The Book of Mulan
Hua Mulan is a legendary heroine who first appeared in an ancient Chinese poem. Disney has since created a film loosely based off of this female warrior. Mulan’s old and crippled father is called to serve in a war that will inevitably kill him. In order to save her father, Mulan disguises herself as a man and joins the Chinese army in his place. Risking her own life, Mulan just happens to be the one who will make the difference and save not only her family, but her country.
Mulan doesn’t always meet the standards of what women are supposed to do in her culture. However, her differences set her apart as a unique woman. While Mulan may not see her worth at first, others see the remarkable individual that she is.
- Fa Zhou: “My, my, what beautiful blossoms we have this year. But look! This one’s late. But I’ll bet that when it blooms, it will be the most beautiful of all.”
- The Emperor: “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.”
- The Emperor: “You don’t meet a girl like that every dynasty.”
- Fa Zhou: “The greatest gift and honor is having you for a daughter.”
As Mulan fights a physical war against her country’s enemies, she also battles with her own demons within herself. She has a strong determination to do what she feels is right, regardless of the outcome.
- Mulan: “I have to do something.”
- Mulan: “Maybe I didn’t go for my father. Maybe what I really wanted was to prove I could do things right, so when I looked in the mirror, I’d see someone worthwhile. But I was wrong. I see nothing.” Mushu: “Hey, come on. You went to save your father’s life. Who knew you’d end up shaming him and disgracing your ancestors and losing all your friends. You know, you just gotta … You gotta learn to let these things go.”
- Mushu: “C’mon, if you’re gonna stay, you’re gonna work.”
- Mushu: “Yeah, this ain’t gonna be pretty. But don’t you worry, okay? Things will work out. We started this thing together, and that’s how we’ll finish it. I promise.”
A war wages against a formidable enemy. As this war wages, warriors young and old are prepared to defend their country and beliefs. Both physical and mental strength is needed to defeat this enemy.
- Li Shang: “This represents discipline, and this represents strength. You need both to reach the arrow.”
- The Emperor: “A single grain of rice can tip the scale. One man may be the difference between victory and defeat.”
- The Emperor: “No matter how the wind howls, the mountain cannot bow to it.”
- Fa Zhou: “It is an honor to protect my country and my family.”
War is a serious thing to face. Yet, a little lighthearted wisdom can keep spirits up in such dark times. Mulan and her ancestral guide have both humor and wisdom to guide her.
- Mushu: “You missed! How could you miss? He was three feet in front of you!”
- Mushu: “Dishonor! Dishonor on your whole family! Make a note of this. Dishonor on you!”
- Mushu: “Okay, people, people, look alive! Let’s go, come on, get up! Let’s move it! Rise and shine! You’re all way past the beauty sleep thing, trust me!”
- Mulan: “Reflect before you snack—act!”