Long, long ago, in ancient China, a great emperor built a wall to keep out Mongolian invaders. As time passed, each new emperor added to the wall, until it stretched for many miles along China's northern border. For a long time there was tranquillity in the land, until Shan Yu become the Hun leader. He was bloodthirsty, ruthless, and unmerciful. The Emperor wisely stated, "Send your troops to protect my people. A single grain of rice can tip the scale," then the quickly added, "One man may be the difference between victory and defeat."
So the the emperor's aide, Chi Fu, delivered conscription notices through out all the provinces. He called out names in one village: "The Hiss family! The Yi family!" He paused, "The Fa family!" A gasp was heard. Fa Zhou was the only man of the Fa family. If he went to war, he would die. The wound in his leg prevented him from moving will the agility as he used to, but he was ready. Mulan, his seventeen year old daughter, rushed in front of her father, "Please sir. My father has already fought bravely..." But alas, she had shamed her family for the second time that day.
At dinner, after Mulan poured tea for her family, she slammed down her tea cup and shouted, "You shouldn't have to go! There are plenty of young men to fight for China!"
Her father, "It is an honor to protect my country and my family."
"So you'll DIE for honor?!"
"I will die, doing what's RIGHT!"
"But if you--"
"I know my place. It is time you learned yours!"
With those cruel words, Mulan fled out into the night, where, all alone, a steady stream of tears flowed from her eyes. Thunder disturbed her from her thoughts. She gazed at her parents window in time to her her mother turn away from her father. Suddenly, she knew what she must do.
A look of determination spread on her face. She would fight in her father's place! She knew the penalty if she was discovered-- DEATH! But she must do it to save her father's life.
She crept into her parent's room and exchanged her hair comb for the conscription notice. For a moment, she gazed tenderly at her father. Then she fled from the room. SWISH! Mulan took her father's sword from it's sheath. Hesitating, she sliced off her long, silky black hair. Thrust on her father's deep green tinted armor, and went out to the stables to get Khan, her beloved horse. She may never she her family again, but she must do this.
Mulan's grandmother was awakened by the Fa family ancestors. She told Mulan's parents, "Mulan is gone!"
Fa Zhou picked up the lotus blossom hair comb, "It can't be." He rushed outside, in hopes Mulan had not yet left. "Mulan!"
"You must go after her," Fa Li told him. "She could be killed!"
"If I reveal her, she will be."
Meanwhile, the first ancestor of the Fa family had awakened. He ordered Mushu, a tiny, yet feisty & comical dragon, to summon the rest of the Fa family ancestors. He had once been the guardian of the Fa family, now nothing more than a gong ringer. One messed up job, he thought. Just one. "One family reunion comin' right up." The ancestors squabbled amongst themselves about Mulan. Some ashamed & disgraced about her; others believing it was extraordinary that the girl was willing to give her life to save that of her fathers."Send a guardian to bring her back," one ancestor suggested."Yes, send the strongest."
"No, the swiftest!"
"Send the wisest!" still another ancestor exclaimed.
"We must send the most powerful of all," the first ancestor said calmly.
"Okay, okay. I'll go," said Mushu, posing.
The ancestors burst into laughter.
"You had your chance to protect the Fa family..."
"One chance! Is that too much to ask? Man!" They had him going out to wake up a some old stone dragon instead of him! He was real. "Here boy. Ya gotta go fetch Mulan!" there was no reply from the massive statue. Not even a movement. Annoyed, Mushu climbed up the front of the Great Stone Dragon. "Yo Stony, wake up!" Mushu shouted in his ear, & when he got no response, he banged on the great creature's ear. Big mistake! It broke off! "Uh oh..." The Great Stone Dragon crumbled to pieces before his feet. Now he was in for it!
"Great Stone Dragon! Have you awakened?" called the first ancestor.
Mushu did the only thing he could think of. He faked it.