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I got bored so I decided to create another formality post of another auto-approved villain.

The Work

Mulan is a 1998 Renaissance Disney film, based on the ancient Chinese folktale Ballad of Mulan. It tells the story of the eponymous protagonist Fa Mulan, who disguises herself as a man and serves in the army in place of her senile father. The Chinese army is fending off a Hun invasion, and our candidate today is the leader of the Huns, Shan Yu.

The Candidate

Note: This synopsis is taken directly from the Pure Evil Wiki, which was written by me.

Shan Yu is the powerful and megalomaniac leader of the Xiongnu Hun army, who seek to invade and rule all of China. Along with having formidable strength and stamina, Shan Yu has a massive army and a pet saker falcon named Hayabusa. At the beginning of the film, he and his army ascend the Great Wall of China, where his presence is heeded and the Emperor is notified, much to his delight.

After obliterating a village and its inhabitants, Shan Yu and his army find and hold hostage two of the Emperor's messengers. Despite the messenger's warnings, Shan Yu ignores them and bellows to them to apprise the Emperor to send his most powerful and preeminent armies. As the messengers leave, Shan Yu realizes that only one of them needs to make it back to tell the Emperor, and has his archer shoot the other down.

As Shan Yu and his Hun army proceed further toward the Emperor, he receives a doll brought by his falcon from a village in the mountain pass. Shan Yu infers that the Emperor's armies are waiting and anticipating their presence, after taking a whiff of the doll. Shan Yu asserts that they will fight the armies directly (as it will be quicker to advance straight through the pass), despite one of his archers proposing that they circumvent the armies by taking a detour. Offscreen, he and his army successfully quell General Li's army, and proceeded to completely destroy the village, sparing none of its inhabitants (which included children).

After Fa Mulan (disguised as a male), Li Shang, and their army discover to their horror that General Li (Li Shang's father), his army, and the village inhabitants had been all but slain, they also continue trekking through the mountainside. However, Shan Yu's army locates and surprises them after Mushu inadvertently lights a cannon, revealing their location. As the Huns advance closer to Li Shang's army, a shrewd Mulan comes up with the idea of aiming the cannon at a mountain to cause an avalanche. This plan proves successful, and the ensuing avalanches bury the entire army. Li Shang's army comes out victorious, and they triumphantly forge along the last stretch to the Emperor's palace (save Mulan, who had been injured earlier and was revealed to be female).

The entire Hun army is presumed dead in the avalanche. However, a livid Shan Yu and five of his other men, the only survivors of said avalanche, break free of the snow and make their way to the Emperor's palace. Mulan, hearing Shan Yu and his remaining men, heads to the Imperial City to alert Li Shang's army, to no avail as they no longer trust Mulan for deceiving them. Shan Yu and his men sneak into the Emperor's palace, and while the victory celebration is being carried out, Shan Yu reacquires his sword, and, along with his men, ambushes everyone present at the palace, seizing the Emperor and barricading the palace.

Fortunately, Mulan, Shang, and three of Shang's soldiers (Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po) slip into the palace, with the three soldiers dressed as concubines. After briefly dazzling and taking out Shan Yu's men, they make their way to the top, where Shan Yu is attempting to coerce the Emperor to surrender to him. Shang briefly knocks Shan Yu down, while Chien-Po brings the Emperor back down to safety. However, Shan Yu eventually subdues Shang and nearly dispatches him. Mulan, realizing Shang is in trouble, redirects Shan Yu's attention to her and goads him into pursuing her by doing her hair to show that she was the soldier who killed nearly his entire army. Shan Yu, reaching a villainous breakdown, chases after Mulan, and the two eventually reach the rooftop.

As Shan Yu is confident that he will have Mulan killed, Mulan quickly uses her fan to apprehend Shan Yu's sword and affix his cape to the rooftop, rendering him immobilized. Mulan then signals Mushu to launch a larger rocket he acquired earlier, while Shan Yu stares at the incoming rocket in terror. As Mulan and Mushu escape, Shan Yu gets propelled by the rocket and is sent flying directly into the fireworks tower, causing an explosion which both destroys him and the palace.

Heinous Standards

Obviously. Mulan doesn’t even have a lot of villains in the first place. The only others of note are the Hun army and Shan Yu’s pet Hayabusa, both of which are merely cogs in Shan Yu’s large scheme. He’s the worst villain by a long shot.

Redeeming Qualities

Negatory. He doesn’t abuse his soldiers or Hayabusa but it’s not shown he cares for them either. He isn’t protective of any of them, and merely sees them as tools to further his own plans. He ultimately leaves his soldiers and Hayabusa behind after they are defeated and doesn’t come back to them, showing that he is simply out for himself.

Taken Seriously


Freudian Excuse

We aren't even given detail on his past. He’s not motivated by any form of personal tragedy [insert coughing].

Moral Agency

Is highly calculating and sadistic.

Final Verdict

Should be obvious.

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