One of my favorite classes of the semester entailed a final project utilizing a literary critique method of analysis of the film Mulan II. The class itself was very illuminating as is covered topics such as critical race theory and feminism. I was excited to qualify watching a Disney movie as being productive for once. When dissecting this childhood Disney film, however, I uncovered many horrifying trends of orientalism and complete disregard of Chinese culture.
After getting to truly experience Chinese culture having spent a good portion of last semester composing jueju alongside my OU Cousin match, Chinese native Yifei Cui, I was horrified to calculate the number of instances that Disney favored Western consumerism over a more accurate portrayal of Chinese beliefs and perspectives. Instead of shedding light on a different way of life that favors a collective good and self sacrifice, Disney portrayed arranged marriages, that of which statistically half the world partakes in, as egregious and counterintuitive. Chinese religious beliefs were highlighted only so far as to diminish their effectiveness and poke fun at a people who would place their faith in a stone figure or the universe. The further the movie progresses, the less Disney attempts to hid the fact that the Chinese element of this film is merely a ploy to sell scenic backgrounds and asiatic merchandise.
I am wary now of reviewing any of my favorite childhood films that feature any form of cultural diversity because accuracy is often sacrificed for aestheticism and commercialism.