|“||I am the guardian of lost souls! I am the powerful, the pleasurable, the indestructible Mushu!||„|
|~ Mushu introducing himself|
|“||You the man! Well...sort of!||„|
|~ Mushu to Mulan|
Mushu is the deuteragonist of Disney's Mulan and the former main antagonist of its sequel.
He was the small red dragon to help Mulan. At first, Mulan's companions were to be two reptilian creatures; the idea of the creatures being dragons had not been established. However, feeling that two sidekicks would overcrowd the story, the animators then decided on a two-headed dragon, though they were green and grotesque. After the animators decided on a single-headed dragon, they established Mushu's physical concept. For better use, the animators shrunk Mushu to a smaller size.
He was voiced by Eddie Murphy, who later voiced Donkey in the Shrek films, who was voiced by Mark Moseley in the sequel and later appearances.
In contrast to Mulan, Mushu is in most situations more comical, overconfident, and impulsive. He strives to be one of the family guardians again and selfishly decides to convince Mulan to join the army to turn her into a war hero, believing this will get him back on the "top shelf." However, he comes to realize how selfish he has been, admitting to Mulan that he risked her life to further his own goals. He then intends to take her home to face the consequences of his actions, but when she insists on stopping the Huns, Mushu loyally follows her, showing that underneath, he has a good heart.
He's also always paired with Cri-Kee, a supposedly lucky cricket originally belonging to Grandmother Fa. He serves as Mushu's polar opposite and sidekick. Together, the two are often at odds, with Cri-Kee, unlike Mushu, being incredibly selfless and cautious, whilst Mushu is often self-centered and impulsive. Even so, despite usually bickering whenever they're together, the two are apparently best friends deep down, and do appreciate each other, as well as save one another on various occasions, especially on Mushu's end, as Cri-Kee is usually too small to take care of himself.
Mushy spends most of the first act as an incense burner in the Fa Family Temple. After Mulan runs away to join her father's place in the army, the Head Ancestor brings him to life. They order him to wake the Great Stone Dragon to protect Mulan. However, the plan failed. He is later seen before the training camp with Mulan. Mushu is later seen during Shang's song ("I'll make a Man Out of You"). During an event to fight Shan Yu's army, he is able to rescue Cri-Kee from the snow after the Huns are buried in the snow. During the battle with Shan Yu, he scares off the firework employees with Cri-Kee. He is able to launch a firework at Shan Yu. He later appears during China restored back at Mulan's home.
In this film, Mushu acts as the protagonist/main but semi antagonist, as the real antagonist is actually Lord Qin. He is seen with the ancestors in the beginning. When Mulan and Shang are getting married, the ancestors say that Mushu's job as a guardian will be lost. Mushu tries to stop them, but it almost did work. Mushu's antics were bad, but he later became good by becoming the Golden Dragon of Unity. He later rejoiced with the ancestors near the end of the film.
- Originally, Disney rejected the idea of having a dragon as Mulan's partner, but after learning that Chinese dragons could be many different sizes, the idea came back.
- Eddie Murphy could not reprise his role as Mushu for Mulan II due to a clause in his contract for Shrek 2. Because of this, Mark Moseley replaced him. Coincidentally, Moseley has also filled in for Murphy by voicing Donkey in the Shrek video games.
- Joe Pesci was originally cast as Mushu, but after a few voice tryouts, animators didn't think that he was right for the role. In addition to Pesci, Steve Martin, Sinbad, Chris Tucker, Chris Rock and Drew Carey were also considered for the role of Mushu.
- In the Disney Princess franchise, Mushu is the only sidekick of a Disney Princess to have a more significant role than the love interest along with the Seven Dwarfs in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Jaq and Gus in Cinderella.
- In deleted scenes for Mulan, Mushu had his own song called "Keep 'em Guessing".
- Coincidentally, "Keep 'em Guessing" was used as a song in Mulan Jr., a musical version of the story written for school-aged kids to perform.
- In House of Mouse, we learn that his favorite foods are Kung Pao chicken and fresh roasted nuts. Drinking iced water prohibits his ability to breathe fire for a little while.
- Mushu bears a resemblance to Melty from Lilo & Stitch: The Series in both appearance and color. However, unlike Melty, Mushu lacks wings and cannot fly.
- Throughout the movie, Mushu refers to Khan as a "cow," and yet only once, after the Hun archers attack the cart carrying cannons with fire arrows and destroy it, Mushu says to Mulan, "Oh, sure. Save the horse."
- Mushu is one of the several Disney characters to break the fourth wall, with others including Genie and Donald Duck. In Kingdom Hearts, Mushu produces his own copy of the original Kingdom Hearts manga, and is annoyed to discover that he doesn't appear. In the film, when looking for Mulan during the avalanche sequence of the Tong Shao Pass, he sees some hair in the snow and, thinking it's Mulan, pulls out what is really a Hun, then quickly puts him back under the snow and sheepishly exclaims, "Nope!" to the audience.
- In the early concept of Mulan II, Mushu was originally going to have a love interest in the form of a female dragon that looked almost identical to him. This dragon in question would have also presumably served as either Shang's confidant or family guardian.
- When viewers read a fun fact about Mushu in the Disney Junior Encyclopedia of Animated Characters book, it says that he seems to be the only one who understands Cri-Kee's speech and often translates the little cricket's chirping.
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