According to the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, a young girl disguises herself as a young man so that she may take her elderly father's place in the army. Some early account of the legend point to the period of 386-534, while other versions point out that Mulan lived during the time of the Emperor Yang of Sui China who reigned from 604 to 617. The film is said to take place later because it features such landmarks as The Forbidden City and The Great Wall of China which were constructed in the 16th century. By disguising herself as a solider, Mulan is offered a government post by the Emperor but turns down the post in order to return to her family. According to another myth, Mulan was requested to be a concubine by the Second Sui Dynasty Emperor, Yang, after he learned that his general was a woman. However, Mulan refused and she committed suicide. During the Ming Dynasty which lasted from 1369-1645, the story about Mulan was written into a novel.
In Disney's interpretation, Mulan is the legendary heroine and the daughter of an honorable veteran. While society expects her to become an elegant lady, Mulan is completely dissatisfied with her future role. After Hun invades the empire to draft all the soldiers from their families, Mulan pretends to be a man to protect her father from being sent to the front lines. To win back his reputation among the guardians of the Fa family, Mushu, the dragon decides to protect and encourage Mulan.
In order to create Hun soldiers during the attack, the Disney production team designed crowd simulation software called Attila that allowed thousands of characters to move independently. In order to create an army of 3,000 soldiers, the program known as Dynasty was used in the final battle. Among the other software elements that were designed for the film, there was Faux Plane that was used to add color and depth to the two-dimensional painting.
In 2005, Disney released Mulan Two directed by Lynn Southerland and Darrell Rooney. This direct to video release features Mulan and her fianc? General Shan on a special mission, escorting three daughters of the Emperor to meet their fianc?s. The characters in this film are drawn in the style that resembles Chinese art. Therefore, unlike other Disney female characters, Mulan is neither exceptionally beautiful nor refined, but she is represented as a strong and courageous warrior.
In Kingdom Hearts Two, the movie is featured as the playful world Land of the Dragons with Mulan joining the participants as a skillful swordfighter. Both Games Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories also features Mushu, the dragon as a minor character.
The word mulan can be translated into the English word magnolia. In different versions of the story, the character is given many names and her family name is Zhu in the annuals of the Ming. However, in the annuals of Qing claim it is Wei. And, in the song of Mulan, her family name is Mu. However, the most popular variant of Mulan's family name is Hua offered by Xu Wei in his play of the same name.
Regardless of its style and plot that differs greatly from other productions, Mulan enjoys immense popularity along with such Disney creations as Cinderella, The mermaid, Donald Duck, and Pluto.