Mulan vs. Kung Fu Panda: The Battle for Accurate Portrayal of Chinese Culture

Mulan vs. Kung Fu Panda: The Battle for Accurate Portrayal of Chinese Culture

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Ever since the establishment of cinema in the early 1900s, Hollywood has continuously recreated elements of history to reenact for its future generations. In order to clearly broadcast a specific theme or message to relay to viewers around the world, Hollywood executives tend to embellish real life events, in order to provide a “fairytale” aspect to a seemingly not so “happily- ever-after” story from history. As part of this “fairytale” aspect, Hollywood tends to delegitimize as well as provide a more disrespectful and more comical version of societies and cultures in the specific time frame that the film is being set. Through the art of story telling, the movies Mulan and Kung Fu Panda, depict the two sides of Hollywood, the falsifying and mockery making of Chinese people, their society, beliefs and true events of history and that of an accurate portrayal.
In Walt Disney Pictures’ Mulan, Disney attempts to retell the story of Chinese heroine, Hua Mulan, who is described in the Chinese poem, The Ballad of Mulan .The legend begins by telling the story an old man, who has no elder sons, who has been called up to fight in the Chinese army. Knowing that her father will likely face death, Mulan concedes to fight in his place and pretend to be a man, unbeknownest to her fellow soldiers. The movie builds off this premise as we are told the fictional account of Mulan’s life from before she took her father’s place to after.

Disney’s version of the story of Mulan, depicts Mulan as a young girl in what appears to be medieval China, who from the first scene until well into the second half of the film is shown studying and memorizing the rules by which she is expected to live. In the film as oppose to in the original story of Mulan, Mula...

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...isney does it again.’”. The Baltimore Sun. Published June 19, 1999. Accessed November 10, 2013.

Nancy Chen . “Panda Kung Fu’s His Way Around The World”. US China Today. Published June 20, 2008. Accessed November 10, 2013.

Maureen Fan. “‘Kung Fu Panda’ Hit’s A Sore Spot In China”. Washington Post. Published July 12, 2008. Accessed November 10, 2013.

Andrew Lam. “Chinese Culture and the Politics of “Kung Fu” Panda’”. One Vietnam. Published June 17, 2011. Accessed November 10, 2013.

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