Hua Mulan replaces her father as a female general in an all-male army.
Runtime: 45 minutes
Legend of Hua Mulan - Mulan (Disney character) - Netflix
Mulan is a character, inspired by an actual historic figure, who appears in Walt Disney Pictures' animated feature film Mulan (1998), as well as its sequel Mulan II (2004). Her speaking voice is provided by actress Ming-Na Wen, while singer Lea Salonga provides the character's singing voice. Created by author Robert D. San Souci, Mulan is based on the legendary Chinese warrior Hua Mulan from the poem the Ballad of Mulan. The only child of an aging war veteran, Mulan disregards both tradition and the law by disguising herself as a man in order to enlist herself in the army in lieu of her feeble father. Disney had originally conceived Mulan as an oppressed young Chinese woman who ultimately elopes to Europe to be with a British prince. However, director Tony Bancroft, who was inspired by the well-being of his own daughters, wanted Mulan to be a different, unique kind of Disney heroine – one who is strong and independent, whose fate does not depend upon a male character. Thus, the relationship between Mulan and Captain Li Shang was relegated to that of a minor subplot, while Mulan's bravery and strength were emphasized in order to ensure that she remained the hero of her own story. Mulan's supervising animator was Mark Henn, who deliberately designed the character so that she would appear less feminine than her predecessors. Reception towards Mulan's personality has been generally positive, with critics praising her bravery and heroism. However, some commentators have accused Disney of Westernizing the character, while her romantic relationship with Shang has been widely accused of compromising Mulan's heroism.
Legend of Hua Mulan - Redesign controversy - Netflix
The 2013 Disney princess redesigns portrayed Mulan with features that differ from her film appearance. The artwork featured Mulan with blue eyes, bigger lips, noticeably lighter skin, and golden clothing which does not resemble any outfit she has worn in the film. Her new appearance has caused an uproar due to the whitewash of her character. This was particularly troubling as Mulan is one of the few princesses of color. Shavon L. McKinstry of SPARK Movement writes that Mulan's redesign “seem to be directly counter to her personality and character in her film”, and also notes how all the princesses of color have been “noticeably pushed to the back or left out completely” from the new Disney merchandise which featured the redesigns. McKinstry argues that Disney “prefers to portray one demographic of princess, simultaneously alienating so much of their fanbase”, pointing out that of the “ten Disney Princesses in the brand, six are white”. The importance of Mulan and other non-white princesses can be seen in the 2009 study of the effects of children's cartoons on the body image of young girls by doctors Sharon Hayes and Stacey Tantleff-Dunn. The study revealed that in the group of girls ranging from 3 to 6 years old, 30.6% of the group would change their physical appearance if they could. Of these respondents, over half would change their hair and over a quarter would change something about their body, such as skin color. Of all girls surveyed, 8% said they would have to change their hair or skin color to become a princess, stating things like they would “change from brown skin to white skin”, for example. The interviewed group was predominantly white. Disney has since altered the coloration in Mulan's design by changing the blue eye highlight to brown, darkening the color of her skin, and changing her clothing to better resemble her attire in the film.
Legend of Hua Mulan - References - Netflix