanche, spreading all over and swallowing the now fleeing Huns, including Shan-Yu, 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 before the avalanche burys Shan Yu and his army. 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 from the avalanche. 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 (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 declines 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 honor 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 (singing voice provided by Lea Salonga), the principal protagonist, based on Hua Mulan. She disguises herself as a man and joins the Chinese Imperial Army in her father's place. Instead of being punished for doing so, she ends up a war hero.
- Eddie Murphy as Mushu, a dragon and one of the Fa family's guardian spirits, previously demoted after misguiding one of the Fa family ancestors. He serves as the film's deuteragonist. He is reinstated as a guardian after successfully aiding Mulan in her efforts in the army.
- B.D. Wong as Captain Li Shang (singing voice provided by Donny Osmond), the son of General Li and the officer in charge of training the Imperial Army's new recruits. He is the tritagonist of the film.
- Miguel Ferrer as Shan Yu, the film's main villain and the head of the Hun army who attempts to conquer the Chinese Empire.
- Harvey Fierstein as Yao, a short but tough Imperial Army recruit who was initially antagonistic towards but later befriends Mulan. Known for the fact that his left eye is constantly swollen shut. Despite this supposed handicap, he exhibits great proficiency with range weapons; namely the bow and the rocket.
- Gedde Watanabe as Ling (singing voice provided by Matthew Wilder), a lanky Imperial Army recruit who befriends Mulan. Initially seen as a weakling, he later develops the capacity to deliver a hard and painful headbutt through Li Shang's training.
- Jerry Tondo as Chien-Po, a huge, rotund, good-natured, and inhumanly strong Imperial Army recruit who befriends Mulan. He appears to be one of the few who could appease Yao; mainly by the means of calming him down by holding him up and telling him to chant with him.
- James Hong as Chi-Fu, a member of the Emperor's consul and advisor to Li Shang who refuses to allow the recruits to join the battle against the Huns.
- Soon-Tek Oh as Fa Zhou, Mulan's father and a renowned war veteran.
- June Foray as Grandmother Fa (singing voice provided by Marni Nixon), the grandmother of Mulan, who is encouraging her to find a husband.
- Pat Morita as The Emperor of China, the target of a Hun kidnapping who commends Mulan after saving him and the Chinese Empire. Wise and decisive, he stated that "A single grain of rice can tip the scale; one man may be the difference between victory and defeat." Ironically, he was saved by a woman at the near end of the first film.
- George Takei as First Ancestor Fa, the head of the Fa family ancestors.
- Freda Foh Shen as Fa Li, Mulan's mother, who looks strikingly like her except that Fa Li has a different hairstyle and is chubbier than Mulan.
- James Shigeta as General Li, Li Shang's father who was killed in a battle against the Hun army.
- Miriam Margolyes as The Matchmaker, who attempts to find Mulan a husband at the start of the film.
- Frank Welker as Khan, Mulan's horse, and Cri-Kee, a cricket given to Mulan as a good luck charm. Considering all he survives, he certainly seems to be lucky.