Mulan is a young woman who, following the custom of her people, is sent to a matchmaker for an arranged marriage, but is rejected as unworthy to marry for her clumsiness, which carries a scourge of dishonor on her family. Meanwhile, as the Huns invade China, her crippled father is drafted to fight the Huns. Mulan sneaks out of the house and disguises herself as a man to take the place of her father, and becomes a hero by helping defeat the Huns.
The central message in Mulan is filial piety, but with a feminist twist. The film frequently takes aim at the custom in her society that women are unfit to fight.