Analysis Of The Huns In Disney's Mulan

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From the very beggining the Huns in Disney 's Mulan are portrayed as evil incarnate. In the opening scenes, they are associated with an eerie atmosphere heightened by ominous sounds. The Huns do not appear immediately; they are introduced by suspense, preceeded by the appearance of a bird of prey. A Chinese soldier, standing guard on the Great Wall of China is not even attacked by the falcon, he is caught by its wing, almost as if the Huns were trying to warn their enemies of their arrival, showing that they do not fear the resistance. Fig. 1. “Hayabusa the Falcon.” Walt Disney Animation Studios, 1998. Author’s screenshot. The picture that is emerging is that of either incompetent Chinese soldiers or an unknown danger, sneaking around, undetectable even by trained eyes. As the bird is the first signal of an impending threat, the first climbing hook thrown over the wall is supposed to draw attention towards the place from where the enemy comes. The multitude of hooks that follows is just meant to build up the atmosphere and intimidate. For one moment they look like a swarm, ready to attack. It is clear now that the threat is extremely deadly, the Huns come out of nowhere, in the middle of the night. Fig. 2. “The first hook.” Walt Disney Animation Studios, 1998. Author’s screenshot. Fig. 3. “The swarm of hooks.” Walt Disney Animation Studios, 1998. Author’s screenshot. Their tactics are simultaneously aggressive and thought out. What is curious is that the Huns have not
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