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Film / Mulan: Rise of a Warrior

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Mulan: Rise of a Warrior is a 2009 Chinese film starring Zhao Wei as legendary heroine Hua Mulan. The Rouran tribes are invading Imperial China, so every family in Wei receives a conscription order requiring one male from each household to serve in the army. Hua Mulan has no brothers, but she doesn't want her aging and sick veteran father to go to war again, so she steals his sword and armor, and goes in his place, disguised as a man.

Mulan rises through the ranks of the army, alongside her commanding officer Wentai. Meanwhile, the Rouran prince Mengdu plots to lead his tribes from the north to the fertile areas of Wei.

It was released in the West on a Bluray/DVD Combo Pack by Funimation in 2013.


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  • Big Bad: Mengdu, The Evil Prince of the Rouran tribe.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The war between Rouran and Wei was stopped, but Wentai has to marry the Rouran princess instead of his true love, and Mulan's friends were killed.
  • Black Vikings: The Rouran king has a white guy for a court musician, played by Russian-Latvian singer Vitas. It's not too implausible given that Northern Asia and Eastern Europe are side by side.
  • Cavalry Refusal: The reason Mulan's Defensive Feint Trap fails.
  • Defensive Feint Trap: Mulan plans one in the final battle. It fails due to Cavalry Refusal.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Mulan rejects Wentai so he will marry the Rouran princess and end the war. He does get a girl, but not the one he loved or wanted.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Mulan does this to infiltrate the Rouran camp.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first time we see Mengdu is just before he orders the execution of a group of unarmed POWs. When his sister shows up and demands to know why he would do such a thing, his response is "They are all sheep already in my mouth. I will eat them however I please." Right from the start, you know he's going to be trouble.
  • Faking the Dead: Wentai.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: A version of this trope occurs when Wentai treats Mulan after she is dangerously wounded – this intimate encounter is what causes them to open up and show their feelings for each other.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Wentai get one after a battle with the Rourans.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Mengdu is often seen dressed in black while his sister is dressed in white. Take a wild guess who lives.
  • Heroic BSoD: Mulan has one after Wentai is apparently killed.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Tiger's squadron refuse to call for help even in the peril of being tortured to death. Turtle tries to help but is quickly killed by arrows. They all die in front of Mulan.
  • Held Gaze: Mulan and Wentai, especially in the final scenes.
  • Honor Before Reason: As this is a Chinese film, there are several moments that may look like this to the Western viewer.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Turtle was initially a spoiled brat, but when his uncle died, he stopped being one, even going out to try to save Tiger before being killed by the Rourans.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Upon hearing that Wentai's troops have been ambushed, but she has been ordered to stay and guard the baggage train, Mulan disregards the order and goes to help Wentai anyway, returning to find that the baggage train has been attacked in her absence. This is one of the things that kicks off her Heroic BSoD.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Mulan's father objects to her learning kung fu, saying no-one will marry her.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Mulan and Tiger (although depending on you interpretation, this could be a case of Tiger being an Unlucky Childhood Friend and Mulan being Oblivious to Love).
  • Rain of Arrows: Used by both Rouran and Wei army to great effect.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Mengdu, the bloodthirsty Rouran prince, and Wentai, seventh prince of Wei, deputy leader of the camp, later general.
  • Runaway Fiancé: Wentai tries to escape his arranged marriage to run away with Mulan. Subverted when she shuts him down and he returns home.
  • Secret Keeper: Mulan's friend Tiger (Xiaohu).
  • The Sociopath: Mengdu, a prince who's introduced killing prisoners for fun, starts a war to avoid punishment, and kills his own father to keep it going.
  • Spoiled Brat: Turtle in the beginning. His uncle was the leader of the camp. When he found out his gem plate was missing, he threatened his companions with death sentences.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Mulan and Wentai.
  • The Starscream / Patricide: Mengdu murders his father so he can take over leadership of the Rouran.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Mulan
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After Mulan has her Heroic BSoD and neglects training the soldiers under her command, her old friend Tiger does this to snap her out of it.

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