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Mushu

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I am the guardian of lost souls! I am the powerful, the pleasurable, the indestructible Mushu!
―Mushu

Mushu is an anthropomorphic red dragon and the deuteragonist of Disney's 1998 animated feature film, Mulan. He is the titular character's closest companion, acting as her guardian and protector.

Background

Mushu was once a guardian spirit of the Fa family, but he had been demoted to the humiliating position of an incense burner and gong-ringer for the deceased Fa ancestors ever since he failed to protect a family member, a soldier named Fa Deng, resulting in the soldier's demise by decapitation (he's seen carrying his own head as a spirit). Mushu's reputation would suffer dearly from this, with the eldest ancestor refusing to even acknowledge Mushu as a "real dragon", evoking a bitter and eager-to-please side to his personality.

Development

At first, Mulan's companions were to be two reptilian creatures; the idea of the creatures being dragons had not been established. However, feeling that two sidekicks would overcrowd the story, the animators then decided on a two-headed dragon, though they were green and grotesque. After the animators decided on a single-headed dragon, they established Mushu's physical concept. For better use, the animators shrunk Mushu to a smaller size.

Around the time when the music of the film was to be created, the songwriters had written a piece for Mushu for him to sing to assure Mulan that he'll be there to help her. However, after Eddie Murphy came to voice the character, the character and his dynamic changed and the animators cancelled the piece, although it was a favorite among the filmmakers.

Personality

In contrast to Mulan, Mushu is in most situations more comical, overconfident, and impulsive. He strives to be one of the family guardians again and selfishly decides to convince Mulan to join the army to turn her into a war hero, believing this will get him back on the "top shelf." However, he comes to realize how selfish he has been, admitting to Mulan that he risked her life to further his own goals. He then intends to take her home to face the consequences of his actions, but when she insists on stopping the Huns, Mushu loyally follows her, showing that underneath, he has a good heart.

Mulan-disneyscreencaps.com-8938

Mushu and Cri-Kee.

He's also always paired with Cri-Kee, a supposedly lucky cricket originally belonging to Grandmother Fa. He serves as Mushu's polar opposite and sidekick. Together, the two are often at odds, with Cri-Kee, unlike Mushu, being incredibly selfless and cautious, whilst Mushu is often self-centered and impulsive. Even so, despite usually bickering whenever they're together, the two are apparently best friends deep down, and do appreciate each other, as well as save one another on various occasions, especially on Mushu's end, as Cri-Kee is usually too small to take care of himself.

Attributes

Mushu is based on a traditional Eastern dragon, which is radically different from Western dragons. Unlike their Western counterparts, Eastern dragons could control many elements and did not require wings to fly, and were portrayed as benevolent creatures, oftentimes respected as gods. Mushu's element however (presumably to reassure the viewers that he is a dragon) is fire. However, even the Great Ancestor himself does not consider Mushu to be a "real" dragon - he is very small, about the size of a lizard, and his fire-breathing ability is less than impressive, making him more useful as an emergency firelighter rather than as a weapon.

As a mythical creature, Mushu is very durable, to the point of being seemingly immortal. He endures being stomped on, explosions, and an avalanche in the first movie. He can also understand other animals, as seen when he converses with Cri-Kee, Mulan's lucky cricket, and her horse Khan. At one point, when he disguises himself as a soldier riding a horse but cannot find a horse, he finds and persuades a panda bear.

Mushu also claims that he has the ability to see straight through Mulan's armor (and presumably other things), but this is a one-off joke that is never brought up again.

Appearances

Mulan

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Mushu in Mulan.

At the start of the film, Mushu does not make his official appearance until after Mulan runs away from home to serve in her elderly father Fa Zhou's place in a war against the deadly Hun army. Knowing that Mulan's exposure will lead to the disgrace of the Fa family, the spirits of the ancestors choose to send the Great Stone Dragon to simply bring her back safely. For the task of awakening him, they send Mushu, who is offended when he is not asked to find her himself. In the past, his actions in protecting the Fa family led to disaster.

After several unsuccessful attempts at waking the Dragon, he ends up accidentally destroying the dragon statue. Cri-Kee suggests that Mushu bring Mulan back safe instead so that he won't be punished, but Mushu decides to make his own plan and sets out to make Mulan a war hero, selfishly endangering her life. He meets her in a bamboo thicket overlooking the army camp. He poses as her powerful guardian though she is mildly impressed because of his small stature.

