Retro Review: Mulan

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Why I looked up to Mulan more than all the other Disney princesses combined

Forget Rapunzel, locked away in her tower or Cinderella misplacing her shoe; based on ancient China, Mulan is a story of a female warrior. While the Disney princesses are left in singular plots’ surrounding their love quarrels with their princ­es, Mulan is the original Amanda Bynes in She’s The Man, but way more badass with swords and explo­sives.

Mulan doesn’t fit into the ex­pectations everyone has for her. She hates baths and doesn’t see the point in impressing the matchmak­er yet tries so hard to not bring dis­honour to her family. Disney could have focused on this plot alone but no, Mulan has crazier problems to worry about than the lack of men in her life – Fa Zhou, Mulan’s dad has been recruited to fight for Chi­na against the almighty evil Huns. Mulan is terrified, and thus we have the seed being planted to what is the greatest father-daughter movie of all time.

See, Zhou is unfit to go into bat­tle with a bad leg. He’s also too proud, so when Mulan begs him not to go they argue and the greatest rainy sorrow scene with the most intense soundtrack I’ve ever heard happens. Mulan decides to do the unthinkable: cut her hair, take her father’s armour, and ride her horse to the army base. If you’re like me and someone who can put her hair in a bun and be mistaken for a boy, you’ll understand why Mulan is so relatable and cool.

Let’s not forget about the ador­ably sassy animals that support Mulan along the way: the cutest animated dog in the world Lit­tle Brother, her lucky cricket Cri-kee, her horse Khan and her clos­est companion Mushu, a Chinese dragon and the sassiest of them all. It’s been said that animals pick up on kind hearts and good vibes and Mulan has more animal best friends than even the Little Mermaid.

At camp, a group of misfits be-friends Mulan and finds a way into our hearts. They may not be great singers or tough fighters but they have spunk – even my dad cracked up a few times, and my dad does not crack up.

At the base, Mulan also meets the sexy hunk Li Shang. Of course she’s pretending to be a boy and can’t show her attraction to him, so in­stead she impresses him by climb­ing up a poll with weights and later saves his life when they are con­fronted by the Huns. Unfortunately, he finds out Mulan is in fact a girl and by Emperor’s law she is punish­able to death. Li Shang spares her life with the simple phrase “a life for a life.” CHILLS!

Mulan is left on the mountain where she discovers the Huns are moving closer to the Emperor’s pal­ace and decides she has to save the country. “Let’s go kick some hun­ny-buns!” Huns, hunny-buns, get it? She teams up with her fellow mis­fits and has a crazy fight with the Huns nasty leader Shan Yu on the top of a building and uses her fan to pin and kill him. At the end of the day she gets to bring home nasty Shan Yu’s sword and the Emperor’s medallion. Her father is so proud, but more importantly, relieved and happy to have his daughter back in his arms. At this point, you either have something in your eye or are like me and flat-out balling.

In the final moments of the movie, the Mulan who was told she’d never get a man, has the sexiest most hon­ourable man in all of China show up at her door. Way to go Mulan. This movie is the perfect mix of action, adventure and comedy and a movie that will always make me miss my dad back home.