7 Horrible Things You Learned From Mulan

We love Mulan as a Disney Princess because she wasn’t just a princess, she was a badass. Mulan sacrificed herself to take her father’s place in the war and ended up saving her entire country from the Huns’ attack. If that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is.

Of course, Mulan is amazing especially from a girl power aspect. She has no problem taking matters into her own hands, no matter how difficult a situation may be. But as great as Mulan and the rest of the movie is, let’s not forget some of these lessons that aren’t so great.

What do you think about Mulan? Can you think of anything else wrong with the movie? Tell us in the comments!

Check out these 7 lessons you need to unlearn from Beauty And The Beast

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  • Hannah Huff

    Did you not even watch the movie? The whole point of the movie was to undermine literally all the “7 bad things you learned” from Mulan. And I know that your analysis has a hard time accepting that, even though Shang showed up at the end, there was no guarantee of a relationship there. She invited him to stay for dinner…on her terms. It’s also important to recognize that she was rewarded by the emperor for everything she did and was offered a position of prestige for her intelligence, strength, ingenuity, and courage and it didn’t matter that she was a woman. Also, a quote from her father emphasizing her value to him as someone he loved for herself: “The greatest gift and honor is having you as a daughter.” Also, keep in mind, Mulan had to undo stereotypes in her own mind, regarding her role in society and her family. Her father also gave her encouragement when she didn’t do very well with the match maker, indicating that, unlike the patriarchical China at the time, Mulan was more than her gender to her family.

  • TCK1995

    And this is where feminism gets stupid.

  • BellaCow

    A lot of the lessons you mentioned weren’t lessons that were supported by the movie, it’s more like the time period she was in was like that. And plus, her opinions did matter which is what we got out of it. Also, when I was younger when watching this movie, when I saw people disregarding her opinions i wasn’t like “omg women have no rights to an opinion” i was more like “that sucks, im glad i don’t have to go through that” I agree with Maria Rita’s comment.

  • Maria Rita

    number 1. yeah she did have to cross dress to change things at first because no one would listen to her otherwise at first, as it turned out her opinions did matter

    number 2. No you don’t “still need to be rescued” no one rescued her in the end, in fact she rescued everyone else

    number 3. yes they were wrapping her like a present for a man because that was the culture at the time, in the end when she saved China she and all her family felt that she had in fact brought honour upon her family and so marrying her off wasn’t so important. in the end they did date but that wasn’t the focus of the ending

    number 4. Again, the focus was in fact on her having saved the country in the end, not on their relationship. And of course he was angry to find out she had been lying the whole time, and of course that he wasn’t all chill about her being a woman even after having saved everyone, because the rules dictated that then he had to execute her.

    number 5. no, the only way to be strong isn’t “to be a man”. yes she pretended to be a man for a while but the whole movie was about a woman being strong. And if the argument is that she was only strong when she was dressed like a man, that too is untrue, she saved China twice, once dressed as a man, and then again dressed as a woman (and she was a woman all along) she even had her fellow soldiers dress up like women to fight the bad guys

    number 6. no you don’t make mistakes just because you’re a woman. First of all Mulan didn’t even make a mistake causing the avalanche, that was her whole plan because she (unlike the men) realised that the only way to defeat the huns was to create an avalanche. and actually, all her comrades in arms didn’t think any less of her when they found out she was a woman, but yes they still had to leave her because unfortunately those were the rules, and no one could change them. (although mulan did later on)

    number 7. no your accomplishments are not invalidated because you’re a woman. Yes they all left her when they found out she was a woman, again because they were forced to. And yes, when she got to the main city no one would listen to her because she was a woman because that was the culture at the time. but that didn’t stop her and in the end she got the highest medal that anyone could possibly get to commemorate her for her achievements, better even the whole city bowed to her in respect, and even better than the, The Emperor Himself bowed to her. So no, her achievements were not invalidated.

  • Laura

    okay so you missed the entire point of the movie. SHE saves china. SHE is HONORED by the EMPEROR OF CHINA AND HIS COURT. Her father even says “The greatest gift and honor is having you for a daughter”. The emperor of china tells Shang not to let her get away AND THATS WHY THEY END UP TOGETHER. Because of the STRENGTH AN COURAGE AND BRAVERY SHE SHOWED. These point are ridiculous and invalid and contradict everything the movie was made for.

  • Ana

    I’m just wondering, has anyone else questioned how Shang might have felt when learning Mulan had disguised herself in the army, knowing he punched her a few times in training? I mean, when we hear stories about domestic violence, we are shocked and rant about it, so what about when Mulan’s true identity is revealed? It could have inspired some guilt in Shang for punching her in training.

  • nerdygirl

    This is pure madness. Mulan taught plenty of good lessons. Mulan taught us that women can be strong if they try. Mulan only dressed as a man to protect her elderly father and keeping him from dying in the war. Mulan wasn’t even concerned about getting married, it was the people around her. And in the end nobody was mainly thinking about whether her and Shang were going to get together. The main reason they went back to that is to prove that when Mulan was acting as her self-a strong woman- she could get a man with no makeup or dresses.

  • Stacey

    To dispute on of your “lessons” (That The Only Way To Be Strong Is To Be A Man). The movie proved the opposite when Mulan had the guys disguise themselves as women in order for them to help rescue the Emperor. This was to show you don’t have to a man in order to save someone.

  • Ana

    Well, I think part of the reason people might not have listened to her opinions because she dishonored her family when she spoke out against drafting her father into the war. She cross-dressed so that she could restore honor and save her father because women weren’t allowed in the army at that time.

  • Jeanne

    As a Korean-American/Asian-American, I can confidently tell you that every bad “lesson” you included in this piece does not apply to this particular movie, because like everyone else said, it’s a *cultural* thing.

    If this were taking place in 2014, in the U.S., then they are somewhat accurate, but still not lessons.

    Females weren’t allowed to join the army in China/Korea at the time and that’s why she had to dress and act like a man, she didn’t have a choice. She sacrificed herself so her father wouldn’t have to go through war with his injury, which I think is a courageous thing to do.

    The matchmaker concept is very common in Asian countries, and probably other countries as well. We’re in the U.S. and it’s not common to be forced to marry a certain guy, and that’s why you probably don’t fully understand it.

    Also, in the Asian culture, particularly Japanese, Korean and Chinese, it’s extremely difficult to have a voice, especially when it comes to parents. There are a strict set of values that many immigrated and Asian parents follow even in the U.S.

    These “lessons” would fit well if you weren’t referring them to a movie that took place long time ago in a foreign country, where all of these lessons would go unnoticed and be perceived as normal.

    As lessons for girls, yes, *a few* of them are worth pointing out, but *not* in the context of a Disney movie.

    I REALLY hope and strongly advise against doing one of these on FROZEN, because that movie, for *the most part*, sends out great messages, and outnumber the bad “lessons” that you probably intentionally plan to extract from the movie.

  • Kitty

    I don’t agree with your anyalisis at all. The movie is in a time period where this stuff would happen. I watched the movie a long time ago and only remember small parts, but I agree with the other comments.

  • xcypressriverx

    acutally, those examples weren’t lessons the movie was teaching. they were showing how unfairly women were being treated.

  • Meh

    …Sorry, but most of these were the society of the time period. I disagree with most of these, because if you look at it, the odds were against her, and yet she beat them. (That happens in a lot of Disney movies.) Yes, she ended up respected and everything, but back then, yes, the people saw women as property, not people. It was society, and aspects of that are evident in ours. Disney princesses like Mulan are meant to empower girls, and they showed a woman conquering an army and becoming the hero of her sexist culture to meet that goal. In short, the problems in the movie that you described were part of society; the way people were raised to believe.

  • Lucy

    WOW that was an awful analysis. The reason that these themes were brought in the movie was a way of showing that, despite the odds that were stacked against her (which, by the way, WERE culturally accurate during this time period) Mulan still managed to succeed in the army.

  • eh

    He was all “I can’t believe you lied to me, you’re a girl” instead of being all “Woah, cool you’re a solider and a girl.”
    Um, you do realise that a girl joining China’s army back then was punishable by death? Shang had great reason to be upset.

  • Kat

    I… What. Wat. This is the most inaccurate analysis of Mulan ever. Just. Seriously? This reads like someone decided to write something based on the first twenty minutes of the movie.

  • Amelia Kim

    I feel that these are not really lessons taught in this movie. All of these are examples of things that are proven inaccurate during the plot of the movie. I think the whole point of the movie is that Mulan breaks free of so many culturally constraints and then overcomes this enemy being herself as a women. She gets to bring honor to her family for saving China as a girl and it’s awesome. I’ll give you the focus at the end but even that somehow feels like a side note to please the romance part of the movie.

  • Alana

    I dunno if you actually watched the movie or not, but the freaking EMPEROR BOWS TO HER. I dunno if you get that significance, but it means he RESPECTS HER COURAGE. And then they end it with something funny, aka the General sputtering trying to ask her out, basically, because she intimidates him. That’s definitely recognizing her achievements.

  • Steffie

    Did you even watch this movie? You completely missed the point.