She is inspired by the legendary Hua Mulan from the Chinese poem The Ballad of Mulan.
Mulan is atypical to previous female roles in Disney films; she is courageous, more self-reliant, and does not focus on marriage. She does not fit in with the expectations of a young Chinese girl of the time; despite her beauty, she is clumsy, outspoken, and independent rather than graceful, silent and demure. Her courage, intelligence, and determination also help her through her adventures. She is the first and only Disney Princess of Asian descent.
Sora, Donald, and Goofy meet Mulan as "Ping" outside the army's camp with Mushu. Sora and Donald are shocked when Goofy reveals to them that she is actually a girl but promise to keep her identity a secret. The group join the army, where Mulan almost blows her cover after breaking up a massive brawl between Sora, Donald, and two other military recruits. Captain Shang has little faith in "Ping", despite the constant comments from Sora, Donald and Goofy. Mulan slowly impresses Shang, defeating Shan-Yu and his Heartless single-handedly by causing an avalanche, and even saves Shang's life. But Mushu accidentally gives away Mulan's identity. Shang, outraged of her deceit, chucks her and the others out of the army before leaving. Mulan and the others see Shan-Yu and several surviving Heartless emerge from the mountain and make their way to the Imperial City. Mulan fails to convince Shang to believe her, but she soon gets his trust again when the Emperor is kidnapped. Mulan, Sora and the others battle and kill Shan-Yu, Mulan being thanked personally by the Emperor who bows respectfully. Shan-Yu's sword then suddenly glows and gives Sora access to another world.
Mulan is reunited with Sora during his second visit to her world. Mulan is hunting a cloaked man who she believes is an enemy spy, but Sora knows it is a member of Organization XIII. Following the cloaked man to the mountains, they see a Heartless Dragon called the Storm Rider head for the Imperial City. They head there where they find the cloaked man (there are actually 2, one being Riku) who reveals himself to be Xigbar. Mulan and the others battle the Storm Rider and defeat it. Mulan gives her support to Sora when he leaves to continue his journey to find Riku and Kairi.
In order to thank her for her unconditional loyalty, the Emperor makes her Captain Shang's partner, with the 2 of them serving beside him.
Mulan appeared in Ultima on the story when Chernabog fused all Disney Worlds and once when the Safe house were attacked while taking refuge and become friends with Po, the Kung fu panda and a dragon warriors.