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A single grain of rice can tip the scale. One man may be the difference between victory and defeat.
―The Emperor to General Li[src]

The Emperor of China (中國皇帝 / 皇上) is a supporting character in Disney's 1998 animated feature film, Mulan. He is a wise and benevolent man who rules all of China.

Background

Personality

The prominent aspect of the Emperor is his vast amount of knowledge and justice; the Emperor is one of the most judicious characters in the series. Contrary to his exterior, the Emperor is frank about certain topics, as seen in telling Shang that his [Shang's] tactics of winning Mulan over are wrong. It is implied that he actually dislikes his consul Chi-Fu when he states that Mulan could have the misogynistic consul's own job. Though he is aware of the strict rules that surround a woman's involvement in the army, he is one of the first to recognize Mulan for her bravery. This shows that, regardless of what the rules may outline, he still knows when to give credit when credit is due, making him a fair and reasonable man. He also cares for his subjects in a similar manner to a father, as evidenced by his addressing his subjects as being his "children" during the ceremony where Shan Yu was presumed killed. He is also fearless, even when facing death, as despite being threatened with death by Shan Yu unless he surrendered, the Emperor calmly refused to submit, comparing the action to a mountain refusing to bend in the wind. He also was shown to put his own people's protection above his own, as he stated that the Chinese Army should fend off the Huns instead of increasing security at the Forbidden City. He is also shown to take the threat of an invading enemy seriously instead of underestimating them, which is made especially apparent with his reaction upon learning that not only were the Huns invading China, but the leader of the invasion was Shan Yu.

Physical appearance

The Emperor is an old, thin man with a long white beard and mustache. His eyes are black and his eyebrows are white and bushy. His hair is also white, though most of it is tucked into the hat or crown that he wears often. His hat is rectangular with a red base with a sky blue oval in its center, a yellow upper half, and a thin, rectangular, black strip of stiff cloth on the top. His earlobes are slightly elongated.

The Emperor dresses in elegant robes with black cuffs and furisode-esque sleeves and a wide, black obi-like sash. His upper robes are mostly yellow on both the inside and the outside, though the outside of his high collar is black. There is also a black and red crisscrossing pattern going over each of his shoulders. His lower robes are mostly brown, though they are tan at the base. A magenta "outline" of rectangular cloth is present over the front of the lower robes.

Appearances

Mulan

The Emperor appears near the beginning of the film and is seen holding a meeting with his generals. General Li reports that the Huns have invaded China. Though his consul, Chi-Fu, doubts that the Huns could get past the Great Wall, the Emperor takes the threat seriously, especially when he learns that they are being led by the warlord Shan Yu. The General offers to set up troops around the city to protect the Emperor, but the Emperor orders the General to protect the people instead. Not taking any chances, the Emperor also orders Chi-Fu to distribute conscription notices to every family in China, which would require one man from each family to serve in the army. As General Li prepares to leave, the emperor reminds him that one man can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

Towards the end of the movie, the Emperor is captured by Shan Yu, as part of an ambush. Shan Yu attempts to force the Emperor to bow to him at the point of a sword, but the Emperor refuses to kowtow to the barbarian's threats. Meanwhile, Mulan and Shang undertake a rescue mission to save him while Yao, Ling, and Chien Po disguise themselves as concubines. The three trick Shan Yu's henchmen, lulling them into dropping their guard. The Emperor is then able to escape to safety with Chien Po. After Shan Yu has been terminated, with considerable damage to the palace in the process, the Emperor walks down the stairs as Shang is about to pummel Chi-Fu, the smoke behind him clearing as though even it respects him and criticizes Mulan for impersonating a soldier, and quite a few other things including the damage to his palace. Nevertheless, he thanks her for saving the country. He bows to her as a way of showing her honor, with the rest of the crowd following suit. The Emperor first offers Mulan a position on his council, and then Chi-Fu's position upon hearing that there are no council positions open (though it's highly likely that Chi Fu was lying). Mulan politely declines the offer, explaining that she'd much rather go back home to her family. The Emperor accepts this, and in gratitude, he gives her the crest around his neck and the sword of Shan Yu as gifts to take home; he is initially stunned when she hugs him, but quickly shows warmth at it.

