Is Mulan a Special Disney Classic Character?

Topics: Disney Princess, Mulan, Fa Mulan Pages: 5 (2046 words) Published: October 16, 2012
Is Mulan one of the special Disney classic princesses?

I still remember how my grandmother said beside my bed, "When I was listening to your great grand mother’s bedtime story, I learned that I had to be a good wife otherwise I would be swept out my future husband’s home and was abandoned by my parents". The story about Fa Mulan has always inspired my grandmother to be an excellent woman in society. Mulan is a legend in Chinese history, because she represents the bravest women who dared to go to the war instead of her bother and save the country. She was a remarkable woman who totally changed the views of ancient Chinese women and encouraged them to pursue their dreams and to do what they want to do. However, throughout the years, the story of Fa Mu Lan has changed from storyteller to storyteller, each with its own dramatic difference. To illustrate the dramatic changes that occur among storytellers, one can compare Kingston's interpretation of Fa Mu Lan's story to Disney's Mulan. Although changing some parts of the original story is necessary for the film producer to make a fantastic movie, the adaptation of Disney's Mulan loses the essence of this legendary woman. “Mulan” still falls into the Disney classic princesses’ stereotype. Although Mulan totally changes the classic princess face, which is highly curved bright female body, big breasts, tiny waist, fluttering eyelashes etc, the story of “Mulan” is still similar to those classic princess movies. Disney embraces normative gender roles and promotes marriages. Because the market tends to favor the classic spirits of those traditional princess, the semi-change of Mulan is just for getting into Chinese market and gets more attention from the public. The Chinese market is quite attractive to western companies, including the Disney Company. However, Chinese children are not like American kids who have spent time with Disney cartoons, Disney toys, and Disneyland. So the Disney Company decided to make a film to get into the Chinese market. However, the Chinese government hates the Disney’s princess’s images terribly, because Chinese people suffered for thousands of years’ domination under of the royalty. The idea of royalty is not worth of being praised in China. In Shu Ping’s article, she points out that Chinese government was afraid that any emotions towards royalty would lead people nostalgia about the past, the royalty lives, which would influence the peace of the new country (97). For these reasons, Disney Company had to make a special and new style of the Disney princess, a non-royalty blooded woman, Mulan. In 1998, Disney’s Mulan helped Disney Company successfully got into the Chinese market. Generally, Mulan looks different from the classic princesses. Because she is Asian, she is not a blond, and she is not really a princess in China. In addition, she has no talent for housework. She cannot cook, or weave. She cannot even remember those rules for taking care of men. She was not born in a wealthy and high status family. On the surface, Disney makes a lot of effort to correct their stereotype that women can only be blond and pretty and good housewives and that only those born in wealthy families, can be a great princess, who absolutely deserves people’s love and recognition. Disney did a lot to modify this Chinese princess, and wanted to inspire girls all over the world, just like how Mulan’s legend inspires Chinese women from one generation to the next. The Disney movie producers attempted to make Mulan to be a new image of the Disney princess, but the story possesses a lot of stereotypes that classic Disney princesses usually have, which leads the image of this legendary woman to fade. For example, in the legend, Mulan did not fall in love with any man, but in the film, it indicates the romance between Mulan and Sheng Li (Zhang Renjie). In traditional Disney movies, some romance is always added in the cartoon so that children will begin learning traditional...
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