The film Mulan is about a young woman who leaves her home to join the imperial army in order to protect her father. She has a strong "chi" that makes her a great warrior. Throughout the film, Mulan focuses on bringing honor to her family, through her sacrifice of serving in the army, secretly as a woman. The story takes place along the silk road. Mulan's journey is one of courage, strength, and desire to please her family - to be "loyal, brave, and true." The film shows family traditions and respect for ancestors. Mulan is protected and guided by her ancestors.
The 2020 film differs from the 1998 film, in that it also depicts another "witch" woman who also has a strong chi, although she uses her chi for evil to fight with the "Rouran Army."
After further research, I found that the film is based off of a Chinese ballad of a young woman who also serves in the imperial army. After introducing topics of the silk road and empires of Japan, my students and I could read the ballad together and then watch the film. At the end of the unit, I could host a socratic seminar in which students discuss the historical accuracies and inaccuracies.