Can you believe that Mulan hit our screens way back in 1998? And ever since Disney introduced us the feisty Fa Mulan, who would stop at nothing to protect her beloved family against the ruthless huns, we have bowed to the empowering message of the story.
Because for once, here was a Disney leading lady who didn't dream of a happily-ever-after with a handsome prince, but one who was determined to fight for change, even if it meant disguising herself as a man to risk her life for her loved ones.
And recently, trawling through Reddit, a wonderful little fan theory popped out at me that had a little to do with this. So I thought I would dissect it with you guys.
'A Girl Worth Fighting For'
If you're like me and know the words to every single song in the movie, you'll remember that the sequence for 'A Girl Worth Fighting For' is all about Mulan's male pals yearning for a domesticated feminine woman. Remind yourselves of how it goes:
As you can see, they want a woman who is pretty, who can cook and bow to their every need. A vision of womanhood that Mulan isn't well integrated into. Throughout the song, she remains rather uncertain about what she thinks of it all. Does she also have a girl worth fighting for? The musical number ends without giving her a chance to say.
This theory has provided an answer!
When the song cuts upon a destroyed village by Shan Yu, Mulan picks a small doll that used to belong to a little girl who used to live there. And how do we know that for certain? Well, earlier in the movie, the terrifying leader of the huns gets the doll from his hawk, saying
Besides, the little girl will be missing her doll. We should return it to her.
The theory goes on to suggest THAT is her girl worth fighting for, or to put it simply, all little girls in general. Whilst the men are fighting for honor and pretty wives, Mulan's concern is about saving lives and the vulnerable individuals in society.
And this is even hinted on early on in the movie, during the song 'Honor to Us All,' in which Mulan walks by a boy who's taken a doll from a girl. Angrily, she takes it from him and returns it to the rightful owner.
Ultimately her main aim in life is to protect all girls, including the ones in the cinema audience. She'll always have our back! AWESOME!