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The Disney animated film “Mulan” tells the empowering story of a young Chinese woman who defies societal expectations and embarks on a courageous journey to protect her family and honor. Mulan’s hero’s journey, as depicted in the film, showcases her transformation from a young woman burdened by societal norms to a fearless warrior who discovers her true identity and saves her country. This essay will critically analyze Mulan’s hero’s journey, exploring the themes of gender, self-discovery, and bravery.


Mulan’s hero’s journey begins with her departure from her village. Faced with the prospect of her elderly father being called to war, Mulan takes it upon herself to disguise herself as a man and take his place. This departure represents her stepping outside the confines of traditional gender roles and challenging societal expectations. Mulan’s decision not only showcases her love for her family but also her determination to prove herself in a male-dominated world.


During her time in the military, Mulan undergoes a series of trials and tests that shape her into a skilled warrior. She faces physical challenges, but her true growth lies in her ability to adapt, strategize, and work alongside her comrades. The initiation phase of Mulan’s journey reveals her determination to prove her worth, even in the face of adversity. It also highlights the importance of loyalty, friendship, and teamwork as Mulan gains the respect and trust of her fellow soldiers.


As Mulan continues her journey, she not only transforms herself physically but also undergoes a profound inner transformation. Through her experiences, she discovers her true self and embraces her identity as a strong and capable woman. Mulan’s transformation challenges traditional gender norms and empowers viewers, especially young girls, to embrace their unique qualities and break free from societal expectations.

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The Ultimate Test:

Mulan’s ultimate test comes when she confronts the primary antagonist, Shan Yu, and his army. In this climactic battle, Mulan uses her intelligence, bravery, and resourcefulness to outsmart and defeat Shan Yu, ultimately saving China. This test represents Mulan’s triumph over adversity, as she proves that she possesses the skills and qualities necessary to be a hero, regardless of her gender. Mulan’s victory not only highlights her individual strength but also serves as a symbol of empowerment for women everywhere.


After successfully saving China, Mulan returns home, where she is honored for her bravery and selflessness. The return phase of her journey emphasizes the importance of embracing one’s true identity and finding acceptance within one’s community. Mulan’s return is not only a celebration of her personal growth but also a message of acceptance and inclusion. The film sends a powerful message that one’s worth should not be determined by societal norms, but rather by individual character and actions.


Mulan’s hero’s journey in the Disney film “Mulan” portrays a powerful narrative of self-discovery, courage, and breaking gender stereotypes. Mulan’s transformation from a young woman confined by societal expectations to a fierce warrior who embraces her true identity resonates with audiences of all ages. The film challenges traditional gender roles and highlights the importance of individuality, determination, and the pursuit of one’s dreams.

“Mulan” not only entertains but also serves as an inspiration to viewers, encouraging them to question societal norms, embrace their uniqueness, and stand up for what they believe in. Through Mulan’s journey, the film celebrates the strength and resilience of women and sends a powerful message of empowerment and self-acceptance.

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