Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Character Archetypes: Mulan

Theatrical Poster
    For examination into character archetypes in the Hero's Journey, I examined the archetypes present in the 1998 Disney film Mulan. A story of a woman who disguises herself as a man to take her ailing father's place when the emperor of China calls for a draft to defend the kingdom from terrifying invaders. Most of the archetypes are there, some twists and like Kingdom of Heaven it appears to have more than one mentor figure who teaches Mulan.

    It felt somewhat appropriate given that my character project is set within ancient China. I felt that at least some of it could have helped inspire me into making a more solid image for the game and the setting. Conveniently this film contained the lion mythology; both of the stone statue variety and the costume commonly seen during a New Year festival parade.
  • The Hero: Fa Mulan herself. She is undertaking the hero's journey.
  • The Shadow: Shan Yu, the Hunnic general. While Mulan heads to war to retain her family's offer, he goes to war for conquest and to show strength. Going as far as (according to what he told two Chinese scouts) to consider the Great Wall as the Emperor issuing him a personal challenge.
  • The Mentor: Mulan's father, Fa Zhou, fulfills the role of the wise old man who has been a soldier and fought for his country before while Li Shang acts as a more active mentor who trans Mulan to be a soldier.
  • The Threshold Guardian: In order for her plan to work, Mulan has to pass herself off as a man, which nets her in trouble as she causes a fight on her first day.
  • The Herald: The emperor's consul, who issues out the draft decrees, including the one for Fa Zhou.
  • The Shapeshifter: The consul. While loyal to China and the emperor he spends much of the time at the training camp intent on making captain Li Shang to sound like a disgrace of a captain.
  • The Trickster: While Mushu the dragon does have moments where he appears to enjoy himself, it pales in comparison to Cri-Kee who strongly lives in the moment.
  • Allies: Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po. Three good friends with each other who come to see Mulan (as Ping) as one of the group.
The Jungian Archetypes
  • The Child: Mushu. He starts off in a rather low position within the family shrine. Nervous at times and panicking whenever Mulan is in genuine danger, he does what he does to impress his elders.
  • The Maiden: Mulan herself. She at first didn't think she'd see a soldier's life, as she starts off learning how to be a lady and is upset when she messes things up with a matchmaker.
  • The Mother: Mulan's mother and grandmother are very caring of her, and when she disgraces herself with a matchmaker the two of them try to comfort her
  • The Father: Li Sheng. As the commanding officer he is a clear authority figure that Mulan works to gain the respect for. When he does discover her secret right after she saved his life, he is respectful enough of her to discharge her rather than execute her as the law commands.

Image References

No comments:

Post a Comment