Frankly I am surprised I am even writing this because everybody knows that my favourite film of all time is Disney’s The Little Mermaid. But this isn’t about me.
Yesterday we had film day in our house, as with every Friday afternoon we had popcorn at the ready, a huge family sized blanket and of course it wouldn’t be film day without arguing over what film we are watching.
In the end I managed to persuade my six-year-old that he really wanted to watch Mulan. And during the film I was dumbfounded. How had I not noticed it before? This film is the absolute best Disney of all time.
Disney have a habit of creating spectacular films, providing just enough humour for the adult audience for us to feel as motivated as our children to bound into those back row seats at the cinema the very day of their release. Thank you for thinking of us Disney!
But my reason for this post is to explain the importance, especially in this day and age, of Mulan.
All around us are discussions about women being either unequal to men or completely superior to them.
I can’t tell you how many times I have seen posts telling me that Frozen is the best Disney of all time because it’s the first film in which a woman doesn’t need a man to save her (which it isn’t… I can tell you with absolute certainly that there are at least another two films released before Frozen in which the young women save themselves) but I digress.
For the benefit of those that haven’t yet seen Mulan, it is a story of a young woman who feigns being a man in order to fight for her country in her father’s place. During the film Mulan gets found out and the men leave her behind while they travel back to China for their heroes welcome (after her fantastic idea saved them all).
There are so many interesting points made in this film that we may have completely missed. Mulan got back up and followed the soldiers to help them as she knew the trouble wasn’t over yet even though she knew they no longer respected her. She then went on to save China. An important lesson perhaps that when people don’t respect you, get up, show up and prove to them that you are worthy of their respect, especially if it is for the good of your country.
It doesn’t stop there. Another significant point was made during this film, when Mulan came back and told the general (Shang) about the imminent attack he actually listened, imagine that!!!
Okay, so two great reasons to love Mulan so far. But how about we flip-reverse it for a minute. Without the soldiers and the general Mulan’s plan wouldn’t have worked, she would be dead for sure and the country would be in ruins. However, this isn’t the most vital point to take from this fantastic film. The most crucial reason of all to totally respect this film is:
We are all equal. We are a team. Nobody is superior to the other, and there is room for everybody to contribute in order to conquer. Working together and seeing each other as equal means that the team will be superior to their opponents.
No husband or wife is superior to the other, the best couples are teams, my husband is my person and we are flippin’ awesome.
A woman is not inferior to a man because she was born with curves, and no man is superior to a woman because he was born with a piece. The truth is, we are equal, and this is what Shang realised towards the end of the film. Teach your children to respect everybody, no matter their shape, gender, religion or nationality. Everybody has a skill, nourish and nurture each others and this world will be better than anybody has ever seen.
”Our actions in life are what make us exceptional, not our gender” -Katy Cannadine.