* AcceptableTargets: The Huns. They have sickly gray skin, and black eyes with yellow irises.
* AdaptationDisplacement: A lot of people have no idea that the legend of Mulan has been around in various forms since the 6th century AD. They think she's an original Disney character.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Some people see Mulan as transsexual, mostly because of the lyrics of "Reflection." Some fans [[http://thracekara.tumblr.com/post/19035570033/am-i-gay-a-journey-of-self-discovery-with-shang speculate]] that Shang developed romantic feelings for Mulan [[HoYay before discovering she was female]]. Also see the Wild Mass Guessing page.
* AmericansHateTingle: Despite famous voice actors such as Creator/JackieChan and using a local folk tale, the movie didn't do much at the Chinese box office. Some blame piracy, some worry that the native audience took issue with [[BroadStrokes the extensive reworking]] [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks of the original myth]], and some point to the fact that the Chinese government was in the middle of a bitter and spiteful dispute with the Walt Disney corporation and forced it to languish for a year before letting it out with an unfavorable release date just after the Chinese New Year's celebration stuffed the box office with other films. Ten years later, DreamworksAnimation's ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' would prove much more to Chinese tastes, with much less drama.
* AngstWhatAngst: [[spoiler:There are no psychological repercussions to Mulan killing thousands of men with the avalanche. Then again, it's a Disney film. In one of the next few scenes, they popped up from under the snow. Mushu even likens them to daisies.]]
* CompleteMonster: Shan Yu, the leader of the Huns. He views the Emperor of China having built the Great Wall as both an insult and a challenge. As a violent BloodKnight, Shan Yu leads his horde of Huns to invade, relishing when China knows he's there. After capturing two Imperial spies, Shan Yu releases them with a message for the Emperor- but jokingly has one of his archers kill one anyways as you only need one man to deliver a message. Shan Yu later ambushes the armies of General Li at a village, resulting in a mass slaughter, not only of the soldiers, but every civilian as well, with no children spared either. Even after his army's downfall, Shan Yu attacks the Imperial Palace with his remaining men and takes the Emperor hostage, furiously attempting to kill him when he refuses to kneel to Shan Yu.
* DesignatedHero: In the sequel, Mulan tries to talk 3 princesses out of an arranged marriage, forgetting that it's happening in the first place to prevent a Mongol invasion of China, meaning that she's endangering the lives of thousands of innocent people by doing this. It's mitigated by the fact that she presents herself as a substitute bride.
* DracoInLeatherPants: Shan-Yu has a sizeable fanbase, mostly due to his voice.
* EarWorm: "I'll Make a Man Out of You" and "A Girl Worth Fighting For" are ''merciless'' in this regard.
* EvilIsCool: Shan-Yu and his mini boss bunch of Huns for the general {{Badass}}ery throughout the movie. Ironically, and probably on purpose, their defeats are all extremely comedic.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Grandma Fa has more fans than her small screentime would suggest.
* FirstInstallmentWins: The sequel failed to do as well as the first film.
* GirlsNeedRoleModels: This is why Mulan is shoehorned into the DisneyPrincess merchandise: she's the first money-making "real" ActionGirl the animated canon has to offer, though this is somewhat muted by the fact that the merchandise generally features the girly-girl look she complains about in the first act. [[note]] Another possibility that doesn't have this problem is that they need a [[FiveTokenBand token Asian girl]]. [[/note]]
* HilariousInHindsight: Mulan's male persona is "Ping", and given that she still claims to be from the Fa family, "his" full name takes on a [[ADateWithRosiePalms different meaning]] among modern Internet culture, doubling as an accidental StealthPun.
** [[TheIncredibles SHAN-YU, Han Dynasty! Cape stuck to roof, hit by incoming rocket! NO CAPES!]]
** Eddie Murphy plays a dragon in this movie. Around three years later in {{Shrek}}, he plays a donkey that gets married to a dragon.
* HoYay:
** Mushu encourages it as a normal part of male-to-male interaction.
-->'''Mushu:''' Good, now slap 'im on the behind. They like that!
** Interactions [[SweetOnPollyOliver between Shang and Mulan when she was disguised as "Ping" count.]]
* InferredHolocaust:
** Shortly before Shan Yu and his army find the Imperial scouts, you can see a village burning behind them. Implying they had just destroyed it, and probably killed everyone in it. [[spoiler:Averted with the little girl's village and the Imperial Army, which skips over the "implied" part.]]
