Mulan: Just Another Princess | Teen Ink

Mulan: Just Another Princess

May 11, 2011
By TheJust ELITE, Ellenton, Florida
TheJust ELITE, Ellenton, Florida
254 articles 202 photos 945 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I feel that a hero is somebody who will stand up for their values and what they believe in and that can take any form. People that have values and have thought them through rather than those who just do what they’re told."-Skandar Keynes

"When it’


In the May, 2011, issue of Teen Ink, an opinion article called "Mulan: Just Another Princess" was featured. Michelle Koh wrote about how Disney's classic "princess" film was racist and a mar on feminism. "According to Disney, all Asians look the same," writes Michelle. Unfortunately, what Michelle missed is this one small fact: Mulan is a cartoon.

Cartoons are completely different than live-action film; details must be added to a cartoon that may be left out of a live-action movie. In a movie, an Asian actor need not appear with the characteristic slanted eyes, jet-black hair and olive skin (or "short limbs and a flat nose" as Michelle describes them) for the audience to grasp the fact that they are Asian; in a cartoon, however, drawing or animating characters with dark hair and light skin does not allow the audience to distinguish their race, which may be pertinent to the stories plot-line. Disney's animation in their wonderful, racially diverse film is not meant as racist or stereotypical; Mulan's slanted eyes and olive skin are meant to associate the fact that she is Chinese to young viewers who may not otherwise grasp that fact.

Another point Michelle made was that the movie portrayed Mulan's biggest accomplishment not to be leading an entire nation to victory against the Huns, but that of her engagement to Shang. She claims that the film--whose whole focus was said to be women's independence--gave the wrong message. "At the end of the film, the audience is reminded that Mulan is really just another woman looking for a man," she continues. "Mulan's real victory isn't saving her country from invasion. No, it's marrying Shang." Michelle's statement here is wrong. Mulan's engagement to Shang is only mentioned in the brief few moments at the end of the film. Her victory over the Huns is given the majority of screen-time. And the whole message behind the sequel to Mulan is that you should never be forced into marriage and that you should marry for love.

Besides that, what else can be said except Mulan is a princess movie. What is every little girl's dream? Marrying Prince Charming, or Shang? And, really, what is wrong with that?

Both Mulan and Mulan 2 teach young girls wonderful life lessons. While Michelle may no longer see Mulan as a hero, young girls everywhere should. Mulan teaches fighting for what you believe in, women's rights and choosing to love; hence the word choose.


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This article has 4 comments.


on Jul. 23 2011 at 4:14 pm
Kelly-In-Wonderland GOLD, Westfield, New Jersey
12 articles 0 photos 43 comments

I read her article in the mag, and while I was impressed with her writing, the message appalled me.

Success is more important than love? Really?


on Jul. 7 2011 at 5:19 pm
flyingpinkgiraffes PLATINUM, Chardon, Ohio
24 articles 0 photos 119 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When in doubt, kill your main character." ~Me
"Worry is like a rocking chair. It will give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere."

agreed

 


TheJust ELITE said...
on Jul. 2 2011 at 8:19 pm
TheJust ELITE, Ellenton, Florida
254 articles 202 photos 945 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I feel that a hero is somebody who will stand up for their values and what they believe in and that can take any form. People that have values and have thought them through rather than those who just do what they’re told."-Skandar Keynes

"When it’

Thank you! :)

on Jul. 2 2011 at 7:25 pm
freeflow23 GOLD, Durham, North Carolina
15 articles 0 photos 96 comments

Favorite Quote:
Saul saw Goliath as too big to kill. David saw he was too big to miss.
W.W.J.D.

Very well said.


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