Movie Parallels: Mulan (1998) and Moana (2016)

[LINK: I wrote a more detailed and arranged comparison list with some photos here.]

Mulan has always been my favorite Disney Princess and someone who I believe is more relate-able than all the existing Disney Princesses out there (in my case). After watching Moana in the cinema for the third time, I realized that I now have a new favorite Disney Princess. And upon looking closely at the two films, I found a lot of similarity between them.

Here they are:

The focus and the twist of story is NOT about true love.

Protagonist is shown trying to be helpful to everyone and is very logical/analytical of every situation.

It’s about a girl who wants to be the perfect daughter but eventually found herself better than what was expected of her.

Everything that they have done is all in their own will.


Dictation of their Tradition

Moana was not allowed to leave the island because her father (and maybe also their ancestors) believe that their island is all they need. Mulan, on the other hand, is told that she needs to find a husband and by doing so brings honor to their family.

Defiance of Tradition

Beautiful presentation of their ancestry and culture

Ancestors’ glowing blue ghost/spirit


Both of their parents are still alive

Supportive mother

Father holds their daughter back, if not at least they are driving reason why the she has to leave.


Left from home for what they believe is for the better, came back with something new for their family/village that made them all proud in the end.

The question of whether the female protagonist should be considered a “princess” or not.

According to the director of Mulan, she is technically a princess because of the medal given to her by the emperor made her an honorary member of the family. While in Moana, she herself refused to be called a princess but Maui pointed out that she since she is the daughter or the chief, wears a dress, and has an animal sidekick, she is technically a princess.


Grandma knows best and is crazy

Grandma is animal friendly

Both have trust in their animal friend. Gramma Tala’s dancing with the manta-rays and being one is definitely going down as iconic movie scenes. Granma Fa’s trust in cricket‘s luck is definitely a beautiful friendship.


Protagonist looking at their reflection in the water.

Both of the protagonist failures were very clear and it helped them grow.

The protagonist‘s struggles of learning was shown well and is vital to the story.


Guide’s/Sidekick’s beautiful relationship with the protagonist

Mushu and Maui have many similarities, including helping their respective protagonist learn new skills. Both are trying to redeem themselves

The contrast between the size of the Guide/Sidekick to the Protagonist is apparent.


Cute pet wasn’t the Animal Sidekick

Mulan’s dog called Little Brother was left behind, Moana’s pet pig Pua became afraid of sailing in the ocean and was also left behind.

Escaping using ropes as a zip line

Bang the drum.

SCREAMING CHICKEN/S

Listen carefully to the sound of Hei Hei the Rooster screaming if it sound so nostalgically familiar, it has to be because of  the chickens’ chase scene in Mulan.

Beautiful music about self discovery, tradition, and learning.

therock Been shooting #Jumanji for months now and I’ve been waiting patiently for this night to come… In the original movie, the world of #Jumanji came to us. Now 20yrs later in our continuation of the story, we go to the amazing and deadly world of #Jumanji.
For months we’ve shot everything.. all the comedy, all the jungle action and all the heart.
Finally, tonight - Saturday night - all night - I get to knuckle up with my stunt brothers and I get to beat some ass like a drum.
My stunt brother here @taitfletcher is going night night. And when he wakes up, I’ll be good as gone cause he can rearrange my face with one punch.
Let’s get it on boys and have some fun.
#OnSet #KnuckleUp #BeatingAssesLikeDrums #BeenWaitingForMonths #StuntBrotherLuv #Jumanji #Tonights4YouAlanParrish💫
therock After we feed her, Jasmine just loves looking at daddy’s tattoos. I think it helps her digest😂. Can’t wait to one day explain to her what all this means. Chat about her cultures (Samoan, Armenian, African American and Italian). And while these symbols may appear to be primitive, unsophisticated and crude - they’re extremely sacred, thousands of years old and very powerful. My mana (strength). Ironically enough the symbol she’s fixated on is our ATUA (our God) protected by the small building blocks of my life and then by shark teeth.

Yuuuuup, we gonna have some good daddy/daughter chats. Until then she’ll continue to use daddy’s tattoos as a place to scratch, drool and spit up
. #Tatua #PolyCulture #FaaSamoa #Respect #SpitUpOnDaddy #Yay
I probably shouldn’t say this but we both love the music of Taylor Swift or, as us real fans call her, ‘Tay Tay’. It doesn’t matter how bad LA traffic gets, if you’ve got “Shake It Off” blasting out the radio there ain’t nothing that is going to bring your mood down.
—  Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock on him and David Beckham being huge Taylor Swift fans. (x)