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'Mulan' Fan Theories That Just Might Be True

Updated June 26, 2019 23k votes 4.9k voters 184.8k views11 items

List RulesVote up the most plausible theories.

Disney's 1998 film Mulan is a modern-day classic, as the millions of fans who've memorized every word of "I'll Make a Man Out of You" can attest. Mulan is one of Disney's fiercest heroes, joining the army in her father's stead while attempting to keep her identity hidden. Even on its own, the movie is one of Disney's best, but fans who have rewatched it dozens of times have cooked up some theories that are too good to ignore.

Many of the theories explain away the story's gaps in clever, satisfying ways. Others attempt to connect Mulan with other films in the Disney canon. Some of them are just downright creative, and they all bring a little something extra to this timeless film. These Mulan fan theories remind us that there's still a lot to learn about the original animated film.

  • 1

    Children Are Mulan’s 'Girls Worth Fighting For'

    Mulan's music is one of the film's most memorable aspects, and Redditor /u/chondroitin proposed a theory based on the lyrics of "A Girl Worth Fighting For." During the song, all the men in Mulan's regiment sing about how they are in combat to protect the women they love back home. This doesn't really apply to Mulan, as she is there because of her father, but the theory contests that she is also fighting for a girl.

    The song ends rather bleakly as the unit stumbles upon a decimated village. Mulan stops to pick up a doll, symbolizing that Mulan is actually fighting for all the little girls of China. This isn't the first moment involving a doll either - earlier in the film, Mulan swipes a doll from a little boy and returns it to the crying girl he took it from.

    Is this plausible?
  • 2

    The Great Stone Dragon Was Purposefully Silent To Help Mulan

    Redditor /u/Xasrai proposed a theory claiming that the Great Stone Dragon knows Mulan extremely well because she is always praying to it for advice. When Mushu attempts to awaken the Great Stone Dragon in order to fetch Mulan, it refuses.

    It understands that Mulan is honorable and doing the right thing, so it lets her go. Defying the ancestors' will may have ultimately led to the Dragon's destruction, but it is willing to sacrifice itself to help Mulan.

    Is this plausible?
  • 3

    Fa Zhou Risked His Own Life To Protect His Fellow Soldiers In The Goguryeo-Sui War

    Fa Zhou is shown to be a famous and respected warrior - even high-ranking officials recognize his name. This theory from Wotso Videos uses historical sources to pinpoint exactly which conflict Mulan's father was involved in.

    Although the film takes plenty of liberties, Mulan is based on a real person. Using clues from both the movie and real-life history, the theorist pinpoints Mulan as taking place during the Sui Dynasty. During this period, China engaged in numerous conflicts with the Korean Goguryeo Kingdom. Fa Zhou was possibly conscripted as a young man in the Goguryeo-Sui War and participated in the first offensive against the Goguryeo Kingdom.

    The theorist suggests it was not until the second conflict that Fa Zhou became the renowned hero seen in the film. This campaign was disastrous for the Sui forces, and many were forced to retreat into enemy territory. Fa Zhou may have chosen to stay with his men rather than retreat on his own, and he may have even helped facilitate their safe retreat.

    Is this plausible?
  • 4

    Khan The Horse Was Fa Zhou's Guardian

    Mushu is Mulan's dragon guardian, but a theory from Watso Videos suggests that he's not the only creature sent to help Mulan on her journey. They believe the Fa family horse, Khan, is actually Fa Zhou's guardian, just as Mushu is Mulan's. This is backed by the fact that Khan seems incredibly intelligent and goes out of his way to save Mulan on several occasions.

    Khan was likely granted to Zhou as protection by his ancestors when he first went into combat, but Khan wasn't needed once Zhou retired. This is why he can travel with and guide Mulan.

    Is this plausible?