History Study: Why Mulan’s Struggles Make Sense

History Study: Why Mulan’s Struggles Make Sense


hey guys and welcome to another episode of A Healthy Dose of Fran today Disney is back with a historical look at one of my most
favorite films from Disney of all time this film is Mulan which is based on The
Ballad of Hua Mulan which is a poem based on the myth and legend of Mulan a
fighter who disguises herself to join the army to protect her father very
similar to the Disney film but what was different was she didn’t struggle at all
with keeping up with the men but Disney’s Mulan did so today I’ll be
exploring why that actually makes sense now initially when I was watching Mulan I did have a problem with the fact that she was struggling to keep up with
her male counterparts mainly just because it had that very sort of sexist
idea of women can’t compete with men obviously she does eventually through
training and building up her stamina and so forth she’s able to surpass and come
up to the same level as the majority of the men in the army but after exploring
the original story of The Ballad of Hua Mulan I started to notice that
there were some real differences between the two stories of course Disney’s Mulan
was Disney-fied it was made to be more of a coming-of-age story more of a dramatic
tale with music and all of that Disney malarkey whereas The Ballad of Hua Mulan was very different in its portrayal of the Mulan character not
only was she a strong female character overall but her family were aware that
she was going away to the army to take place in it they were aware what she was
doing and eventually after the soldiers found out she was a woman they had
absolutely no problem whatsoever with that fact in fact they embraced it they
were shocked that she was a woman mainly just because they didn’t realize and
were impressed with her skill but the other thing was that she was
able to hold her own throughout the entirety of training and the entirety of
the war she was able to keep up with the men she was able to show extreme skill
in martial arts and sword fighting and so on and so forth
but obviously from what we know from Mulan she struggled severely to keep up
with her peers failing at most hurdles with only her determination keeping her
going and this is where the historical side comes in now I absolutely love my
history and I did so much research for this to try and figure out and explain
and understand why this was the case for Disney’s Mulan to be struggling and this
is where I stumbled upon the history that is behind the story already so
where The Ballad of Hua Mulan is placed and when and that is the
Northern Wei dynasty so let’s explore a bit more about this dynasty The Ballad
of Hua Mulan and in turn Disney’s Mulan is set during the Wei dynasty
during the Wei dynasty after the wars of conquest there was unused land that the
Wei’s aimed to reclaim through a large-scale deportation of peasants the
peasants reclaimed this land using it for agriculture and owning their own
properties something often pertained only to the upper-class it’s through learning
this and studying the location of the Fa family home and what inhabits it
that I came to the conclusion that the Fa family is in fact upper-class it was
from understanding this that my theory made a breakthrough in ancient China
upper-class women received the stricter form of control than any other social
level they were expected to remain within the family home had only limited
freedom of movement and meant to excel in four areas fidelity cautious speech
industriousness and graceful manners sound familiar
this is part of the matchmakers scene another part that was predominant used
within upper-class society it is here that the differences between Disney’s
Mulan and The Ballad of Hua Mulan come into focus now
with Mulan being in an upper class society and from what we can tell from
the Ballad Hua Milan is more of a working-class peasant sort of level with
her being the provider for her family her father is sick she has a younger
brother who she has to look after she is the one who is sort of almost the leader
of the family because she has to provide for them she has to do things that
normally in that society wouldn’t be being done by a woman especially a woman
if she was in the upper-class society but because she is able to do this we
can assume that she would have been of a much lower social standing so she
would have had the freedom to do these things like looking after her family
being able to provide for them and having almost the support to go to war
and we can see this also in the live-action Chinese film Mulan rise of a
warrior her family friend Tiger is aware of what she is doing and while he
worries what may happen if she is discovered he knew she was likely to do
this he knew what she was like and so he promises to help her this shows a
complete difference in the film’s this Mulan is strong and respected instantly
even after they learn she is a woman well when the Mulan we know is
discovered she’s not she’s called a treacherous snake and if it weren’t for
the fact that she saved Shang she would have been killed for her
supposed crimes only after proving herself again while as a woman does she
receive the honour she deserved it is in comparing Mulan from Disney’s
upper-class standing to that of Hua Mulan from the Ballads standing of much
lower possibly peasant like social standing
and seeing the freedom that Hua Mulan had in comparison to Fa Mulan it would
make sense that their different army like training would be that different because
Fa Mulan does not have the freedom to learn and have these skills before
training like Hua Mulan does and it’s because of this that Fa Mulan’s
struggles do make sense in Disney what do you guys think do you think this idea
of the social standing between these two characters makes sense to why Mulan
would have struggled or do you yourself have another idea let me know in the
comment section down below but in general guys I want to thank you so
much for watching this video I really do appreciate it if you go to the
description box down below you’ll find the links to all the clips in this video
and you’ll also find the links to my Instagram and patreon where on patreon
you can get early access to any and all of my videos as well as have a say as to what comes out in future here on YouTube however if you guys aren’t already subscribed go to the button down below or click the one popping up here on screen if you
want to check out my previous Disney videos the playlist will be popping up here
and then something else for you lovely folks will be popping up here but again
thank you so much for watching this video and I’ll see you guys next time

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One Reply to “History Study: Why Mulan’s Struggles Make Sense”

  1. I consider Mulan to be the best Disney movie of all time. Such great story telling, such great character arcs for everyone, even all of China when they bow to her at the end. It does seem like the live action will follow the original material and Mulan already being a very capable fighter. Great analysis, I learned a few things.

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