In 450 A.D., the ruling Chinese dynasty is under constant threat from the Rouran tribes. The Chinese army conducts a nationwide draft. A retired soldier named Hua Hu insists on enlisting again to serve his country. Hua Mulan (Zhao Wei), his young daughter, is quite intelligent and skilled in various martial arts. But because she is a woman, she cannot enlist. Mulan tricks her father, steals his armor and weapon, disguises herself as a boy and enters the Wei army in her father’s place. She is recognized by her friend Xiaohu, who agrees to keep her secret.