Inspired by a familiar Chinese folk tale, this $90 million animated Disney drama follows the adventures of a young woman in ancient China. Character animator Tony Bancroft and 17-year Disney veteran Barry Cook (Captain EO, Tron, Trail Mix-Up) formed the directing team with production design by Hans Bacher (Balto), and work on the film began 2 January 1995 under the working title The Legend of Mulan. While the merciless Shan-Yu (Miguel Ferrer) leads invading Huns over the Great Wall, young Mulan (Ming-Na Wen, with singing by Lea Salonga) sees a matchmaker about her matrimonial future. Mulan's views on accepted marriage traditions prompt the ballad, "Reflection," as she hopes for a recognition of her true self. To repel the Huns, a man from each family is required to join the Imperial Army. When Mulan's elderly father Fa Zhou (Soon-Tek Oh) volunteers, she objects. He warns, "I know my place. It is time you learned yours." Mulan, however, cuts her hair, dresses as a man, and is ready for military camp, prompting the concern of her First Ancestor (George Takei), who converts an inanimate incense burner into the 18-inch high comedic dragon Mushu (Eddie Murphy). With Mushu hidden in her clothing, she joins a group of raw recruits under the command of Captain Shang (B.D. Wong, singing by Donny Osmond). During an ambush by the Huns in a mountain pass, Mulan steps in to turn defeat into a victory. Mulan was the first Disney feature from the company's 200,000-square-foot Orlando facility (now known as Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida).
by Bhob Stewart synopsis