Shan Yu is the main antagonist of Mulan and stands as one of Disney's most popular villains. Like Frollo, Clayton, Professor Ratigan, Mcleach and Scar, he lacks any superhuman powers, instead relying on his brainpower to battle his opponents, as well as sheer brute strength. His pet falcon, Hayabusa, is always perched on his shoulder, unless doing scouting work for him. He was voiced by Miguel Ferrer. He ranked #18 in the top 30 disney villains (One better than Hopper but one under Professor Ratigan.)
Shan Yu is among the most ruthless, and merciless villains ever seen in the Disney universe. He proves that it is not below him to kill his enemies in cold blood to prove his strength. He even makes jokes about it: After capturing two imperial scouts and sending them to deliver his challenge to the emperor, he asks his lead archer how many men it takes to deliver a message. The archer then draws his bow and replies, "One." Ultimately, only one scout delivers the message, implying that the archer killed the other. Shan Yu is also supremely confident in both his and his army's strength and superiority, often deliberately allowing his enemies the advantage in order to prove his might. Such examples include his attack on the Great Wall, where he allowed a lone sentry to light the signal fire, sending word to the Emperor and giving him time to mobilize the Imperial Army. Later, he allows one of the Chinese spies to return to the Forbidden City, smugly telling the spy to inform the Emperor to send his best troops to face the Huns. He also decides to head straight for the mountain pass that would lead him straight to the Forbidden City, knowing full well that the entire Imperial Vanguard is guarding the pass and completely rejecting the option to simply go around the mountains and avoid the enemy army.
Fictional character historyEditA dark lord type character, Shan Yu is the ruthless king of the Huns in Mulan. He has a pet falcon as his friend and minion. The unnamed Emperor of China (presumably Wikipedia:Quin Shi Huang) builds the Great Wall to protect China from Yu's malice. Ironically, the proud Hun leader takes this as a challenge and determines to prove his power by scaling the Great Wall before conquering all of China. His armies crush the Emperor's with ease however when they reach the mountain pass they are cut off by General Li Shang's troops. Though the Huns quickly gain the upper hand, Mulan wins the battle for the Chinese troops by triggering an avalance that buries the Huns. An enraged Shan Yu survives and takes an elite group of the remaining Huns to Bei Zing where they capture the Emperor. Yu commands the Emperor to bow before him but the old monarch refuses, saying "No matter how the wind howls, the mountain cannot bow." Incensed, Shan Yu vows that if the Emperor will not bow in peace then he'll bow in pieces. He draws his sword and is about to mutilate the sovereign when Shang attacks him and he and Shang battle while Mulan has Cheng Po take the emperor away to safely. Shan Yu sees the emperor is out of sight and yells in fury and is about to kill Shang for "taking away his victory" until Mulan admits Shang didn't, SHE did. Shan Yu recognizes her as the soldier from the mountains and battles Mulan. In the ensuing battle between Yu and Mulan, an assortment of fireworks are set off. Mulan pushes the evil leader into the path of one of the fireworks and Yu screams as he is thrown into a tower and killed in a blinding explosion.
TriviaEditShan Yu has quickly become one of Disney's most recognizable villains. In UltimateDisney. com's top thirty villain countdown, Shan yu came in 18th place. One place better than Hopper, but one place worse than Professor Ratigan. Many fans were disappointed with Mulan II as Shan Yu did not return in it. However Shan Yu did appear in Kingdom Hearts II. He has but one line, "Now you'll bow to me.", spoken by Corey Burton. Here, he is not apparently allied with Maleficent and Pete, but his use of the heartless may be due to them.
Shan Yu is similar to Ruber from Quest for Camelot.
Shan Yu shares similarites with Professor Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective. Shan Yu is a War Lord and Ratigan is a Crime Lord.
Curiously, Shan Yu was not among the antagonists in Mickey's House Of Villains despite appearing in The House Of Mouse.
- Shan Yu is shown to be intelligent. Unlike most characters in the film, Shan Yu does not underestimate the powers of women. When Mulan revealed that she had caused the avalanche and came up with the idea to save the Emperor, Shan Yu intantly knew that Mulan was the greatest obstacle in his plans, and went on to kill her without hesitation, but of course was blown to bits, as part of Mulan's plan.
- Shan Yu might not be human. But, there was some hints of yellow eyes, and a scary looking face.