After she leaves, he subtly encourages Shang to follow her before putting his hat back on and striding off, presumably to see to the restoration of his palace.

Mulan II

Mulan2 167

The Emperor in Mulan II.

When the Mongols are threatening China, the Emperor arranges for an alliance with the neighboring kingdom of Qui-Gong. In order to solidify the alliance, the Emperor orders Mulan and Shang to escort three princesses to Qui-Gong. There, the princesses, his daughters, would be betrothed to the sons of Lord Chin, who adore the girls only for their good looks (similar to Gaston and his attraction to Belle). However, the Emperor warns Mulan and Shang that if the task is not completed within three days, the alliance would crumble and the Mongols would certainly destroy China. After seeing Mulan and company off, the Emperor does not appear for the rest of the film.

Mulan (2020)

The Emperor will appear in the upcoming remake, portrayed by Jet Li.

Other appearances

In House of Mouse, the Emperor only appears in "Mickey and Minnie's Big Vacation", where he is seen in the background sitting at a table with Simba.

Video games

Kingdom Hearts II

The Emperor is the ruler of The Land of Dragons in Kingdom Hearts II.

In the second visit, the Emperor was encountered by Riku, in his Organization attire, whilst his country was under attack by the Storm Rider and an Organization member, Xigbar. Though it was assumed to be an attack, Riku's visit was to inform the Emperor of the dangers and assured that Sora, Donald, and Goofy would take care of things. In the end, following China's safety, the Emperor requested that Mulan served as his protector, besides Shang.

Trivia

  • The Emperor offering Mulan Chi-Fu's job in his court was a reference to the real-world inspiration for The Ballad of Mulan during the Sui Dynasty: Specifically, the Emperor, upon discovering that a woman was impersonating a soldier, was impressed when he learned that she did it out of devotion to her father that he exempted her father from service and then nominated her to his court. Unlike in either the Disney version or the original ballad, however, this woman didn't go to war, hence why she wasn't executed.
  • Though the Emperor doesn't appear on Once Upon a Time, Mulan mentions him when telling her military past to Belle.

Gallery

References

  1. "Disney's Live-Action Mulan Lands Gong Li, Jet Li (Exclusive)". Hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved on April 12, 2018.


v - e - d
Mulan Logo
Media
Films: MulanMulan IIMulan (2020 film)Video

Video games: Animated StoryBook: MulanKingdom Hearts IIDisney Emoji BlitzDisney Crossy RoadDisney Magic Kingdoms
Books: Classic StorybookGraphic NovelLittle Golden BookDisney's Wonderful World of ReadingThe Art of Mulan
Music: Mulan (soundtrack)Mulan II (soundtrack)

Disney Parks
Disney Animation BuildingFantasy GardensGarden of the Twelve FriendsIt's a Small WorldVoyage to the Crystal Grotto

Entertainment: Cinderella's Surprise CelebrationDisney's WishesMickey and the Magical MapMulan, La LégendeRoyal Princess Music CelebrationThe Golden Mickeys
Restaurants: Plaza Inn
Parade: Mickey's New Year's Eve ParadeMickey's Rainy Day ExpressMickey's Storybook ExpressMickey's WaterWorksMulan ParadeMulan's Lunar New Year Procession
Firework: Disney in the StarsHappily Ever AfterHurry Home: Lunar New Year CelebrationIgnite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light
Halloween: The Disney Villains Halloween Showtime

