Mulan Trade-marked: Representation, Globalization and the Unforbidden City

Abstract : This essay examines the 1998 Disney film Mulan. Did Disney in making this film wish primarily to please the Chinese authorities so as to tap into the vast potential of a market whose doors are now wide open via the WTO? Why did Disney choose this story of a dutiful daughter who secretly takes her father’s place in the imperial Chinese army so as to defend the state from invading foreigners? After all the story, until Disney had nuanced it, was not a typical Disney historico-mythic love story. The original Chinese tale, or ballad, which first circulated around fifteen hundred years ago and was retold in many forms (lyric, theatrical and narrative) over the subsequent centuries, stressed the lack of importance of gender as long as the task in hand was adequately done.
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Gregory B. Lee. Mulan Trade-marked: Representation, Globalization and the Unforbidden City. Gregory B. Lee. Modernités chinoises, AEC-UJM, pp.224-236, 2004, 2-9517463-2-6. ⟨hal-02182848⟩

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