Mulan's family realize she is gone, they fear for her life, for
it is an act of treason for a woman to masquerade as a man in the
army, punishable by death. They pray to the ancestors to look
after her and bring her back.
The ancestors in the temple
awaken, including a tiny, loud-mouthed dragon named Mushu who was
demoted from being a guardian after a failed attempt to protect
one of the family. Accidentally, he destroys the statue of the
"real" dragon chosen to retrieve Mulan, and in an effort to avoid
getting in trouble and perhaps getting back his position as a
guardian, he goes after Mulan himself, along with Cri-Kee the
cricket, planning to make Mulan a war hero.
In the meantime, Mulan enters the
army camp, after a somewhat nerve-racking encounter with Mushu,
and after following his misled advice, ends up getting all of the
recruits including herself into trouble with their commanding
officer, Captain Li Shang.
Shang is a strong and determined
warrior, taking after his father, the general of the army. After
explaining his strategy to wait for the Huns in the Tung Xiao
pass, he leaves the task of training the new recruits to Shang, a
task which he finds more difficult than he imagined. Mulan, who
is now known as Ping, has the hardest time in training, and
finally Shang dismisses her, deeming her unfit to be in the army.
But Mulan regroups and shows that she *can* do it, by retrieving
Shang's arrow at the top of a pole. In time, she proves to be an
equally competent warrior as the rest of them.
The Hun army is moving quickly
through China, choosing to go through the Tung Xiao Pass as the
quickest route to the Emperor and the Imperial City. Meanwhile,
back at the camp, the Emperor's council does not believe Shang's
men competent for battle denies Captain Shang of allowing his
army to fight. Mushu, hearing this, takes matters into his own
hands and forges a message from the general, ordering Shang to
bring his army to the front lines.
On the way, the men dream of
women as they march to the pass, only to have a rude awakening as
they come across a burnt-out village. The search for survivors
yields only the discovery of more death and destruction: the
General's army. The Hun army has been here, and are no doubt
making their way to the Imperial City.
On their way through the pass,
Mushu accidentally sets off a canon, giving away the army's
position to the Huns, and a battle ensues. And just when Shang's
army thinks they have them beat, the Huns prove they are still
going strong as they swarm down the mountainside in an
earth-shattering stampede. With only one cannon left, Shang
orders it to be aimed at Shan-Yu, the vile leader of the Hun
army. But Mulan, thinking quick on her feet, grabs the cannon and
fires it at an overhanging mountain peak, causing a massive
avalanche that devours everything in its path. All congratulate
Mulan, including Shang who says he owes Ping (Mulan) his life.
The Imperial Army doesn't celebrate for long, for their savior
suddenly falls ill due to serious injury.
The army waits in anticipation,
hoping to hear news of their fallen soldier. To their surprise,
the news is not what they expected. Mulan's true identity is
discovered, and she is dragged out to be executed. But Shang lets
her go, muttering that his debt has been paid, and orders his
army to move out, leaving Mulan to return home on her
Crestfallen, Mulan reflects,
regretting that she ever decided to pull this off in the first
place. Another major failure as she sees it, and sadly says that
she'll never amount to anything. Mushu admits to her that he
wasn't sent by the ancestors and that he pushed her into all this
for himself. And as they prepare to return home, a sound catches
Mulan's attention. Lower on the mountain, Shan-Yu and some of his
army pull themselves out of the snow, and make their way down to
the city. Unable to leave without doing something to help, she
rides down to the celebrating city.
However, Shang, still bitter
about having been deceived, does not believe Mulan about the Huns
and pushes her aside as he and his men march to the palace to
receive their honors. But before the Emperor gets very far in his
speech, the Huns attack, kidnapping the Emperor and locking him
inside the palace. Mulan comes up with an idea to get inside and
deceive the guards. They are able to get the Emperor to safety,
but Mulan and Shang are left to face Shan-Yu, who, upon realizing
who Mulan is, goes after her. But Mulan is ready, and, with the
help of Mushu, successfully destroys Shan-Yu.
For the first time in her life,
Mulan knows the feeling of being looked up upon by others. The
Emperor thanks her for saving his life, and saving all of China.
He bows to her, as does Shang and his men, and soon all the
hundreds of thousands of people gathered at the palace bow down
in Mulan's honor. The Emperor invites her to be a member of his
council, but she declines, wishing only to go home. So instead,
the Emperor offers her his medal to give honor to the Fa family,
and Shan-Yu's sword to show to the world what she has
When Mulan returns to her village
and offers her father the gifts of honor given to her, she pushes
them aside and embraces his daughter, telling her that, "The
greatest gift and honor is having you for a daughter." A few
minutes later, Captain Shang arrives, returning Mulan's helmet.
She asks him to stay for dinner, and at the same time, Mushu is
granted the status of being a guardian once again.