Have you seen the movie Mulan? Disney released the movie in 1998, and it told the story of a young Chinese woman who pretends to be a man so that she could join the army. Did you know that the Disney movie is based on an ancient Chinese tale of a brave woman who did exactly what Disney’s Mulan did?
There are different versions of the story, but they agree on a woman whose father was too old and sick to join the army. To save his life, she pretended to be a man to join in his place. The stories are about a woman named Hua Mulan, who may have been a real figure who lived between 420 and 589 CE, during the Northern and Southern dynasties of China. Keep reading to learn more about how the Disney version adds up to the ancient Chinese account of this extraordinary figure.
1. The Title Character Is Training To Be A Perfect Bride
When we first meet Mulan in the Disney movie, she is training with a matchmaker who knows how to prepare girls to be the docile, sweet brides that men in the image-obsessed culture desire. The problem is that Mulan is failing at every turn.
She is depicted as a klutzy tomboy who is unable to perform the necessary tasks, like perfectly pouring a cup of tea. She brings chaos into a meeting with the village matchmaker and is cast out as a disgrace. She is seen as having disgraced herself and her entire family, and she will never make a perfect bride.