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'Mulan' Fan Theories That Just Might Be True

Updated June 26, 2019 23.1k votes 4.9k voters 184.9k 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.

  • 5

    Mushu Saved The Entire Chinese Empire

    Redditor /u/liapocalypse proposed a theory claiming that Mulan isn't the actual hero of the story, and the Chinese empire would have fallen if not for her little dragon, Mushu. At one point in the film, Mushu and the Lucky Cricket forge a letter and give it to Mulan's commanding officer, Li Shang. This leads the unit into combat and ultimately restores Mulan's honor.

    The letter claims to be from Shang's father's regiment and requests immediate assistance, so the troops move out. They eventually cross paths with the Huns, who are marching towards the Empire with designs on taking it over.

    Shang's unit engages with the Hun forces and severely cripples their army, clearing the path for the Empire's eventual victory. This only occurred thanks to Mushu's letter, making him the most important asset in the conflict against the Huns.

    Is this plausible?
  • 6

    Mulan's Father Was Supposed To Train Her Inexperienced Regiment

    The whole reason Mulan joins the army is to keep her father, Fa Zhou, out of the conflict. Although he is an experienced and renowned warrior, Zhou is past his prime and suffers from physical ailments. So why did the Chinese forces want him in their ranks so badly?

    Redditor /u/Wash_zoe_mal posted a theory that could explain this contradiction. Mulan's troop is clearly a band of misfits. The young, inexperienced captain struggles to help his men accomplish even basic training, and he's quite obviously in over his head.

    The theory suggests that Zhou wasn't enlisted to become a foot soldier - instead, he was to be assigned as an officer over the misfit troop. Given his experience in conflict, the notion of the Chinese army seeking him out for such a position is fairly logical.

    Is this plausible?
  • 7

    Mulan Is The Stone Dragon

    The Abstract Nonsense podcast proposed an interesting theory about the Great Stone Dragon. While there are plenty of theories attempting to explain what it really is, the podcast hypothesizes that Mulan herself embodies the legendary statue.

    This thematic theory suggests that the spirit of the Great Stone Dragon resides in Mulan all along. Her choice to take her father's place in the conflict is the spirit awakening in her, and her journey forges her into a powerful warrior who, in essence, is the Great Stone Dragon.

    Is this plausible?
  • 8

    The Great Stone Dragon's Power Was Exhausted Protecting Mulan's Father

    A theory from Redditor /u/turtlestevenson suggests that the Great Stone Dragon fell apart because it had already exhausted itself serving Mulan's father, Fa Zhou. Zhou is a renowned warrior who brought honor to his family in combat, and this theory suggests that the Great Stone Dragon aided him in order to propel the Fa family out of poverty.

    The Dragon helped Zhou climb the ranks and put his family on the map, though both of them sacrificed much in the process. The dragon grew weak, and Zhou suffered a permanent physical ailment. When Mulan requested help from the Great Stone Dragon years later, its power was already expended.

    Is this plausible?