26

Upon first introduction this character is introduced to us as Shan Yu. As an audience we assume that that is his name, however, that name is just a rank, which can be translated to English, "Hun Warlord".

One of the most iconic Disney villains, and one of my favorite, and we never know his name. Does any one have any clue who he really is? Does his bird also have a name?

26

He has no other name.

From his biography,

Shan Yu is the main villain from the Disney animated movie "Mulan". He is the leader of the Huns.

He appears in "Kingdom Hearts II". There, he tries to use the Heartless to take over China, but Mulan, Sora, Goofy and Donald defeat him.

There are many other characters without a specific name in Mulan, such as The Emperor and The Matchmaker. Maybe Disney didn't think the eastern names were that easy to memorize by western audiences? Another option, as R.M. puts it, "they thought they didn't need names. For example, the Evil Queen in Snow White is never named in the movie, nor is the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. -- A fair number of even somewhat significant characters in Disney films aren't given actual names."

Anyway, if Shan Yu is meant to represent the leader of the Huns, Disney might have been referencing Attila, the Hun (who in fact invaded Europe, not China), or some undisclosed leader of the Xiongnu (the alleged predecessors of the Huns who did invade China). Another source of inspiration, according to this, is Genghis Khan, leader of the Mongol armies (who also invaded China).

His falcon is known as Hayabusa.

Hayabusa is Shan Yu's pet falcon and sidekick. The bird often acts as a warning signal, alerting China's victims that Shan Yu is near. He appears to be similar to his master: strict, ruthless and vicious. He latches onto his prey or whatever he needs to carry with his steely talons (as he did with Shan Yu's sword when Shang handed it to the Emperor).

  • 5
    "He appears in "Kingdom Hearts II". There, he tries to use the Heartless to take over China" No no, China does not exist in Kingdom Hearts, you mean The Land of Dragons – Thomas Sep 26 '17 at 11:56
  • 3
    @ThomasMoors yet i do recall both Mulan and The Emperor call it China as in the first half of it the Emrpror says Mulan saved China and one of Mulan's battle quotes is "For China!". don't forget also that in the second game both Halloween and Christmas Towns world is just called Halloween Town, despite the fact that in theory Sora could travel to the other Holiday Towns since their doors are there – Memor-X Sep 26 '17 at 12:41
  • 4
    @JAB - No no, it's named after the Suzuki sportbike. :p – JohnP Sep 26 '17 at 15:16
  • 5
    @JohnP That's still a Chinese bird having a Japanese name. – JAB Sep 26 '17 at 15:17
  • 4
    "Maybe Disney didn't think the eastern names were that easy to memorize by western audiences?" -- Or they thought they didn't need names. For example, the Evil Queen in Snow White is never named in the movie, nor is the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. -- A fair number of even somewhat significant characters in Disney films aren't given actual names. – R.M. Sep 26 '17 at 18:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .