Is Disney’s ‘Mulan’ Based On a True Story?

There are a few reasons Disney has become so popular. Over the years the company has produced countless numbers of films for its viewers and audiences.

The Lion King and Aladdin are two of the many popular films Disney has created over the past few decades. More recently, Disney has been in the spotlight for movies like Frozen and Onward. However, Mulan is considered more of a classic when it comes to the Disney enterprise.

The fictional story has become quite the hit since the movie’s initial launch. Take a look back at the rich and interesting Disney film and find out if Mulan is actually based on a true story. 

What is Disney’s famous film ‘Mulan’ about? 

Ming-Na Wen on the red carpet
Ming-Na Wen | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

By now, many people are familiar with Disney’s beloved film Mulan. The popular movie Mulan tells the story of a young girl and her family who live in China. The film told a narrative unlike any other that Disney has taken on in the past. It instantly gained a tremendous amount of fans and viewers.

As soon as Mulan released it entrapped its audience and viewers almost immediately. The story took place at some point during the 15th century. Mulan was living a normal average life until the Hans attacked her home.

Each family of Mulan’s community is forced to send one man to help them defend an invasion. However, Mulan’s father recently suffered an injury and is not healthy or well-enough to survive. Mulan, at the young age of 16, makes the decision to disguise herself as a man and go in her father’s place. 

The famous and talented comedian and actor Eddie Murphy took on a voice role for the character Mushu. The Disney film captured Mulan’s brave journey of self-discovery and love. 

When did Disney release ‘Mulan’, and how popular did the movie become? 

In 1998 the animated action-packed film Mulan was officially released. The much-needed and appreciated addition of Mulan added even more diversity to the group of princesses that Disney had already established.

After the film premiered it produced around $300 million in revenue. It definitely was a monumental and landmark moment for Disney’s history. Like many of Disney’s films, the company decided to make a more modern-driven adaptation of the movie that released in 2020. 

Is Disney’s ‘Mulan’ based on a true story? 

There is some slight controversy on whether or not Mulan was based on a true story. Ultimately, the main character of the popular film is the result of inspiration from a folk story versus real-life history.

The origin of Mulan’s story can be traced back to between 368 and 557 AD. “The Ballad of Mulan” is the oldest version of Mulan’s story. The folksong eloquently revealed the structure and story that served as the foundation of the film.


Is Mulan a Princess? How Disney’s Live-Action Adaptation Could Change This Character

Unlike the movie, in “The Ballad of Mulan,” Mulan pretends to be her father for much, much longer. As legend has it, Mulan waited over a decade to reveal the surprising truth in the beautiful poem.

The legend and story of the folktale of Mulan are what served as the inspiration for the popular Disney film. Even though the film is not based on reality, it is an inspiring story nonetheless. 

Mulan premiered in 1998, and since then, the film has become very popular. The recent adaptation that Disney produced highlights and showcases the beauty and complexity of the story at its core. Even though the film is based upon fiction it is still an excellent and compelling story.