Characters
Original: Fa MulanMushuCri-Kee Li ShangYao, Ling, and Chien PoChi-FuShan YuGeneral LiFa ZhouFa LiGrandmother FaFa Family AncestorsThe Emperor of ChinaThe MatchmakerLittle BrotherKhanShang's HorseHayabusa the FalconElite Hun SoldiersHun ArmyShang's Troops

Sequel: Sha-RonTing-Ting, Su, and MeiLord QinPrince Jeeki

Songs
Original: Honor to Us AllReflectionI'll Make a Man Out of YouA Girl Worth Fighting ForTrue To Your Heart

Sequel: Lesson Number OneLike Other GirlsHere Beside Me
Deleted songs: Keep 'em Guessing

Locations
ChinaImperial CityFa Family homeVillage
Objects
Great Stone DragonMulan's Hair PieceSword of Shan YuMulan and Shang's NecklacesGolden Dragon of Unity
See Also
Disney RenaissanceSword of Shan YuGreat Stone DragonGolden Dragon of UnityMulan's Hair Piece


v - e - d
Kingdom Hearts utilized logo
Games
Main series: Kingdom HeartsChain of MemoriesKingdom Hearts II358/2 DaysBirth by SleepcodedDream Drop Distanceχ [chi]Kingdom Hearts III
Remakes and others: Final MixRe:Chain of MemoriesII: Final MixBbS: Final MixRe:codedHD I.5 ReMIXHD II.5 ReMIXHD II.8 Final Chapter PrologueHD I.5+II.5 ReMIXUnchained χ/Union χ [cross]
Disney Parks
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Incorporated Films and Shorts
Aladdin/The Return of JafarAlice in WonderlandBeauty and the BeastBig Hero 6CinderellaFantasiaFrozenHerculesThe Hunchback of Notre DameLilo & StitchThe Lion KingThe Little MermaidMickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three MusketeersMonsters, Inc.MulanThe Nightmare Before ChristmasPeter PanPinocchioPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl/Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's EndSleeping BeautySnow White and the Seven DwarfsSteamboat WillieTangledTarzanToy StoryTron/Tron: LegacyThe Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh/Pooh's Heffalump Movie
Characters
Main Characters: SoraRikuKairiKing MickeyDonald DuckGoofyRoxasAxel/LeaNaminéXionAquaTerraVentus

