Disney’s live-action Mulan trailer has arrived, and fans are greeting it with mixed reactions. While many are loving the film’s exciting aesthetics and shift toward reality, others are worried by the trailer’s apparent lack of Mushu. While only time will tell how the new movie measures up, there is one thing we can rely on right now: Disney’s 1998 animated original.
Mulan was one of the many incredible stories which the Mouse House shared with us during the Disney Renaissance. While it was very loosely based on the actual legend of Hua Mulan, it does happen to be filled with some of the funniest, touching, and epic scenes to be put into a Disney film. Let’s get down to business and take a look at Mulan’s greatest moments.
10 Mulan Returns Home
It feels good to see Mulan present the Crest of the Emperor and Sword of Shan Yu to her father. It’s a touching moment that only gets better when her granny complains about Mulan bringing home a weapon instead of a man. That’s when Shang shows up, and her fiery dear Grandma proclaims, “Woo! Sign me up for the next war!”
Shang gets tongue-tied—which he rightly deserves for blowing off Mulan when she tried to warn him about the Huns, by the way—and Mulan invites him to stay for dinner. Grandmother Fa, on the other hand, invites him to stay forever. We won't argue with it.
9 Mulan Saves China
The entirety of Mulan’s epic quest to save her country is worth talking about, but it really picks up after her army friends decide to dress as women to trick a few guards.
Meanwhile, Shang’s fighting it out with the Hun’s leader, Shan Yu—and, unfortunately, he gets knocked out. Shan Yu starts chasing after Mulan once she intercedes, and eventually they find themselves battling it out on the roof of the palace. With some expert fan work and a little help from Mushu, Mulan ends up exploding Shan Yu with fireworks. He also manages to throw in one heck of a Batman reference.
8 Mushu Wakes Up Mulan
The world seemed to think Frozen was hilarious and revolutionary for showing what it looked like when a Disney gal woke up with tired eyes and messy hair—but we all know this idea was actually first played up for laughs in Mulan.
Mushu makes Mulan a breakfast that is happy to see her. He also manages to stuff half of it into her mouth while coaching her on her war face. When Mulan learns the troops have left without her, she races to get her gear on and ties up her hair in a matter of seconds. That means this chick knows how to use a sword and go through a quick fashion change. How much more badass can you get?
7 Mulan Meets The Matchmaker
Before Mulan joins the army in her father’s place, she finds herself attempting to stay composed and act properly in order to be married off. The problem for Mulan is that she doesn’t fit the mold that’s been made for her. She’s awkward and a little clumsy, and, while this doesn’t allow for her meeting with the matchmaker to end well, it does produce a memorable movie scene.
The woman interviewing Mulan ends up giving herself an ink mustache, catching on fire, and getting doused in hot tea. Although this downward spiral was not a good look for Mulan or her family, if it hadn’t had happened, she might not have saved China, which—let’s be honest—is a thousand times cooler than finding a husband.
Soon after Mulan realizes how much she’s disappointed her family by creating an absolute scene at the matchmaker’s, she heads back home and sings.
The song "Reflection” stands on its own. The melody is beautiful, the lyrics are real, and the vocals are pure—but her emotional garden walk makes it even better. The drama heightens when Mulan goes into the family temple and wipes her makeup off with a couple of swipes of her sleeve. Is anything more iconic? As the music fades out, Mulan’s father sits next to her and reminds her to be hopeful via flower metaphor. What a way to finish!
5 Mulan Cuts Her Hair
The makeover trope has appeared in many, many, many movies. But being real, are any of these copycats even half as good as Mulan’s original transformation? This girl legit slices off her hair with a sword. How cool is that?
This scene isn’t in Mulan to show that she can pretty up. Rather, it’s there for her to declare she can take control; it shows the audience her commitment. The music during this minute is absolutely epic, and our starring heroine takes one last meaningful look toward home before she rushes away with her horse. Cue the adventure.
4 Mulan Meets Mushu
Mulan’s sassy dragon sidekick first encounters her on the edge of camp, right before she first tries to pass herself off as a man. He couldn’t have made it subtle, though, now could he?
After scaring Mulan with his loud and fiery antics, Mushu shocks her by stepping out into the light and revealing himself to be tiny and lizard-like. Mulan is skeptical, but Mushu defends himself. In doing such, he tells Mulan his eyes can see straight through her armor, which gets him a slap and causes him to mouth off on his famous dishonor rant. Dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow!
3 I’ll Make A Man Out Of You
One of Disney’s most memorable songs of all time comes straight out of Mulan, and the montage it's featured in is just as exciting. “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” is definitely as swift as the coursing river, and it additionally allows the audience to see Mulan come into herself.
While at first she is uncoordinated and lacks strength, she ends up scaling the incredibly tall pole with weight on her arms—a task which none of her male comrades were able to complete. Of course, there’s that whole segment in the middle where Shang sends Mulan home for falling behind, but it’s all part of her character development and makes her victory at the end even sweeter.
2 The Mountain Fight
There is nothing quite so epic in all of animation history as the scene in which the Huns reveal their true numbers and start charging down the snowy slope. Shang plays the role of the fearless leader, but Mulan takes charge as the determined independent thinker. First, she destroys most of the enemy army by causing a massive avalanche. And next, she saves Shang from being buried in the snow.
Shang tells Mulan how crazy she is but then proceeds to thank her for it. This dude better be thankful, because, if it weren’t for her quick thinking, he’d be dead.
1 Mulan Takes A Bath
It’s pretty hard to forget a scene in a G-rated film in which the main heroine’s bath time gets crashed by a bunch of dudes who don’t realize she needs a little privacy. The scenario leaves Mulan hilariously uncomfortable, and it definitely doesn’t help when Yao stands nude over the lake and declares himself “king of the rock.”
Mulan only escapes the guys with a little help from Mushu, who ends up biting Yao underwater. As she’s walking away, she declares that she never wants to see another naked man again. That’s when a herd runs right by her. Thank goodness that water wasn’t see-through.