I have a lot to thank Disney for. Apart from supplying my iTunes library with a large number of catchy tunes and introducing me to the concept of "happily ever after," Disney brought to life a woman warrior that I probably never would have known about otherwise. Disney's take on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan may not be the most historically accurate, but it was, without a doubt, exciting and extremely well-done. Within a matter of minutes after starting the movie, I fell in love with the plucky and tomboy-ish Mulan. Throughout the movie, Mulan's bravery astounded me ("She will be beheaded if anyone discovers her identity!"), her strength awed me ("How did she climb on top of that pole?"), and her cunning amazed me ("I can't believe she was able to start an avalanche with that small rocket!"). Unsurprisingly, I came out of the theater that day with a new role model.
Even though most of the animated film followed the adventures of the warrior Mulan, there was an important scene towards the beginning of the movie. After being dolled up and having her face covered in a ridiculous amount of makeup, Mulan was sent to the village matchmaker by her parents in hopes of finding a husband. This scene shows what Mulan COULD have been--a beautiful but underappreciated wife whose smarts and skills would never be tested. Because that scene took place, the audience is able to appreciate and admire the soon-to-appear warrior Mulan so much more. Mulan's many victories during her stint as a soldier prove to her and the audience that success as a woman is not limited to being a good wife. Rather than her beauty or ability to recite Chinese idioms, Mulan's unwavering courage and loyalty are what she utilizes to find success.