Villains: XehanortAnsemXemnasMaleficentPeteVanitasXigbar/BraigXaldinVexenLexaeusZexionSaïx/IsaDemyxLuxordMarluxiaLarxeneTerra-XehanortYoung XehanortXehanort's Guardian
Other Characters: Jiminy CricketAnsem the Wise/DiZYen SidMaster EraqusDilanEvenAeleusIenzoLingering WillHaynerPenceOletteKairi's GrandmaRiku ReplicaJiminy's JournalForetellersMaster of MastersLuxuEphemerSkuldChirithy
Original Monsters: HeartlessNobodiesUnversedDream Eater
Disney Characters and Villains: Queen MinnieDaisy DuckPlutoChip and DaleScrooge McDuckHuey, Dewey, and LouieHorace HorsecollarClarabelle CowClara CluckMerlinAliceWhite RabbitDoorknobCheshire CatQueen of HeartsCard SoldiersMad HatterMarch HareTarzanJane PorterClaytonTerkKerchakKalaSaborHerculesPhiloctetesPegasusMegaraHadesPain and PanicCerberusTitansHydraZeusAladdinAbuJasmineGenieCarpetJafarIagoPeddlerSultanRazoulRoyal GuardsCave of WondersArielFlounderSebastianUrsulaKing TritonPrince EricFlotsam and JetsamAttinaAndrinaGlutPinocchioGeppettoBlue FairyMonstroCleoJack SkellingtonZeroSallyOogie BoogieLock, Shock, and BarrelDr. FinkelsteinMayor of Halloween TownSanta ClausSkeletal ReindeerPeter PanTinker BellCaptain HookMr. SmeeWendyLost BoysCrocodileMagic BroomsChernabogChernabog's MinionsWinnie the PoohTiggerPigletEeyoreRabbitOwlKangaRooGopherLumpyPongoPerditaDalmatian PuppiesDumboBambiMulanMushuLi ShangShan YuHayabusaYao, Ling, and Chien PoThe EmperorBelleBeastLumiereCogsworthMrs PottsChipWardrobeMauriceGastonJack SparrowElizabeth SwannWill TurnerCaptain BarbossaGibbsTia DalmaDavy JonesKrakenJacobyCursed CrewSimbaTimonPumbaaNalaRafikiScarShenzi, Banzai, and EdMufasaKiaraPridelandersHyenasTronMaster Control ProgramCommander SarkChicken LittleFlora, Fauna, and MerryweatherAuroraPrince PhillipMaleficent's RavenMaleficent's GoonsSamsonSnow WhiteDocGrumpyHappySleepyBashfulSneezyDopeyThe PrinceEvil QueenMagic MirrorCinderellaPrince CharmingFairy GodmotherJaqLady TremaineAnastasiaDrizellaLuciferGrand DukeStitchGrand CouncilwomanCaptain GantuJumbaExperiment 221QuasimodoEsmeraldaPhoebusJudge Claude FrolloVictor, Hugo, and LaverneKevin FlynnSam FlynnQuorraCLURinzlerBlack GuardsBeagle BoysJuliusWoodyBuzz LightyearRexHammSargeGreen Army MenLittle Green MenSulleyMike WazowskiBooRandall BoggsRapunzelFlynn RiderPascalMaximusMother GothelWreck-It RalphAnnaElsaKristoffOlafSvenMarshmallowRemyHiro HamadaBaymaxGo Go TomagoHoney LemonWasabiFred
Square Enix Characters: LeonCloudMoogleOthers

Elements
Plot Elements: Kingdom HeartsHeartKeyblade WarDark Seeker SagaMore

Game Elements: Gameplay in Kingdom HeartsMagic

Objects
Sea-salt ice creamWayfinderDoor to DarknessKeybladeX-bladeMore
Locations
Original Worlds: Destiny IslandsTraverse TownRadiant Garden/Hollow BastionDisney Castle/Disney Town/Timeless RiverDive to the HeartEnd of the WorldRealm of DarknessCastle OblivionTwilight Town/Mysterious TowerThe World That Never WasCastle That Never WasLand of DepartureKeyblade Graveyard • Daybreak Town

Disney Worlds: WonderlandDeep JungleOlympus Coliseum/Underworld/OlympusAgrabahAtlanticaHalloween Town/Christmas TownNeverlandHundred Acre WoodThe Land of DragonsBeast's CastlePort Royal/The CaribbeanPride LandsSpace Paranoids • Enchanted Dominion • Dwarf WoodlandsCastle of DreamsDeep SpaceLa Cité des ClochesThe GridPrankster's ParadiseCountry of the MusketeersKingdom of CoronaToy BoxMonstropolisArendelleSan Fransokyo

Organizations/Groups
Organization XIIIPrincesses of HeartDisney Villains Council
Songs
Dearly BelovedSimple and CleanSanctuaryDon't Think TwiceMickey Mouse Club MarchSwim This WayPart of Your WorldUnder the SeaUrsula's RevengeA New Day is DawningDestatiThis is HalloweenHe's a PirateBeauty and the BeastBibbidi-Bobbidi-BooIt's a Small WorldNight on Bald MountainWinnie the PoohThe Sorcerer's ApprenticeThe Pastoral SymphonyNutcracker SuiteYou've Got a Friend in MeYo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)
Soundtracks
Kingdom Hearts Original SoundtrackKingdom Hearts II Original SoundtrackKingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack CompleteKingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original SoundtrackKingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance Original SoundtrackKingdom Hearts HD I.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack Kingdom Hearts HD II.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack