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Mulan's Female Empowerment

One day, when I went over to my friend’s house, she proposed that we watch the new Mulan movie. I was a little bit skeptical when she first said that. I had already heard that the movie was not going to be very musical, which is one of the main reasons I watch Disney movies. Another disappointment was that Mushu, the funny little dragon, was not going to be present in the live-action. Plus, $30 dollars seemed a hefty price to watch a movie on Disney+. Now, after watching the movie, I most definitely don’t regret my decision. Without getting into spoilers, here are some thoughts.


Unlike the previous live-action movies Disney made, Mulan does not follow its original plotline. It has the main girl-in-disguise going to war aspect, but the unfolding of the narrative is completely different.


While it has a completely different story, it still has some aspects that remind us of the original movie. One element I enjoyed is the instrumental version of “Reflection” playing in the background. I also loved seeing a few lines that are in the original movie. Those little moments that are brought back from the original animation are enough to make me and my friends yell with excitement, “Who remembers this?”


It’s nice to see that Disney actually took the time to cast native Chinese actors. The new movie also has more historical references including the silk road trade, traditional make-up, ancestor worship, and the most prevalent, the separation of roles among sexes.


One of the most noticeable things about the movie is the emphasis placed on family and loyalty. Even when everything is going wrong and after everything said to Mulan, she never once thinks about betraying China. And, even after all the conflicts, everything Mulan does is to protect her family.


Mulan has always been a feminist icon for me. I’ve looked up to her bravery since I was a small child. Now, we see Mulan’s will and power emphasized more throughout the movie. We also see her strength from the very beginning of the movie. We see her energy- or “chi,” as it’s called in the movie- in every move she makes.


From the beginning, we see her strong personality and desire to make her parents proud. She sacrifices herself to save those she cares about and follows her heart, always true to her morals and doing what she believes it’s right.


Now, in the movie, we have two strong females that will definitely inspire every single person that watches the movie. The girls - I mean, women - have undebatable importance to both sides of the war, and without them, things wouldn’t have gone the way they went. Without the help of these powerful women, things would have gone much worse.


To everyone who’s debating whether or not they should watch the movie, my piece of advice would be: do it! It is worth the price and you will finish the movie feeling like an invincible warrior, just like Mulan. The movie is a great lesson that women are capable of doing anything, even if it is “for men only,” in society’s standards. This new movie will leave you inspired to always challenge your limits!