Soon after Disney Pixar’s Brave released in 2012, people were all praise for it, few of them weren’t. But, a big question had arose. Was Merida a red-haired, pink-cheeked, royal princess version of Mulan, from Disney’s 1998 critically acclaimed smash-hit Mulan? Maybe, the answer is yes. The next question, who was better between the two of them? As a role model for little girls, and also as the lead characters in movies?
Why do you think Mulan was added to the official Disney Princess list, despite being royal neither by blood nor by marriage? The answer is simple. Disney was getting bad reviews, as people thought it was only introducing ‘dumb’ princesses like Snow White and Aurora.So, they needed a change, (Personally, I don’t think those princesses were really ‘dumb’. I mean Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first full-length animation movie in the world. How could Disney concentrate on making the princess brave, independent and fierce? Plus, the audience were different then. Remember, it’s 2014 now, and that was 1937. Nothing is perfect in the beginning, right?) So, getting back, Disney needed a change so they made Mulan and made her an official Disney Princess. But, Mulan is still the second most unpopular Disney Princess after Pocahontas. The reason is that more adults and older children watched Mulan, while Disney Princesses’ main customers are little girls. Then, Mulan the movie is hardly shown on Disney Channel and there is not a lot of merchandise of Mulan. But still, people do love her.
Mulan is a movie about a girl who disguises herself as a man and goes off to serve in the army in her father’s place. She loves her family better than anything else and wants to prove her mettle, and bring honour to her family.
Brave (2012) is the story of Merida, a princess who would rather ride on a horse and drink from the water-falls than be lady-like, have an arranged marriage and act as a princess. She wants to change her fate, er, change her mother Queen Elinor’s mind. She loves archery and is quite a tomboy, like Mulan.
Let’s see. Mulan is sent to the matchmaker and is supposed to have an arranged marriage. She fails to be dainty and demure, all right, but she tries her best because she knows that it would make her family happy. On the other hand, Merida doesn’t listen to her mother, is annoying and wants to change her own fate.
What Brave lacks is that the twist in the tale, which is the formation of Merida’s mother, Queen Elinor into a bear, doesn’t come until half the movie is over.
But, it’s true that Brave has more life-like situations. Merida is like a real teenager and the relationship she shares with her mother is like real. But, Brave came 14 years after Mulan was released, a really long time. Plus, everyone improves, and so did the movie. However, Mulan has got its own moral AND also the moral which Brave has. (Read: A girl can do anything, she doesn’t need to run after a man etc.) Merida doesn’t have a prince. Mulan does. But, Mulan doesn’t run after him, he comes to her. Shang comes to her at the end of the movie, and it isn’t a movie about love. So, why blame Mulan for having a prince? HE came after her, of course.
So, if you want to know who among Merida and Mulan is better, then Mulan hits the bull’s eye. Brave is also a great movie, but Mulan is better.
Overall, Mulan proves to be a better role model. The movie celebrates courage, honor and the importance of family.
Which of the two do you think is better? Let us know, in a comment below.