** In the sequel, we're told that the Mongols are going to invade and they vastly outnumber the Chinese, but the situation can be saved if the Chinese ally with another kingdom through ArrangedMarriage. This being a Disney movie,the marriages don't go through and the princesses find love with commoners. The movie is more concerned with the marriage aspect than the invasion aspect at this point so it doesn't confirm if the alliance is still made but it's implied that it was indeed created. I.E. The Qigong Emperor was so taken by Mushu's Golden Dragon act that he finalized the alliance off-screen to make up for the marriage canceling and appeasing the Golden Dragon's will.
* IronWoobie: Mulan ''[[PluckyGirl never gives up]]'' despite all the stuff she goes through.
* MemeticBadass: Ping, [[ComicallyMissingThePoint the manliest badass]] ever to grace cinema.
* MemeticMutation:
** Go into any room (or bar, or internet chatroom...) full of people who grew up with this movie (teenagers and twentysomethings at this point) and sing "[[EarWorm Let's get down to business]]". They will not only finish the line for you, but also sing the entire song.
** "They popped out of the snow! LIKE DAISIES!!!"
** Mushu's dishonor rant.
** "'''BEEF!''' '''PORK!''' '''CHICKEN!''' Mmmm..."
* MisaimedMarketing: Mulan's placement in the DisneyPrincess franchise already counted but it reached a new low when the DVD joined the "Royal Wedding Collection". This movie contains neither royalty (save the Emperor) nor a wedding (that's only in the sequel).
* MoralEventHorizon: At first, Chi Fu is simply an arrogant bully and, considering he's a loyal servant of the Emperor himself, can only be considered a villain because of his misogyny. But ''boy'', does he ever make the best (worst?) of that, and when Mulan's gender is outed, he crosses the MEH by ordering Shang to kill her as though she were a traitor (never mind that she had proven herself a valuable asset to China's army up to that point). He only drives the point home that he's thoroughly unrepentant about his misogyny later on when, after Mulan helps defeat the Huns and save the Emperor, [[spoiler:the bully ''still'' demands the death penalty in a gesture of blatant ingratitude]].
* OneSceneWonder:
** [[OffWithHisHead Fa Deng.]]
-->'''First Ancestor:''' ''(speaking to Mushu)'' You had your chance to protect the Fa family!\\
'''Female Ancestor:''' Your misguidance led Fa Deng to disaster!\\
'''Fa Deng:''' ''(carrying his head under his arm)'' Yeah. Thanks a lot.
** The ordinary RedShirt who lit the signal tower ''while Shan Yu was staring him down''.
-->[[DefiantToTheEnd Now all of China knows you're here]].
* PainfulRhyme: Mostly because of the glaringly incorrect grammar necessary to accomplish it: "Ancestors, hear my plea / Help me not to make a fool of me..."
** "...[[WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick -self]]..."
* PeripheryDemographic / GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: The song "Reflection" seems to have struck small chord in the LGBT community, at least in the Philippines.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: The only real blow we get to see anyone connect against an opponent in combat is one comical headbutt by Ling. After the outstanding success of the DreamworksAnimation ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' franchise established that ferociously wild, if stylized, {{Wuxia}} action with innumerable connecting kicks and punches are now acceptable family entertainment, ''Mulan'' comes off as rather timid.
* SignatureSong: "I'll Make a Man Out of You" is by far the film's most popular song.
* UnfortunateName: Fa Ping. It might count as HavingAGayOldTime
* WhatMeasureIsANonBadass: Mulan is constantly touted by fans as "THE BESTEST AND MOST FEMINIST DISNEY PRINCESS EVERRRR" and used to bash all the other "weak, sparkly, slutty" DisneyPrincesses for "not being strong women".
* WinBackTheCrowd: After their [[Disney/{{Hercules}} last attempt]] to do this got strong reviews but a relatively poor box office take, they decided to go back to being a bit more adult. Surprisingly, this worked better than with ''Disney/{{Pocahontas}}'' or ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame''.
* TheWoobie: Mulan. The girl goes through a lot of crap just to prove her worth to her family, to her country... and to herself.
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