Feminism Representation in The Movie Mulan: Literature Review

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1076 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Jul 15, 2020

Words: 1076|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Jul 15, 2020

The 1994 Disney film Mulan portrays individualism to motivate younger girls to pursue their dreams. The push for feminism is shown through Mulan’s individualistic behavior, while it breaks some of China’s taboo behaviors regarding the mannerisms of a woman.

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Lauren Dundes currently teaches at McDaniel College and publishes articles about any topics regarding race and gender. She has published multiple articles about Disney princesses and their roles in feminism, race, and gender roles. Madeline Streiff is associated with Hastings College of Law and has collaborated with Dundes regarding Disney princesses. This article jabs at the flaws shown in Mulan and The Princess and the Frog. In Mulan, the end storyline could have further emphasized Mulan’s freedom and individualistic thinking, but the movie ended in her fulfilling her domestic duties. In The Princess and the Frog, Tiana resumes playing her role as the help. Her adventures as an anthropomorphic frog did not further her personality nor did it help her reach her goal in owning a restaurant.

This article is very helpful in providing opposing views to my argument. Aside from adding opposite views, this article’s section on Mulan shone a light on the different symbolisms used to portray her rebellious state. This article is also helpful in comparing Mulan to another Disney movie. Regarding The Princess and the Frog, this article talks about the social ladder seen throughout the movie. The social ladder in this movie and the gender roles in Mulan share similar characteristics with one another.

Both authors shows bias in the unfairness of the portrayal of both Disney princesses who could have had a bigger impact in the future, but, instead, Disney decided to have both of them return to their domesticated roles. The authors show an extreme dislike towards the path Disney chose to lead their characters down. The audience is definitely meant for feminists and other people who advocate for gender equality. This article has a reading level for college students.

Ivy Hsieh is an assistant professor at Tamkang University. She studies language and literacy. Matoush is literacy researcher who received a doctorate from the University of Florida. She published multiple articles in journals about literacy, language, and linguistics.

This article explains the history of the Ballad of Mulan and its different versions of the texts. Each version of the ballad portrays a different meaning, even though they are all based on the same story. Some based Mulan’s actions on filial piety. Others based it on her individualistic nature. This article also shows the hybridization between Chinese and European culture. This is helpful to my research because it goes a bit more in-depth in China’s culture. It also helps that it helps me see how China’s culture gets westernized. Aside from the culture aspect, the origins of the poem shows why Mulan was portrayed as she how she was in the movie.

The authors showed bias towards the appropriate way to show off Chinese culture. Each topic usually relates back to what was standard in China or how children are to interpret Mulan. The audience is directed towards people looking for different interpretations of the ballad. The vocabulary used in this article was pretty easy to understand, so this reading level was probably directed towards 9th graders and above.

Caixia Xiong is a professor at Hangzhou Dianzi University who has a Bachelor’s in English Language and Literature. She publishes articles about translations and English teachings in scholarly journals. Chuanmao Tian is a professor at Yangtze University with a Master’s in Applied Linguistics. He is a director of the Hubei Provincial Translators’ Association and a member of the Translators’ Association of China who published a few articles concerning translation in major scholarly journals.

The main point of this article was to point out the differences between the American original animation and the Chinese dubbed animation. The words that were translated had to be converted from modern colloquialism to formal, old, Chinese phrases. Aside from that, this article points out the old Chinese taboos that are not considered taboos in America. It also points out the difference between the film and the original ode, The Mulan Ballad, such as the addition of new characters and the differences in the scenes of the ode and the film.

My paper is going to focus on the difference between China and the U. S. A. This article is very beneficial because it points out some of the major flaws between the film and the ode, along with the translation between the American and Chinese versions. I also want to talk about individualism, which this article briefly talks about. Both authors showed bias towards keeping the traditional text of historic China. Aside from that, it did not deter from them pointing out the flaws of the film. The audience is for people who are interested in studying the difference between American and Chinese culture. Apart from being written by college professors, this reading level could easily be interpreted by a junior high school student in an A. P. classroom setting.

Gwendolyn Limbach teaches at Pace University as an english professor. She writes articles on feminism and other popular texts. This book chapter highlights the gender roles portrayed in the movie. It emphasizes the importance of genders and learning where they stand in society. Females are supposed to be docile and submissive; males are supposed to show masculinity, mentally and physically. This article continuously references back to the proper roles of male and female. Because of its many references, I can use it to argue about Mulan’s involvement in feminism. Her actions throughout the movie showed equality between men and women, and, because of that, she easily refutes the argument that men are better then women. She decreases the thought of the double standard for genders near the end of the movie.

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The author embraces the fact that Mulan is a transvestite, and is semi-biased towards genders accepting their “designated” roles. She seems to support that being in-between the state of male and female truly allows your true talent to shine through your facade, since the in-between spot has less barriers to overcome. This book is pretty easy to comprehend, but with the use of difficult vocabulary, this book has the reading level of a senior in high school and above. The audience is directed towards those in the LGBT community and anyone who is interested in why Mulan decided to perform the actions she chose to do.

Works Cited

  1. Dundes, L. (2010). Revisiting Mulan's legend and Disney's film: Reception and criticism. Journal of Popular Film and Television, 38(1), 19-27.
  2. Streiff, M., & Dundes, L. (2011). Princesses in progress: Disney's Mulan and The Princess and the Frog. In D. J. Herdieckerhoff (Ed.), Reading the child in children's literature: An hermeneutical approach (pp. 145-162). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  3. Hsieh, I., & Matoush, J. (2016). Mulan in translation: The hybridization of Disney's animated film in Chinese culture. International Journal of Language and Linguistics, 3(1), 23-35.
  4. Xiong, C., & Tian, C. (2018). Analysis of Chinese culture in the translation of Disney's Mulan. Journal of Translation and Linguistics Studies, 1(2), 45-60.
  5. Limbach, G. (2012). Mulan and gender roles: Analyzing the female warrior archetype in Disney's animated film. In M. F. Schultz & D. W. Schultz (Eds.), Disney and philosophy: Truth, trust, and a little bit of pixie dust (pp. 131-143). The University Press of Kentucky.
  6. Smith, M. (2014). Exploring the feminist narrative of Mulan: Disney's contributions to gender representation in film. Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 30(2), 85-101.
  7. Bell, E. (2015). The Mulan myth: Representations of gender and cultural identities in Disney's Mulan. Journal of Popular Culture, 48(2), 231-251.
  8. Chen, Y. (2017). A feminist analysis of Disney's Mulan. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 42(4), 453-476.
  9. Liu, Y., & Xu, Y. (2019). The transformation of Mulan in Chinese and American culture. Modern China Studies, 26(3), 31-45.
  10. Han, J. (2020). Unveiling Mulan's identity: A feminist analysis of Disney's Mulan. Studies in Literature and Language, 21(4), 46-57.
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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Feminism Representation in the Movie Mulan: Literature Review. (2020, July 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 20, 2024, from
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