Mulan Annotated 6 - Ok, We’re Really Setting Off This Time
I actually forgot to write about porridge, OMG, porridge, before the military training montage, so here you go.
Mushu, I’m pretty sure porridge did not look like that in ancient China. I know it’s the team putting little jokes in the movie, but porridge did not look like that.
Also, what did I say about chopsticks? Come on, Disney. Come on. You don’t actually eat porridge with chopsticks. you won’t be able to scoop the rice. You use a spoon to mix everything and slowly start eating from the top, because everything else below it is way too hot.
Now that’s more like it!
Y’all know that porridge or congee is made from boiled rice and millet, and it’s a pretty easy thing to make. It was said that the Emperor Huang Di was the first one to make porridge, but other Asian cultures have their own version of porridge, too, and have their own recipes.
Don’t really like it ‘cause it’s sick people food.
Strategising with maps is highly probable because Chinese people did start making maps and the earliest record of using them was in the Warring States period, but I am not sure if those little tokens to represent armies were used. If you watch any Chinese TV series or movie, they’re bound to appear.
As you can see, there are some gaps in my knowledge. Let me know if you have any info.
It’s highly unlikely that Chinese royalty would pose like this:
Only someone who has used a camera before would think of this, though I have to admit that the red stamp and the words do appear on some occasional portraits. The stamp is the seal of the artist. No idea what the word in the bottom right hand corner is doing. If you put it together with this character, 时, you’d get 准时 (zhǔnshí), which means punctual.
Also, more often than not, the background would have motifs that suggest what the person’s character was like. It looks more like this:
This is a portrait of the Daoguang Emperor in the Qing dynasty. There are some bamboo shoots in the background, which, according to this source,
“In traditional Chinese culture, bamboo is a symbol of … beauty. It represents the character of moral integrity, resistance, modesty and loyalty.”
It was definitely much more than aesthetics, for sure. Emperor’s portraits were always painted to show how wonderful or scholarly or learned they are, and reflected their own interests, too.
But I suppose that Chi Fu shaking hands with the Emperor was to show how much of a suck-up he is.
Nothing on this piece of paper makes sense, except for “Protect the South”, which I have boxed up. Come on, Disney.
It is quite interesting though, because it is somewhat correct. The nomadic tribes from the north have always wanted more land and resources that the south had, if history is anything to go by. The south of China had (and still has) fertile fields that consistently produced abundant yields, which were advantageous over the nomadic way of life. It was difficult to grow crops up north, but far better to herd livestock to more fertile ground instead of settling in one place.
Anyway, where did Mushu get that panda? From the bamboo grove that he and Mulan were in? WTH?
Obviously this is for laughs.
Ok, so this part is the montage where they sing about a girl worth fighting for, but it may as well be an advertisement for China and its awesome natural landscapes. I mean, look! This shot is beautiful…
but Gui Lin is more beautiful in real life:
Source here. I’m pretty sure there was some photoshop going on, for sure.
Also, how does Ling’s armour have room for saucy pictures of women? The caption doesn’t make sense? 箩想女郎 (luó xiǎng nǚ láng) if I am not wrong, although I may have misread.
Thanks lovely readers who pointed out it’s dream girl: 梦想女郎 (Mèng xiǎng nǚ láng).
Here’s also some information about um, well, sexy pics in ancient China. There are no images, but the content is NSFW.
Naughty, naughty Ling indeed.
Ah yes. China is famous for its rice terraces.
This is the Yuangyang rice terrace in Yunnan, the south of China.
You can literally go to China to look at rice terraces. More info here.
You can also look at China’s beautiful waterfalls here.
Such beauty. Much majestic. Very wow.
And yes, the soldiers’ armour was definitely based off the terracotta warriors in Xi’An, China. Here’s a pic for reference:
This bit resembles a few of the Buddhas who hang around certain parts of China. Let’s take a look:
Here’s one from the Yunguang Caves. Source here.
And here’s a more famous one:
The Leshan Buddha at Mount Emei. Source here.
But wait a minute! The monk’s hands are all wrong.
There are various hand gestures that one takes when meditating to improve certain aspecst of oneself. You can read a bout it here.