The Hun Army, led by Shan Yu, have invaded Han China, to which the Emperor of China responds by ordering General Li to mobilize an army to defend China. Meanwhile, farmer girl Fa Mulan is sent to meet a Matchmaker to assign a suitable husband. However, due to a chain of events started by a cricket named Cri-Kee, Mulan humiliates herself and dishonors her family, causing her to contemplate who she really is. After Mulan receives encouragement from her father, Fa Zhou, the Emperor's counsel, Chi Fu, arrives to announce that a male from every family is to be assigned into the army. Fa Zhou volunteers, but Mulan quickly discovers that he is too old to enter the war. To save her father's life, Mulan disguises herself as a male and sets off to join the army instead.
Grandmother Fa prays for Mulan's safety, awakening the ancient Fa spirits. The First Ancestor commands Mushu, a ex-guardian dragon demoted to gong ringer, to awaken the great stone dragon to retrieve Mulan, but Mushu unintentionally reduces the stone dragon to rubble. Accompanied by Cri-Kee, Mushu then sets off to act as Mulan's guardian as she joins the army. Meanwhile, Shan Yu's army captures two Imperial spies, who are sent out to deliver a warning to the Emperor. However, Shan Yu then orders one of his archers to kill one of the spies.
Mulan reaches the army recruitment camp and meets Mushu and Cri-Kee. Acting on Mushu's advice, Mulan attempts to socialize with the other soldiers, but instead antagonizes three soldiers, Yao, Chien-Po and Ling. General Li's son, Li Shang, is put in charge of training the recruits for war, during which Mulan initially falters. However, Mulan eventually succeeds in gaining the respect of the other recruits and Shang, and the other recruits are inspired by Mulan's efforts. However, Chi Fu remains skeptical of the recruit's credibility and berates Shang. In response, Mushu deceives Chi Fu with a false letter requesting the recruits on the front lines of the war. However, as the recruits journey to the village where the majority of China's forces are stationed at, they discover the Hun Army to have destroyed the village and China's army, with General Li having been killed as well.
In spite of this, Li Shang orders the army to move to the Imperial City to defend the Emperor. As the army travels to the city, they are ambushed by the Hun Army. Mulan steals a rocket and fires it at a snowy peak, causing an avalanche. Shan Yu injures Mulan with his sword, but he and the rest of his army are buried by the avalanche. However, Mulan falls unconscious as a result of her injuries. While being healed in a medical camp, Mulan is exposed as a woman to the army. As a result, the army abandons Mulan in the mountains and returns to the Imperial City. While lamenting her decision to join the army, Mulan notices Shan Yu and a few surviving members of his army continue towards the Imperial City.
Mulan, Mushu, and Cri-Kee arrive at the Imperial City to warn Shang about the Huns, but he refuses to listen. The Huns then ambush the Emperor and hold him hostage in the palace. Mulan, joined by Yao, Chien-Po and Ling, infiltrate the palace while disguised as concubines. After subduing the Hun soldiers, Mulan and the other recruits, joined by Shang, confront Shan Yu and stop him from killing the Emperor. Yao, Chien-Po and Ling manage to transport the Emperor to safety, but Shan Yu overpowers Shang and prepares to kill him. However, Mulan reveals that she was the soldier that destroyed Shan Yu's army, diverting his rage towards her.
Mulan flees through the palace, pursued by Shan Yu, and climbs onto the rooftops, where she is cornered by him. However, Mulan manages to disarm Shan Yu with her fan and pins him to the roof, allowing Mushu to fire a rocket at Shan Yu, hurtling him into a fireworks tower, obliterating him. Mulan retreats from the rooftops and avoids the destruction, and reunites with Shang below. In spite of Mulan's actions, Chi Fu ridicules her for her actions. However, the Emperor and the rest of China praise Mulan for her heroics. Mulan, followed by Shang, returns home and reunites with Fa Zhou, and Shang is invited to dinner with the family. Meanwhile, Mushu is reinstated as a guardian by the First Ancestor to reward him for his actions.
- Ming-Na Wen as Fa Mulan.
- Miguel Ferrer as Shan Yu.
- June Foray as Grandmother Fa.
- Soon-Tek Oh as Fa Zhao.
- Freda Foh Shen as Fa Li.
- James Hong as Chi Fu.
- BD Wong as Shang.
- Pat Morita as The Emperor.
- Harvey Fierstein as Yao.
- Eddie Murphy as Mushu.
- George Takei as First Ancestor.
- Jerry Tondo as Chien-Po.
- Gedde Watanabe as Ling.
- James Shigeta as General Li.
- Frank Welker as Khan/Cri-Kee.
- Miriam Margoyles as The Matchmaker.