They make their way for the camp where Mushu continuously gives Mulan (in the guise of Ping) advice on acting masculine. The advice eventually leads to a brawl which causes Mulan to become the most unpopular soldier at the camp. For the next couple of days, Mulan progresses along with the others in skills, but the Emperor's adviser Chi-Fu feels the troops are still unqualified for the war. To keep his plan intact, Mushu creates a phony message alerting Captain Li Shang and the troops to head to the front immediately.

Following a run-in with the Huns after he accidentally fired a cannon causing Li Shang and his troop's position to be given away to Shan Yu and the Huns, and Mulan being injured by Shan Yu, Mulan's secret is discovered, and she is left on a mountain summit as punishment. Mushu then takes the time to reveal the real reason he decided to help Mulan on her mission, but apologizes and promises to stay by her side no matter what. Just then, Mulan spots Shan Yu, the leader of the Huns, making way for the city. Mulan, Mushu, Cri-Kee and Khan make way to the city to warn Shang. At the Emperor's palace, Mulan battles Shan Yu and comes up with a plan. She leads him onto the roof, where Mushu fires a rocket at the villain. Shan Yu is then blasted to the New Year's fireworks tower, and is killed in the explosion. Mulan is deemed China's bravest warrior, and Mushu regains his job.

Mulan II

Mulan2 005

Mushu in Mulan II.

In the sequel, Mushu serves as the deuteragonist. When Mulan prepares to marry Li Shang, Mushu is at first overjoyed to the point of tears, going as far as planning the wedding himself. However, things change once the ancestors tell him that if Mulan marries Shang, his family's guardians will take over for her, thus making Mushu a homeless dragon. Desperate to keep his job, he continuously tries to break the two apart to keep his position.

After many failed attempts, he finally succeeds. However, Mushu begins to feel regret and eventually tells Mulan the truth, infuriating her for a time. Aside from this, Mulan and Shang were meant to escort three princesses to a kingdom for an arranged marriage with a childish prince. The princesses fall in love with Yao, Ling and Chien Po, with Mulan supporting it after Mushu's schemes. To prevent the princesses from marrying, Mulan agrees to marry the prince in their place.

To redeem himself, and rescue Mulan from her fate, Mushu poses himself as the worshiped Golden Dragon of Unity and forces the king to cancel the marriage, allowing Mulan and Shang to marry as planned, along with allowing the princesses to marry who they love. Back at home, Mushu prepares to leave his pedestal and return to gong duty, but Mulan and Shang arrive at the temple and merge the family temples, thus allowing Mushu to keep his job, which causes him to celebrate and also accidentally appear in front of Shang, who was explained by Mulan about Mushu.

House of Mouse

MushuHOM

Mushu in House of Mouse.

Mushu appears as a recurring guest in the animated series and is usually seen with Cri-Kee. Mushu is usually seen making a funny comment about a performance.

In "House of Genius", Mushu expressed his annoyance with Donald's voice and after the staff was replaced with robotic counterparts, he claims the Robo-Donald to be much better than the real Donald, but later came to dislike the robots along with the other guests. In "House of Scrooge", Scrooge McDuck showcased his Number One Dime to the guests, but Mushu was unimpressed and thought of it more as a bottle cap. In "Chip 'n' Dale", Mushu was the only guest to help Pete finally open his bag of nuts. In "Dining Goofy", Goofy mixed up Mushu's order and gave him ice water, resulting in Mushu losing his fire-breathing abilities. Later, when the computers took over Goofy's waiting duties, he and Cri-Kee were served spicy Kung Pao Chicken, which helped regain Mushu's fire-breathing abilities. In "Mickey and Minnie's Big Vacation", he blames Maleficent for setting the club on fire. In House of Turkey, he was part of the audience on stage giving thanks on Thanksgiving and when Cri-Kee made him thank the little people, Grumpy tells the dwarfs that they don't even know him. His "giving thanks" speech was reused in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, along with Cinderella's and Eeyore's speeches.

Once Upon a Time

In the ABC fantasy/drama, Mushu does not appear. However, the personality, costume design and red smoke power of The Dragon (portrayed by Tzi Ma) in Season 2, a Chinese Healer established in Hong Kong and killed by Tamara, is reminiscent of Mushu.

It's a Small World: The Animated Series

In the animated mini-series, Mushu makes a brief, non-speaking cameo in the episode "Just One Moon".

Video games

Kingdom Hearts series

Mushu kh

Mushu plays a recurring role in the franchise serving a unique role as a summon in Kingdom Hearts and Chain of Memories, where he can appear to Sora by a card or gem and aid him in battle. His world does not appear in Kingdom Hearts, due to its destruction. Fortunately, after the conclusion of the game, his world is restored, and he returns to it. Mushu resumes the events of his world in Kingdom Hearts II continuing with Mulan on her journey, although not as a summon. However, he has a larger involvement in his world's storyline as a reprisal of his role from the film.

Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion

Mushu is one of the many captive Disney characters in the game, trapped in the Wasteland by an evil witch known as Mizrabel, along with Mulan. After being rescued, the warrior asks Mickey Mouse to find Mushu, which he does in the Castle South Hall. After being rescued, he retires to the Fortress with the other rescued Disney characters until eventually returning back home to the world of iconic Disney characters.

Disney Parks

Mushu HKDL

Mushu posing for a photo at Hong Kong Disneyland

Mushu appears at the Disney theme parks around the world. He can usually be seen with Mulan.

Disneyland Resort

In Disney's It's a Small World, Mushu and Mulan appear in the Asia section of the ride. One can spot them in the kite-flying area.

Walt Disney World Resort

Mushu appears in the floating bubble montage in Disney's Hollywood Studios' version of Fantasmic!. He sometimes appears beside Stitch during the finale.

At Disney's Wide World of Sports, Mushu, Mulan and Shan Yu participate in the Martial Arts Festival.

Mushu also has a spell card known as "Mushu's Fiery Breath" in the attraction "Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom."

Disneyland Paris

In France, Mushu joins in Disney Stars 'n' Cars Parade alongside Mulan at Walt Disney Studios Park.

Shanghai Disneyland

In Shanghai, Mushu is one of the characters set to be part of Garden of the Twelve Friends, representing the Chinese Zodiac symbol of the Dragon. His likeness is also featured during the Mulan float in Mickey’s Storybook Express. In Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, a statue of Mushu is featured during Mulan's scene display.

Disney Cruise Line

On the Disney Fantasy show Wishes, Mushu is alluded to at the end of Mulan's segment in the form of a Chinese "Dragon Dance" costume.

Drawn to Animation

Mushu appeared in the Drawn to Animation presentation inside The Magic of Disney Animation at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Art of Disney Animation at Walt Disney Studios Park. In the show, Mushu and a Cast Member take the guests on a tour through Disney animation. During the course of the show, the animated background of Mushu is revealed. Mushu criticizes his former appearances and remembers his animators who he refers to as his friends.

Gallery

Wiki
The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Mushu.

Trivia

  • Eddie Murphy could not reprise his role as Mushu for Mulan II due to a clause in his contract for Shrek 2. Because of this, Mark Moseley replaced him. Coincidentally, Moseley has also filled in for Murphy by voicing Donkey in the Shrek video games.
  • Joe Pesci was originally cast as Mushu, but after a few voice tryouts, animators didn't think that he was right for the role.
  • In the Disney Princess franchise, Mushu is the only sidekick of a Disney Princess to have a more significant role than the love interest along with the Seven Dwarfs in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Jaq and Gus in Cinderella.
  • In deleted scenes for Mulan, Mushu had his own song called, "Keep 'em Guessing".
    • Coincidentally, "Keep 'em Guessing" was used as a song in, "Mulan Jr.", a musical version of the story written for school-aged kids to perform.
  • In House of Mouse, we learn that his favorite foods are Kung Pao chicken and fresh roasted nuts. Drinking iced water prohibits his ability to breathe fire for a little while.
  • Mushu is one of the several Disney characters to break the fourth wall, with others including Genie and Donald Duck. In Kingdom Hearts, Mushu pulls out a manga and realizes that he was cut from the first book, and in the film, when looking for Mulan during the avalanche sequence of the Tung Shao Pass, he sees some hair in the snow and, thinking it's Mulan, pulls out what is really a Hun, but quickly puts him back under the snow and sheepishly says, "Nope!" to the audience.
  • In the early concept of Mulan II, Mushu was originally going to have a love interest in the form of a female dragon that look almost identical to him. This dragon in question would've also presumably served as either Shang's confidant or family guardian.


v - e - d
Mulan Logo
Media

Films: Mulan | Mulan II | Live-action film
Television: House of Mouse | Once Upon a Time | Sofia the First
Video games: Mulan (video game) | Kingdom Hearts II
Books: Classic Storybook | Graphic Novel | Little Golden Book | Disney's Wonderful World of Reading
Music: Mulan (soundtrack) | Mulan II (soundtrack)

Disney Parks

Cinderella's Surprise Celebration | Disney's Wishes | Disney Animation Building | Disney in the Stars | Disney's Stars 'n' Cars... As Never Seen Before | Fantasy Gardens | Garden of the Twelve Friends | Ignite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light | It's a Small World | Mickey's Storybook Express | Mickey and the Magical Map | Mulan, La Légende | Mulan Parade | Plaza Inn | The Golden Mickeys | Voyage to the Crystal Grotto

