Mulan is under pressure to bow down to the society’s norm of bringing honor to the father by finding a good match for a husband. In traditional China, that was the best way of a woman honoring her father.
She tries to fight within herself of what the society wants and what she is. She looks at herself in the mirror, the fantastic hairdo and makeup. She doesn’t see who Mulan is. She wants the accurate reflection of her and wonders why people can’t see that deep inside her.
She runs away to join the army; to support her ailing father in the forces. For her to get recruited, she had to disguise a man since women were not allowed to join the army. She manages to get in, but matching to the task of the training with other soldiers becomes tough.
She develops enough resilience to go through and gets to the battlefield to fight against the Huns. She saves General Shang in the battle. But upon her hospitalization due to the injuries she succumbed in the defense, her gender is revealed. The soldiers and the General turn against her.
Mulan learns of the Huns planned attack to kill the emperor of China. She intercepts them in time and confronts the leader of the Hun army. She fights and subdues him, and saves the Emperor from the looming death.
The emperor recognizes her efforts, and bows before her. Mulan goes back to her home and learns of the honor she had brought to her family. It’s a lesson of the power a woman has, and the opportunity she misses to demonstrate them due to some social practices communities hold on.