(And No One Can Tell Me Otherwise)
Just recently, I took a BuzzFeed quiz in which the author acknowledged that Mulan is the best Disney princess, and I was so incredibly happy. Whenever I state this (sadly unpopular) opinion to, well, anyone else, the response is always the same: “Mulan isn’t even a real princess, blah, blah, blah.”
And to those naysayers I say: SHUT UP! And then, after the initial anger has faded away, I proceed to explain the following.
In the context of the Disney franchise (and with full acknowledgement that historically, most of this stuff is questionable at best (a fact which applies to all Disney films)) Mulan IS the best princess, and here are 10 reasons why:
1. Um, HELLO, she saves not just a country, but an ENTIRE EMPIRE. The Emperor bows to her!
And then so does EVERYONE ELSE!
Men bow to a woman in a setting where Mulan was initially supposed to be killed for pretending to be a man. Did you miss this scene?! I mean, it is very prominent at the end there.
2. Her sidekick is a dragon. Not a bird, or a monkey, or a teacup, but a DRAGON. Even if he is small, Mushu is still the best – no contest. I mean, come on, he breathes fire and can use chopsticks with only four claws. That’s impressive.
3. The story of Mulan is based on this beautiful poem, here. Obviously, this is a translation to English, and some things are lost in translation, but one of the emphases of the poem is sound, which is why there are many onomatopoeia (or “sound words”) at the end of several stanzas. Other Disney films stray severely from their original works (like when Ariel (The Little Mermaid) actually kills herself because the only way she and the prince can be together is in death. That’s some terrifying s#!t right there) Mulan is far more consistent with its original text.
4. Her family life is actually a healthy one. She has a mother, a father, a grandmother, and a crap ton of ancestors; all of whom are present within the film. Mulan’s motivations stem from a desire to protect her family, not as a result of abandonment, absent parents, or some combination of the two.
5. This guy.
Cause, girl, SAME!
6. The “prince” figure gets put in his place for not realizing how amazing/important/strong the female lead actually is. And, inversely, how his successes are minor in comparison to hers.
7. Friendships that are not influenced by societal status, beauty, or generic infatuation. But, rather, emerge from a mutual respect between comrades.
8. A villain who is actually portrayed as bad/evil, and is not surrounded by comic relief (or a sidekick who provides comic relief) in an attempt to make him just a little more likeable. I mean, who is buying any of that? Why should a villain be likeable??? These people are NOT NICE!
9. A female hero whose main motivation is not to save herself from a beast, a curse, a tower/prison, or to find love, but to help others in a selfless, high-risk act of bravery. (And she happens to be really good at it!)
Just a normal day of kicking ass and taking names 🙂
10. This epic song:
Let’s be real, this is the #1 best Disney song of all time, and none of you can say otherwise. NOPE – whatever song you were just thinking of – it’s better than that!
And there you have it! Point proven.