Characters

Original: Fa Mulan | Mushu | Cri-Kee | Li Shang | Yao, Ling and Chien Po | Chi-Fu | Shan Yu | General Li | Fa Zhou | Fa Li | Grandmother Fa | Fa Family Ancestors | The Emperor of China | The Matchmaker | Little Brother | Khan | Shang's Horse | Hayabusa the Falcon | Elite Hun Soldiers | Hun Army | Shang's Troops
Sequel: Sha-Ron | Ting-Ting, Su and Mei | Lord Qin

Songs

Original: Honor to Us All | Reflection | I'll Make a Man Out of You | A Girl Worth Fighting For | True To Your Heart
Sequel: Lesson Number One | Like Other Girls | Here Beside Me
Deleted songs: Keep 'em Guessing

Locations

China | Imperial City | Fa Family home | Village

See Also

Disney Renaissance | Sword of Shan Yu


v - e - d
House of Mouse Disney
Media

House of Mouse | Mickey's Magical Christmas | Mickey's House of Villains

Characters

Main Characters: Mickey Mouse | Minnie Mouse | Donald Duck | Daisy Duck | Goofy | Pluto | Pete | Max Goof | Huey, Dewey and Louie | Clarabelle Cow | Horace Horsecollar | Gus Goose | Mortimer Mouse | Ludwig Von Drake | Mike the Microphone | Chip and Dale
Recurring Guests: Timon | Pumbaa | Jafar | Iago | Hades | Mushu | Cri-Kee | Ariel | Jiminy Cricket | Pinocchio | Belle | Beast | Lumière | Gaston | Dumbo | Timothy Q. Mouse | Mad Hatter | Shere Khan | The Three Little Pigs | Cruella De Vil | Grumpy | Magic Mirror | Aladdin | Jasmine | Cinderella

Episodes

Season One: "The Stolen Cartoons" | "Big Bad Wolf Daddy" | "The Three Caballeros" | "Goofy's Valentine Date" | "Unplugged Club" | "Timon and Pumbaa" | "Gone Goofy" | "Jiminy Cricket" | "Rent Day" | "Donald's Lamp Trade" | "Donald's Pumbaa Prank" | "Thanks to Minnie" | "Pluto Saves the Day"
Season Two: "Daisy's Debut" | "Goofy for a Day" | "Clarabelle's Big Secret" | "The Mouse Who Came to Dinner" | "Max's New Car" | "Not So Goofy" | "Everybody Loves Mickey" | "Max's Embarrassing Date" | "Where's Minnie?" | "Super Goof" | "King Larry Swings In" | "Ladies' Night" | "Dennis the Duck"
Season Three: "Suddenly Hades" | "Pete's One-Man Show" | "House of Crime" | "Mickey and Minnie's Big Vacation" | "Donald and the Aracuan Bird" | "Goofy's Menu Magic" | "Music Day" | "House of Scrooge" | "Donald Wants to Fly" | "Dining Goofy" | "Chip 'n' Dale" | "Humphrey in the House" | "Ask Von Drake" | "Salute to Sports" | "Pluto vs. Figaro" | "House of Magic" | "Mickey vs. Shelby" | "House of Turkey" | "Clarabelle's Christmas List" | "Pete's Christmas Caper" | "Snow Day" | "Pete's House of Villains" | "Halloween With Hades" | "House Ghosts" | "House of Genius" | "Mickey and the Culture Clash"

Songs

Rockin' at the House of Mouse | Mortimer Mouse | Soup or Salad, Fries or Biscuits, Extra Olives, Donuts | Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo | Big Bad Wolf Daddy | A Parrot's Life for Me | Let's Slay the Beast | The Ludwig Von Drake Song | It's Our House Now! | The Best Christmas of All | Grim Grinning Ghosts | Humphrey Hop | Everybody Wants to Be a Woof | I Wanna Be Like M-O-You | Pink Elephants on Parade | My Name is Panchito | Boom-Da-Boom | We Are the Three Caballeros | Me the Mouse (and I'm the Duck) (Reprise) | Daisy Crockett | The Daisy Duckie Room | Minnie Mouse (in the House)

Locations

House of Mouse (night club)

Objects

Maleficent's Staff | Poisoned Apple | Sorcerer Hat | Jafar's Snake Staff


v - e - dKingdom Hearts Series
Games

Kingdom Hearts + Final Mix | Chain of Memories | Re:Chain of Memories | Kingdom Hearts II + Final Mix | 358/2 Days | Birth by Sleep + Final Mix | coded | Re:coded | Dream Drop Distance | HD I.5 ReMIX | χ [chi] | HD II.5 ReMIX | Unchained χ | HD II.8 Final Chapter Prologue | Kingdom Hearts III

