LIFE EXPERIENCE

Is Disney’s Mulan racist or offensive to Chinese people?

Yes, It is absolutely offensive to Chinese people.

Mulan is a legendary female character. She disguised herself as a man and joined the army in place of her recruited father. After serving, she refused to be appointed and asked to return home for reunion. It was not until after Mulan was dressed again at home that her comrades discovered her female identity.

Clearly Disney knows this story cause Disney made an animated version of Mulan movie in 1998, and the movie is soooo great (At that time, the film was a huge success. The animated version of Mulan successfully grasped the Chinese elements and style, and won unanimous praise in the world.)

BUT this Mulan is way too commerical and neglects the Chinese elements or styles. Here is some points:

  • Mulan lives in this kind of building in the film Mulan(2020)(福建土楼).
    If you have studied Chinese history, you will find that Mulan’s hometown is in northern China, but the buildings in the movie are typical buildings in Fujian Province (located in southern China) during the Southern Dynasties in ancient China. While Mulan is a story in The Northern Wei Dynasty. So I think this is a mistake. Disney has not studied Chinese history seriously.
  • We can have a look at the above picture as well, she is one of the actress in the film, but she is wearing the Geisha (A female performing artist unique to Japan) make up.

  • And these two pictures, I guess the first one is a Mulan phoenix? Gongli plays a witch in the film… It is too western style…Remember that Mulan is a history story not a Fairy Tale.

Anyway, I prefer Mulan (1998) 

Samuel Whyte

A psychology enthusiast, interested in movies, painting,psychology, hiking, workout etc.

Speaks Chinese and English.

Currently lives in Shanghai, China.

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