This article targets Chinese Mulan’s narratives, modern animations, movies, and novels, in order to examine the ideas of loyalty and justice, the conception of conflicts of love, changes in the portrayals of Mulan’s image, and the images and roles of surrounding characters.
The narrative of Mulan reflects the concepts of loyalty and justice, which were combined with the concept of affection during modern times, resulting in all three of these concepts forming a delicate conflict. In the animated movie, “Mulan 2,” and the film “Huamulan,” the tensions between loyalty and love, and between loyalty and justice, all cause conflicts in the characters’ lives, but loyalty remains the priority.
Mulan has a diverse range of images, beginning with the image of a filial daughter in modern and contemporary works. In short, as the female hero of loyalty and self-sacrifice, she is a woman who manifests the conflict between affection and loyalty, and presents various images of herself as she expresses her heroism, and transforms her ego.
In modern times, the surrounding figures were much more abundant than those of the “Mulanshi.” Among them, figures with prominent images were classified as fantastic assistants, realistic assistants, and surface assistants.
The fantastic assistants are Mushu and Shishi. Mushu supports Mulan as a baby dragon, and portrays a chatty and ridiculous image. Shishi is a stonemason who seeks perfection and majesty and supports Mulan while she is undergoing hell.
The truly valuable helpers are Sangwu monk and Xiaohu, Sangwu monk teaches hands-on martial arts to Mulan, and Xiaohu rebukes Mulan to wake her up from her grief.
Surface adversaries are represented by Dushoudaxian and Mengpo. Dushoudaxian is a white fox monster, and Dushoudaxian uses magic in order to harass Mulan. Mengpo transforms into an old lady, a fox, a crane, and other figures, in order to prevent Mulan from rescuing Li Xiang from hell. However, Mengpo differs from Dushoudaxian in that she cleanly accepts and blesses Mulan after she fails her mission.