Incorporated Films and shorts

Alice in Wonderland | Aladdin/The Return of Jafar | Beauty and the Beast | Big Hero 6 | Cinderella | Fantasia | Hercules | The Hunchback of Notre Dame | Lilo & Stitch | The Lion King | The Little Mermaid | Mickey, Donald and Goofy: The Three Musketeers | Mulan | The Nightmare Before Christmas | Peter Pan | Pinocchio | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl | Sleeping Beauty | Steamboat Willie | Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs | Tangled | Tarzan | Tron/Tron: Legacy | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Characters

Main Characters: Sora | Riku | Kairi | King Mickey | Donald Duck | Goofy | Roxas | Aqua | Terra | Ventus
Villains: Master Xehanort | Ansem | Xemnas | Maleficent | Pete | Organization XIII | Vanitas | Xigbar/Braig | Xaldin | Vexen | Lexaeus | Zexion | Saïx/Isa | Demyx | Luxord | Marluxia | Larxene | Terra-Xehanort | Young Xehanort | Xehanort's Guardian
Other Characters: Jiminy Cricket | Naminé | Ansem the Wise/DiZ | Yen Sid | Xion | Axel/Lea | Master Eraqus | Dilan | Even | Aeleus | Ienzo | Lingering Will | Data Sora | Data Riku | Data Naminé | Data Roxas | Hayner | Pence | Olette | Riku-Ansem | Kairi's Grandma | Riku Replica | Anti-Saïx | Anti-Sora | Anti-Riku | Sora-Heartless | Jiminy's Journal
Original Monsters: Heartless | Nobodies | Unversed | Dream Eater
Disney Characters and Villains: Queen Minnie | Daisy Duck | Pluto | Tarzan | Winnie the Pooh | Aladdin | Genie | Tron | Magic Brooms | Peter Pan | Quasimodo | Judge Claude Frollo | Merlin | Tigger | Eeyore | Rabbit | Ariel | Mulan | Mushu | Jack Sparrow | Chernabog | Simba | Timon | Pumbaa | Nala | King Triton | Jafar | Alice | Cheshire Cat | Jack Skellington | Esmeralda | Phoebus | Beagle Boys | Scrooge McDuck | Huey, Dewey and Louie | Master Control Program | Sark | CLU | Rinzler | Beast | Stitch | Hercules | Tick-Tock the Crocodile | Snow White | Wendy | Ace "Chicken Little" Cluck | Rapunzel | Baymax
Square Enix Characters: Leon | Cloud | Moogle | Joshua | Others

Elements

Plot Elements: Universe of Kingdom Hearts | Kingdom Hearts | Heart | Keyblade War | Dark Seeker Saga | More
Game Elements: Gameplay in Kingdom Hearts | Magic

Objects

Sea-salt ice cream | Wayfinder | Door to Darkness | Keyblade | X-blade | Mickey's Letters | Thalassa Shell | Kingdom Hearts Encoder | Keychain | Gummi Blocks | Bug Blox | Black coat | Keyblade Armor

Locations

Land of Departure | Disney Castle | Disney Town | Timeless River | Datascape | Radiant Garden/Hollow Bastion | Keyblade Graveyard | Destiny Islands | Traverse Town | Dive to the Heart | End of the World | Realm of Darkness | Castle Oblivion | Twilight Town | The World That Never Was | Castle That Never Was | Deep Jungle | Agrabah | Olympus Coliseum/Underworld | Halloween Town | Neverland | Wonderland | Atlantica | Hundred Acre Wood | Beast's Castle | The Land of Dragons | Port Royal | Pride Lands | Space Paranoids | Castle of Dreams | Enchanted Dominion | Dwarf Woodlands | Deep Space | La Cité des Cloches | Prankster's Paradise | Country of the Musketeers | Symphony of Sorcery | The Grid | Kingdom of Corona | San Fransokyo

Organizations/Groups

Organization XIII | Princesses of Heart | Disney Villains Council

Music

Dearly Beloved | Simple and Clean | Sanctuary | Mickey Mouse Club March | Swim This Way | Part of Your World | Under the Sea | Ursula's Revenge | A New Day is Dawning | Destati | Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo | He's a Pirate | Beauty and the Beast | This is Halloween | It's a Small World | Night on Bald Mountain | Winnie the Pooh | The Sorcerer's Apprentice | The Pastoral Symphony

Soundtracks

Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts Final Mix - Additional Tracks | Kingdom Hearts II Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack Complete | Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack

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