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

You know what they say about a flower that blooms in adversity. Disney premiered its animated classic in 1998. Now, the studio is back with a new, live-action version, complete with hues of red and white and a few new characters appearing alongside Hua Mulan. (We’re looking at you, Chen Honghui.)

Still, some fans wonder if Mulan is actually a Disney princess. Could this live-action adaptation change her fate? Here’s what we know about this warrior and her upcoming film.

According to Disney’s merchandise, Mulan is a Princess

For marketing purposes, Mulan is 100% a Disney Princess. She appears alongside characters like Belle, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White in terms of her merchandise, which is available on shopdisney.com.

On another Disney website, fans can “visit their favorite princess,” and Mulan is there along with other powerful figures. Characters who are technically princesses are not listed on Disney’s princess website. That includes sister duo Anna and Elsa from Frozen and Frozen 2.

Some believe this could, again, be due to marketing and merchandising, being that characters from Frozen sell on a completely different scale from other Disney characters. (According to Vanity Fair, there was even a shortage of Frozen merchandise at the time of the movie’s release.)

According to her story, is Mulan a Disney princess?

Spoiler alert, Mulan doesn’t dream of marrying a handsome prince. In fact, Mulan defies a lot of gender stereotypes in her story, masquerading as a boy to join the army, protect her family, and ultimately save China.

Along the way, Mulan meets General Li Shang and falls head over heels. Even though in the second movie the two reconnect and confess their love, General Shang isn’t a prince. So, does that mean that Mulan isn’t a Disney princess after all?

Although there is no official response from Disney regarding this character, one Reddit user suggests, “The princesses to be featured in the line were chosen from classic Disney films. The characters were not chosen specifically for their royal titles, but rather for how well they fit into what Disney executives deemed ‘the Princess mythology.’ Mulan is an example of this concept; she has no familial ties to royalty but is still included in the character list.”

Director Niki Caro poses for the photocall of the film 'Mulan'
Director Niki Caro poses for the photocall of the film ‘Mulan’ | Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The live-action Mulan will have a different story from the animated classic

Hot off the heels of Disney’s live-action Aladdin, Mulan is the next Disney princess hitting the silver screen for a live-action remake. This movie follows the story of the original Chinese ballad more closely than the animated film, meaning that General Li Shang has been replaced by another warrior.

Not much is known about the new characters added to Mulan, and that includes her love interest. Still, some fans believe that Mulan’s fate could change in this upcoming film. Could Mulan ditch her love interest altogether? Will she become an actual princess in the Disney franchise? Viewers just have to wait until March to find out.

Mulan premieres in theaters on March 27, 2020.