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Women facing discrimination, being treated differently and getting underestimated have been issues I face throughout my life because the society drew and forced a standard and shallow way a woman should live. A girl is born to please the society, but the society will remain unsatisfied. A girl is born to get married, raise kids, and take care of the house. Being a girl, who is football fan, makes society view me as unfeminine because sports can only be a man’s interest. Watching Mulan and seeing how much it focuses on women empowerment and breaking stereotypes makes it one of my favourite movies because I, and many other girl have experienced discrimination by the society for breaking out of the box and not being standard.
Mulan earned a Golden Globe and Academy award nominations. It also won various Annie Awards such as Best Animated Feature. Mulan discusses how women are capable of doing anything, which breaks stereotypes and focuses on women empowerment. Mulan is a Chinese girl that sacrifices her life and disguises as a man to save her ill and old dad from going to the military and fighting for the country. Throughout the movie, we perceive how a Chinese girl is born and raised to build a family. Mulan is not one of the standard girl whose goal is to get married. After going, she faces many difficulties because she is physically weak, but she practices and work hard on herself to prove everyone who doubted her abilities wrong. Especially her captain, Li Shang, whom she fell in love with. At the end of the movie, saves her country from the Hun invasion and get praised by the whole country. Li Shang falls in love with her and goes to her dad.
Walt Disney always release movies that hold deep and meaningful messages to teach kids moral life lessons in an entertaining and simple way to help them understand. At that time, women faced many difficulties and could not get their voice heard, especially in the Chinese culture where girls have their future already written. This movie was aimed to set equal right between females and males. It is a great movie since it holds expressive messages, fascinating characters, and a compassionate internal conflict.
Firstly, the expressive messages held by the movie which are women empowerment and breaking stereotypes makes the movie unique and significant. Mulan is a great example of the girls that set a step in asking for equal rights and changing the closed mind set of the society. Mulan takes full responsibility of her dad by carrying her country on her back and fights against the hunt invasion. Although she was weak, she became the strongest between all the fighters and saved her captain’s life. In addition to this, she captures the Hun leader on her own, which led to his death. As well as that, her people bow down to her resembling that they appreciate and respect her. Such unique messages make the movie great.
Secondly, the fascinating characters is another factor that makes the movie great and worth watching. Multiple characters stand out but Mulan is the most captivating character who is viewed as a role model or hero for many young girls. She is brave and courageous. She has no fears and does not care about the line the society draws limiting her from doing what she feels is right. She has the ability to explore thing that are meant to be a “male interest’’ such as karate. She sets a goal and works towards it. She wanted to become physically strong to overcome her bullies whom at the end of movie become her friends and look up to her which Coats (1998) focused on as she said ‘‘the film aims to present a character who exhibits both masculine and feminine influences, being both physically and mentally strong” which was visible throughout the movie. She views nothing as impossible and does not know the definition of giving up. She works hard to be fit and save her country. All those character traits Mulan has make the movie notable.
Finally, the compassionate and relevant internal conflict makes Mulan a remarkable and great movie. In the Chinese culture, marriage is very important and a married girl resembles honour and pride. Since Mulan was not married yet, she was scared of not being able to bring honour for her family. The matchmaker that assesses Chinese girls and chooses whether they are fit to get married viewed Mulan as a disgrace and a girl that could have the features of a bride; however, she would never bring her family honour. Mulan was let down which lowered her self-esteem and made her insecure thinking that she is a bad daughter who no one would want to have. Not being able to be yourself and having to change who you are to impress the society standards is an issue Mulan faced but overcame later when she knew that she can make her family proud by fighting for them and putting them over herself. Such conflict that a lot of girl go through being brought up a movie for kids teaches young girls important values; Hence, it makes the movie admirable.
On the other hand, others argue that the movie teaches kids that disobeying their family, running away from the house and doing things you are not supposed to do is right. Wootandy (2011) suggests that the movie is good but has many misleading messages as he mentions “Mulan ran away from home, impersonated a soldier, and deceived her commanding officer”. It is true to a certain point, but her intentions were to save her country and help her ill father, so it all came out of her pure heart and selflessness.
Mulan and Brave were both produced by Walt Disney and contain many similarities in terms of the characteristics of the main character and internal conflicts they face. Both Mulan and Merida are courageous and selfless. In addition, they both face the conflict of trying to make their family proud and bringing them honour. They both fight for what they want to prove the shallow ones wrong, and they do not settle for anything.
Mulan is a great move since it holds expressive messages, fascinating characters, and a compassionate internal conflict. Mulan is a Chinese girl disguises herself as a male soldier to save her country and do her ill dad a favour and bring her family honour. The messages of the movie which are breaking stereotypes and women empowerment aren’t usually found in other kids movies which makes it unique and stresses on equality and changing the mindset of the society especially future generations. Mulan has several character traits that make her a role model and a person young girls can look up to. Mulan might have not gotten married to a man, but she definitely her family and country honour by fighting for them. More movies like that should be produced and more topics that discuss such issues must be heard to have better generation with better mindsets and avoid inequality.
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