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10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Disney’s Original ‘Mulan’

It’s been more than two decades since the first Mulan film was released. As you may know, Mulan is a young lady who disguises herself as a male soldier named Ping in order to assume her father’s position in the Imperial Army. Despite her initial hardships, she perseveres thanks to the support of her guardian Mushu and a cricket named Cri-Kee. Mulan protects the Emperor and the Imperial City from the Huns in the end, she is hailed as a great hero.

The movie featured a famous cast, including Ming-Na Wen as Mulan, Eddie Murphy as Mushu, B.D. Wong as Captain Li Shang, Miguel Ferrer as Shan Yu. It also included a number of wonderful songs, such as Donny Osmond’s “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” and Christina Aguilera’s “Reflection.”

Indeed, Mulan was such a hit that Disney decided to develop a live-action remake of the heroine. But now we’ve discovered some fascinating facts about the 1998 animated feature that even the hardcore Disney fans may be unaware of!

#1 Mulan was inspired by the character Hua Mulan from “The Ballad of Hua Mulan”, a popular Chinese poem

#2 In the original poem, Mulan’s gender was never disclosed while she was serving in the army.

#3 “Mulan” actually means “magnolia,” hence the magnolia motif used throughout the film

#4 Mulan is one of four Disney Princesses whose parents are alive and well throughout the whole film.

#5 Mulan has the highest body count of all Disney characters: 3,994 enemies perished after Mulan sets off an avalanche with a rocket.

#6 Tia Carrere was supposed to play Mulan’s voice, but the filmmakers finally decided on actress Ming-Na

#7 Mulan touches her hair a lot because the actress, Ming-Na Wen, did during her voiceover work

#8 Mulan has to cut her hair in order to disguise herself as Ping but her hair is always featured down to her waist in promotional works.

#9 The motion capture references for Mulan’s martial arts skills were given by Mimi Chan, a martial arts instructor and performer.

#10 Mulan is prominently represented throughout Shanghai Disneyland.