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Home » Film Festival » Review of Mulan, a Disney movie

Please use this forum to discuss Asia-focused feature and documentary films. Create a new topic for each newly introduced film (put the title in the subject line). If someone has already started a discussion about a film, please add your comments to that discussion rather than starting a new topic.
6/7/2017 1:45:58 PM

Lin ZD
Lin ZD
Posts: 38
Subject: Review of Mulan, a Disney movie
This film review is from the educational perspective. I would use Mulan to teach Chinese language and cultures. This movie tells a story about a girl from a Chinese ballad. She disguises herself as a man and takes her father's place to fight for the country in the battlefields. The ballad and the scripts of songs in Chinese are good texts for Chinese language learning. The contrasting scenes of Mulan as a bride and a soldier paint vivid pictures of the gender roles. Just like any other girls in ancient China, Mulan is expected to be a wife and then a mother serving her husband and raising children at home. The Matchmaker and Honor to US All clips show that a beautiful bride with long hairs wears a traditional Chinese wedding gown, and that she is being trained to tighten her dress to make her body slim, pour tea, and how to do makeup, dress and walk like a lady. She is expected to bring honor to her family by marrying to a man of high social status. On the other hand, the Manly Man and Mountain Fight clips show that Mulan wears a suit of armors and rides on a horse with hairs tied back, and that “he” is being trained martial arts and fight a battle for the country. In the end, Mulan brings honor to the country and earns an award from the emperor. The contrasting images and personalities reveal Mulan’s courage, talents, wisdom as well as beauty and love for the family. They also effectively demonstrate that “women can hold half a sky.” It’s an entertaining and thought-provoking movie.

I would play the clips of Matchmaker, Honor to US All , Manly Man and Mountain Fight in class. Part of the cultural learning activities is to post some discussion questions on the forum of Blackboard, Canvas or another education management system. Students may choose to answer one or more of the following questions and respond to each other's post(s).
  • Why does Mulan have to disguise herself as a man to join the army? And what are the cultural barriers for her to serve the country?
  • What is Mulan’s expected gender role in the ancient Chinese society?
  • How is Confucianism reflected in Mulan’s behaviors as a girl and training as a lady?
  • What is your view on women bringing honor to the family and men to the country?
  • Compare the gender roles in the ancient Chinese society with those in modern societies. Do you think women should be treated equally as men or sometimes differently? Why or why not?
http://movies.disney.com/mulan
edited by Lin ZD on 7/7/2017
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6/7/2017 2:08:41 PM

scoronel
scoronel
Posts: 27
Subject: Film Review-Mulan
I have used parts of the Mulan film in my class as well. We looked at gender norms in the Asian culture. My students were amazed to list many stereotypes that existed back then and then compared to how some of them have not disappeared today. I will keep using this film because its great and educational!
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6/15/2017 1:58:13 AM

Lin ZD
Lin ZD
Posts: 38
Subject:
Thanks! It is great to use this media to teach about Asia and China. Students would enjoy the class, watching the film. I've also used Mulan film for a curriculum project.
edited by Lin ZD on 6/24/2017
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6/22/2017 7:28:01 PM

scoffey
scoffey
Posts: 46
Subject:
I love the idea of using this film to look at gender norms and stereotypes. I also really like the questions you pose. Thank you!
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6/23/2017 1:45:08 PM

ssaeed
ssaeed
Posts: 31
Subject:
I teach first grade and I think Mulan would be a great choice to show students the history and culture of China. I would add this to my curriculum project of an introduction lesson for East Asia. Your questions are spot on for raising discussion with young students.
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6/23/2017 2:19:28 PM

Lin ZD
Lin ZD
Posts: 38
Subject:
Thank you!
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6/23/2017 3:50:17 PM

ssaeed
ssaeed
Posts: 31
Subject:
just curious, do you guys recommend any other movies that would be good for younger students (1st grade). I was thinking Kung-Fu panda... Although I haven't seen it yet, it seems high interest, its popular, and I'm sure students can learn many things about ancient China from it.
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6/25/2017 2:17:06 PM

Lin ZD
Lin ZD
Posts: 38
Subject:
Kung-Fu Panda is a good animated film to entertain young students. They could certainly get to know some Asian and Chinese traditions from it, such as family values and martial arts.
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