- "I'll die doing what is right."
- ―Fa Zhou
Fa Zhou is the father of Mulan. His other known family members include Fa Li (his wife), and Grandmother Fa. He was a war hero of a previous, unnamed conflict, and was known to the extent that Shang mentioned his name with awe when it appeared on Fa family's conscription notice. At the time of the film, he is at least middle-aged, and limps using a crutch due to a leg injury sustained from that war. He is shown as being fairly traditional, putting family honor before many other things, including his own health, which strains his relationship with Mulan at first. Despite this, he is shown to be understanding, as he comforts Mulan after her failed meeting with the Matchmaker by comparing her beauty to a late blossom on the family's trees. After that, however, he cruelly says to Mulan that she "dishonored" him when she was trying to help him.
Fa Zhou is shown praying that his ancestors will aid Mulan during her trip to see the Matchmaker. When Mulan fails, he is saddened, but comforts her while sitting underneath a cherry blossom tree, by drawing a comparison between Mulan and a late bloom on the tree.
When Chi Fu, the emperor's consul, arrives to distribute conscription notices, Fa Zhou, as the only man in the family, puts aside his crutch and walks to accept the scroll. Out of stubborn pride, he doesn't take up the crutch again, and attempts to practice with his old sword in preparation for war. However, it quickly becomes apparent that he will die if he goes, due to his age and injuries. Having seen him practice, Mulan argues with him, stating it is unfair that he has to die for honor. Fa Zhou angrily yells at her that Mulan needs to learn her place, as he learned his.
When Mulan steals both the conscription notice and his armor to join the army in his place, Fa Zhou attempts to call to her, but he collapses as he runs. Fa Li asks him to go after Mulan, as she could be killed in the war. He sadly notes that if Mulan is revealed as a woman, she would be killed, as Chinese law states that women are forbidden to serve in the army.
Fa Zhou does not appear again until the end of the film. He is seen sitting under the cherry blossom tree, when Mulan returns home after the war. Mulan presents him with Shan Yu's sword and the emperor's crest, as both an apology and a gift to honor the family. Fa Zhou shocks Mulan when he sets them aside, proclaiming Mulan to be his greatest gift and honor. He speaks briefly with Shang, when the captain attempts to see Mulan under the guise of returning a helmet. With Fa Zhou's approval, Mulan invites Shang to dinner.
Fa Zhou reappears in this film, but plays a minor role. When Mulan and Shang are called to perform a task for the Emperor, he advises them that they must work together like sun and rain.
Fa Zhou makes a few cameos in House of Mouse.
Though he does not appear physically, Fa Zhou is mentioned more than once by Mulan.
Mulan | Soundtrack | Mulan II | House of Mouse | Kingdom Hearts II
Characters: Fa Mulan | Mushu | Cri-Kee | Li Shang | Yao, Ling and Chien Po | Chi-Fu | General Li | Shan Yu | Fa Zhou | Fa Li | Grandmother Fa | Fa Family Ancestors | The Matchmaker | The Emperor of China | Sha-Ron | Ting-Ting, Su and Mei | Khan | Little Brother | Hayabusa the Falcon