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Frontiers in Art Research, 2021, 3(3); doi: 10.25236/FAR.2021.030314.

A Feminist Analysis of the Live-action Disney Film Mulan


Zhengyang Gong, Yuan Tian

Corresponding Author:
Yuan Tian

School of English Language and Culture Xiamen University Tan Kah Kee College, Xiamen, China


Hua Mulan, the heroine, originated from the Chinese Yuefu poem, “The Ballad of Mulan”, which eulogizes a heroine who joins the army for her father and fights bravely, demonstrating the value of loyalty, filial piety and integrity. Mulan has been adapted into films several times because her heroic deeds prove that women are not inferior to men. The Disney action movie Mulan in 2020 emphasizes feminist power and enriches Mulan’s image. The film focuses on women’s loyalty, courage, and truth, revealing female awareness. It demonstrates a contrast among three groups of women: namely, there are Mulan’s image that is completely different from most women at that time, who are in a disadvantaged position despite their adherence to women’s morality, and portrayal of her mother and sister, who represents traditional women, as well as a witch named Xianniang, who was of superpower but still succumbed to men. With the development of the film, the audience can see the gradual development of Mulan’s awareness of her own gender identity and the transformation of Xianniang’s perception of women after being inspired by Mulan. The reshaping and enrichment of Mulan’s image is, on the one hand, a reinterpretation of traditional culture in China. On the other hand, it is also a display of current cultural trends. Research on the image of Hua Mulan will help us understand the development of Chinese and American cultures. Mulan in 2020 is precisely for another promotion of feminist discourse, and shows that females and males are not binary oppositions, but can coexist harmoniously, promote each other, and develop together.


Mulan, Feminism, value on love and marriage

Cite This Paper

Zhengyang Gong, Yuan Tian. A Feminist Analysis of the Live-action Disney Film Mulan. Frontiers in Art Research (2021) Vol. 3, Issue 3: 65-74. https://doi.org/10.25236/FAR.2021.030314.


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