Released during the Renaissance film as the 9th film for the time period, and 36th Animated Feature film, Mulan had rave reviews earning several Annie Awards, a Golden Globe nomination, and an Academy Award nomination. Development began in 1994 when a group of artistic supervisors went on a trip to China to capture the area realistically and be culturally appropriate. Mulan was released on June 19, 1998, with a follow-up with a direct-to-video sequel in 2004 and a Live-Action version set to release in 2020 or 2021.
Set during the Han Dynasty in China, this animated feature film starts with the Huns attacking another part of the Great Wall of China. The General relays the message to the Emperor (Pat Morita) who tells Chi-Fu (James Hong) to gather all the sons to train for the army.
Meanwhile, Mulan ( Ming-Na Wen and Lea Salonga) is preparing to impress the matchmaker (Miriam Margolyes ) to meet a good husband to honor her mother Fa Li (Frida Foh Shen), father Fa Zhou (Soon-Tek Oh), and grandmother (June Foray and Mami Nixon). Failing her tea ceremony, she is disappointed in herself. Soon Chi-Fu comes to Mulan’s town to call all the sons to the Imperial army. Since there is only one man in Mulan’s family, it is her father’s duty to return to war. Mulan worried about her father, cuts her hair, and takes his armor and sword to ride off to the training camp. Fa Li wakes up in the middle of the night knowing Mulan has left. She prays to the family ancestors, who wake up and send Mushu (Eddie Murphy) to wake the family guardian to watch over Mulan. Mushy fails to wake the great sleeping dragon, so Mushu becomes her guardian.
Back at the training camp, Mulan meets Yao (Harvey Fierstein), Ling (Gedde Watanabe and Matthew Wilder), Chien-Po (Jerry Tondo), and their leader Captain Li Shang (BD Wong and Donny Osmond) who sees how much his recruits are failures. Chief however tells Captain Ling that his troops will never see war. Mushy, overhearing this exchange, comes up with a plan to send them to the front lines. On the way they find a burned town, learning of General Li’s death. They continue heading towards the Imperial City when they battle with the Huns, who were fortunately defeated by an avalanche but not before they injure Mulan.
Chief, tries to heal her when he discovers her secret, telling Captain Li. Instead of Captain Li killing her for lying about being a woman, he leaves her where she is, dishonoring her. Captain Li continues with his troops to the Imperial City to tell the Emperor he is safe from the Huns.
Mulan, about to head home, sees that the Huns had survived the avalanche, changes course to race to warn Captain Li and the Emperor. They brush her off but Mulan won’t let that bother her. When Captain Li, Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po realize the Huns have arrived, they come up with a plan to save the Emperor from Shan Yu (Miguel Ferrer) and the Huns. Succeeding the Emperor awards Mulan with the highest honor and promoting Captain Li.
Returning home Mulan shows her father how she was able to save their family’s honor. General Li Shang follows and proposes and celebrates with the Fa family.
Mulan was not only a hero on screen but the movie was based loosely on a true story. Personally, I absolute love Mulan. Besides the music, and the animation, and great one liners, Mulan is inspirational. She taught us 90s Girls/Women, that we are capable of more than what society deems. We are just as strong with determination. Absolutely another must for Disney fans and families.
Signing off with my favorite line from Mushu: