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Fridge Brilliance

  • The whole "Strength and Discipline" trick has a very interesting discussion on the movie's Headscratchers page. Essentially, not only are the weights Strength and Discipline needed to climb, but without actual strength and discipline, it'd be impossible to figure out the trick and reach the top.
    • Towards the end of the movie, Mulan's secret is revealed. Before Shang almost kills her, she says "I did it to save my father." What makes this line so meaningful to Shang is that he recently lost his own father in battle. This might have been an intentional low blow to help gain sympathy from Shang.
    • Take a look at Khan(Mulan's Horse) and Shang's Horse. The feminine Dark Yin and the Masculine light yang.
    • It's very easy to dismiss the subplot involving Cri-Kee in Mulan as simple Rule of Funny—everyone believed he was lucky when he truly wasn't, thus explaining why so much went wrong when people depended on him for luck; case in point, Mulan's session with the matchmaker. But unless Grandma was really lucky on her own, there's no way she could have made it across that road without Cri-Kee's luck. If Cri-Kee really IS lucky, though, why did he cause so much trouble with the matchmaker? Sure, he may have just been trying to escape, or hated being taken advantage of, or he was just a little troublemaker, or because he believed himself unlucky the thought of him being there to help Mulan terrified him. But then the answer comes: if Mulan had passed the matchmaker's assessment, she would have become "a perfect porcelain doll", married some rich man her parents chose for her... and then all of China would have fallen to the Huns, and she would never have proven she could bring honor by being the strong, independent woman she was (not to mention find a fine man all on her own, thank you). Therefore, even though it didn't feel like it to her at the time, being humiliated before the matchmaker was the luckiest thing that could ever have happened, for her or for China.
    • Blink and you'll miss it, but Mushu agrees to go with Mulan to stop the surviving Huns reaching China after Cri-Kee gives him a look and a nod. The cricket's acting as his conscience. Huh.
    • A lot of people were annoyed that Eddie Murphy was cast as Mushu, the disgraced Chinese Dragon sent to help Mulan. (Sort of) Everyone else in this movie was Asian-American, so why not Mushu? But then look at what he is. He's selfish, lighthearted, joking, obsessed in regaining his reputation, and willing to pull a few strings in order to get what he wants. OK, but what's the big thing? He breathes fire. Now fire breathing is normally a European Dragon trait. European? Wait a minute. That's it. The whole reason Eddie Murphy was cast as Mushu was to help amplify the idea of throwing European values into the Chinese society. No wonder he's so out of place.
    • A troper with a grasp of Chinese history will appreciate the plotline and story a lot more (with the entire conflict between the Xiongnu and the Imperial Authority).
    • During Mulan's preparations for meeting the Matchmaker, one of the women getting her ready sings that she'll turn "this sow's ear into a silk purse". But the thing is, the proverb specifically states that it can't be done, just like Mulan could never be the perfect little doll that everyone expected.
      • Fridge Logic: The woman was stating how she knows its impossible, and is accepting the challenge.
    • When Mulan finally climbs the pillar and reaches the arrow, she does so by tangling the straps of each of the weights together. The weights represent Strength and Discipline respectively - and by tying them together, one can reach their goals.
      • ...which is exactly what Shang says when he sets the challenge.
    • Also, the lucky cricket. Mulan's grandmother told her that it would help her find a good husband... and in the end the cricket's actions help her find Shang, even if it was in a roundabout way.
    • When Khan first sees Mushu, he reacts by stomping on the dragon. The enemy of the Horse in the Chinese Zodiac is the Snake, which the Horse tramples as the Snake bites at its legs.
    • As for the Great Stone Dragon not waking up to the gong, Mulan sat under that very statue when she made her decision to run away to the army and take her father's place. Mushu couldn't wake the dragon up because its spirit had already left with Mulan, inspiring her to courage!
  • At 9 years old, "Be a Man" "I'll Make a Man Out Of You" was just another catchy Disney song. At 21, it suddenly hit me that the chorus is a reference to Sun Tzu's The Art of War. Let's compare:
      • We must be swift as the coursing river
        With all the force of a great typhoon
        With all the strength of a raging fire
        Mysterious as the dark side of the moon
         
      • "Let your rapidity be that of the wind, your campactness that of the forest.
        In raiding and plundering be like fire, in immovability like a mountain.
        Let your plans be dark and inpetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.\\"
      • Also, "tranquil as forest, but on fire within" is a reference to the black side of the yin yang. Very clever lyrics, indeed. -The Shadow
    • Mulan is considered as an official Disney Princess despite being neither royalty by birth nor marriage. Had she ended up marrying the wrong guy at the end of the sequel, she would have became a princess herself!
  • Mulan uses a fan, an object that is a symbol of femininity, to defeat Shan-Yu.
  • Noted in a WMG, the letter that Mushu gave Chi Fu was actually exactly what was needed for Shang's troupe to arrive in time to save the day. Now think about who actually WROTE the letter for a second... That is one lucky cricket.

Fridge Horror

  • So Mushu scares the firework men from the tower and they jump off... at least six stories...
    • If you watch closely one of them jumps head first so one of them certainly died by landing headfirst and smashing his head on the ground! 
  • All the Huns being buried by the avalanche is a lot more dark and upsetting if you stop and think about it from the Hun's perspective. It's highly unlikely ALL the Huns joined Shan Yu to conquer China so those ones stayed behind on the other side of the wall and are waiting for the army to return. The ones that stayed behind were probably elderly, sick/unfit to fight, children and women, (since there were no visible females) all of those men in Shan Yu's army were somebody's son and a majority of them were probably husbands and fathers. None of those men will be returning home to see their loved ones and their loved ones have to live with the crushing reality that they'll never see them again and many of the Hun children will grow up without their fathers. The worst part of all is that Shan Yu and 5 of his men survive to try and finish the job only for Shan Yu to be killed and the 5 other Huns were probably either executed or they were just thrown in prison for the rest of their days causing the Huns to ultimately lose the war. Basically meaning the non army Huns have to also live with the humiliation of losing the war and to that all of their loved ones died for for nothing.
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