Mulan is a story about a young Chinese girl who finds her destiny to be opposite of what is culturally expected of her. She tries to be well mannered and learn the role of a homemaker, but it not who she is nor is it all what she wants to be. When the army needs a man from every family to serve in the upcoming war with the Huns, Mulan’s father is not in good condition to fight. He is old, injured, and already served the country; Mulan doesn’t understand why the army is forcing him to help. Unable to sleep that night, she decides to take the matter into her own hands. Willfully aware of the danger she is putting herself in, she intuitively believes she can take the place of her father and spare his life. She cuts her long hair, takes her father’s armor and horse, and runs off in the night to make it to training early the next morning. Throughout her journey she finds the power within herself to not only prove to others she can succeed in the training, strength, and fighting, but ends up believing more in herself than ever before. The army would never allow a woman to fight, and Mulan ends up proving to be a better soldier than any of the men. This can be noted from Everything’s an Argument, as the movie portrays the woman in this film to be stereotyped, and Mulan is trying to overcome that stereotype and barrier. There are many lessons in this movie directed at the audience, which is targeted at young boys and girls. I found one of the lessons to be standing up for what you believe in. This movie shows as hard as it might get, it will always work out in the end. It appeals to audience through her relationship with her father, and the obstacles along the way of the war. When she thinks it is completely over as the men find her out to be a woman, she does not give up and if anything, it gives her more incentive to fight for her country and most importantly, her family’s name. It logically enhances this theme because Mulan is the only daughter, and deep down knows there is more to her destiny than daily etiquette lessons. There are children who are pushed in opposite ways from what comes naturally to them. They need to learn to be there own selves and embrace the qualities and beliefs they possess. The kind of problematic message the viewers could take from this is the indication women are set to be what they are thought to do, as men are expected of their duties, and where that line cannot cross between genders. Children can be taught to make a change, just as Mulan saved the Emperor and her country in her own unique way.
Another lesson I found is to trust people. It took much time for the captain to trust his team especially when they struggled to find the strength to excel through training. Mulan never thought she’d trust Mushu, the dragon, and it ended up being her most helpful partner. Her father and mother had to trust that their daughter would make it safely home to them no matter how much they worried. Lastly, Mulan had to trust in herself. This appeals to multiple audiences, like children and parents, in the blurry line when a child is trying to gain their independence. Parents at some point need to let their children go and trust they will be okay in the real world. Children are enticed to find the strength within themselves to be who they want. I rate this a 2 because of the emotionally appealing messages such as standing up for beliefs and trusting others, yet it also portrays women to not be able to live up to standards other than serving her family in the home.