The year? 1998. The studio? Walt Disney Animation. The title character? Mulan. When this movie hit the screen, we were a little older and a little wiser. We had met Ariel and her undersea friends and we’d watched Belle and Beast fall in love. Now it was time for us to meet another heroine, another sidekick, and another almost-impossible story.


Before any action unfolded, we got a sense of how epic this movie was about to be. (Cue title sequence with watercolor amazingness.)
Mulan logo reveal


We got a few giggles in.
Funny chicken scene in Mulan
Oh, Little Brother.


And we discovered early on that our new favorite person was Grandmother Fa.
Grandmother Fa and the crickett
The best.


Then came the part where we started to see that this was no ordinary story about an ordinary girl. This one was special… and maybe a tad bit clumsy.
Mulan and the matchmaker
If we had a quarter for every time we almost burnt down out matchmaker’s house…


And, before we knew it, our lives were forever changed by the most epic of all epic songs.
Mulan singing Reflection
Mulan just wanted her reflection to show who she was inside, you guys. That’s all… Okay, we digress.


We learned that Mulan’s dad knew she was special in all the right ways. And we learned one of our first metaphors… “My, my, what beautiful blossoms we have this year. But look, this one’s late. I bet when it blooms, it will be the most beautiful of all.”
Mulan and her father
Consider our little hearts warmed.


Next up? We saw the most selfless act of kindness and family that we’d ever seen.
Mulan cuts her hair
Hair is serious when you’re a little kid, okay? Hair is still serious.


After some exposition we were introduced to a little creature that would soon be on the top of our sidekicks list: Mushu.
Mushu rises from the ashes
And we learned a very important distinction between lizards and dragons: dragons don’t do that tongue thing.


Then came the real story. First, the guys had to fall…
Mulan soldiers trying to climb the pole


To learn how to get up again.
Mulan gets the arrow
(Note to readers: There’s a whole action sequence here with an epic song. See our analysis for further detail.)


Enter the Huns and an epic fight, including but not limited to, a scary leader who battles Mulan…
Mulan action sequence


Everyone’s favorite dragon riding waves of snow…
Mushu trying to save people from the avalanche


Mulan rising from above snow to save Shang and defeat (we’ll come back to this later) the Huns…
Mulan climbs out of the snow


And Mulan discovering she’s hurt and everything fading to black.
Mulan falls asleep


THEN came the moment we most feared. Mulan was discovered. *SHOCK AND AWE*
Mulan is discovered


And, just when we thought the worst had happened, LOOK WHO DIDN’T DIE OH NO OH NO:
Shan Yu isn't dead
Ugh, he’s the evilest.


Our hearts = crushed. Until our favorite heroine showed up again at just the right time.
We went through another major roller coaster of emotions here.


First, anger that Shang didn’t believe Mulan.
Mulan tries to warn Shang


Then amusement when Mushu finally got his moment.
Mushu gets to be a dragon
Love his little tail flick thing.


After which came awe that Mulan was able to use her cunning to get the sword away from Shan (while basicallt tightrope-walking on top of a building, no less).
Mulan gets the sword
She’s our role model.


And then sheer and unadulterated pride when she dove off the building (backed by fireworks) and declared victory.
Mulan escapes Shan
Mmm hmm.


This is the part where we wished we were there to bow down to Mulan too.
Everyone bows to Mulan


And the part where we realized Mulan really was just like us. Because we’d totally have hugged the Emperor too.
Mulan hugs the emperor
He’s so cute.


Group hug


Okay, we’re back. The Emperor then lays down some serious wisdom. We’re talking life motto-worthy wisdom.
The emperor bestows wisdom
Emperor talks about dynasties
No wonder he’s emperor.


And all is right with the world. Mulan gets to go home, her dad is so happy, and there’s another hug. Or two.
Mulan returns home
All the hugs.


And, just when you thought the happily ever after couldn’t get any better, Shang returns. And Grandmother Fa (represented in italics below) once again proves that she’s just better than other people.
Shang returns
Oh, snap!


The. End.


What’s your favorite part of Mulan? Tell us in the comments!

Posted 7 years Ago
Subscribe to
Follow us on