Will the Real Mulan Please Stand Up?

A friend recently posted up a picture of his daughters at Disney World standing with a Mulan. The Mulan in the picture looked like this:


With my own fiction, I’ve been accused of writing sexist visions of women before. Though I never intended to. Whatever, I was shocked to see the Mulan costume that the Disney World actress wore. It was Mulan in the costume that the match maker sticks her in at the beginning of the film. The one she hated that made her really uncomfortable! Given an actual strong Chinese legend about a warrior woman, Disney opted to present her as a princess ready to be match-made with her prince!

This is how Mulan felt about that costume when she saw herself in it in the film:


What’s wrong with Mulan as she appeared throughout most of the movie? Why couldn’t she be wearing her armor?


Of course, the answer would be that “Girls want to have their pictures with Disney princesses” and/or “We needed an Asian princess and Mulan’s all we’ve got.”

I haven’t really looked, but I’m amazed that there’s not more of a public reaction to this. Is the movie too old or too unpopular for anyone to notice or care? I admit, I was working in a movie theater when it came out and was even vaguely familiar with the story of Mulan already (seriously). So of all the Disney films, it caught my attention much more than most. But surely there have to be at least a few girls who don’t want their picture with a princess. There have to be some that would enjoy if not benefit from being in the presence of a woman in armor quite capable of contributing to a martial effort. Or am I totally wrong?

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