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You are a lucky bug.
―Mushu[src]


Cri-Kee is a major character in Disney's 1998 animated feature film, Mulan. He is a supposedly lucky cricket belonging to Fa Mulan that serves as Mushu's harried sidekick.

Background

Cri-Kee is a "lucky" cricket purchased by Grandmother Fa, who believed Mulan needed all the help she could receive during her trip to the Matchmaker. However, despite being deemed a lucky cricket, Cri-Kee confesses to Mushu at one point that he is not, which would explain his timid behavior during dangerous situations. Even so, throughout the film, Cri-Kee goes through various perils and survives each of them, having Mushu believe he is, indeed, lucky. Cri-Kee does not speak and merely communicates through chirps, but he is understood by mythical creatures, such as Mushu.

Development

Cri-Kee was the creation of veteran Disney employee Joe Grant, who worked for the studio as far back as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. The concept of Cri-Kee was inspired by the filmmakers' research, where they learned that crickets are a symbol of luck in China. Based on this, Grant insisted that the filmmakers add a cricket character to the movie; he supposedly slipped various sketches of Cri-Kee through the office doors of the directors. According to animator Barry Temple, "no one wanted him [Cri-Kee] in the movie, the directors didn't want him in the movie, the story department didn't want him in the movie. The only ones who truly wanted him in the movie were Michael Eisner and Joe Grant — and myself, because I was assigned the character."[1]

Personality

In Mulan, Cri-Kee is shown to be eager to please. Though he does not believe himself to be lucky, he does strive to be useful, and is therefor quick to aid those in needs. However, Cri-Kee is somewhat passive; he goes with Mushu's orders without question and rarely has any input on the dragon's schemes besides manual labor. As a result, he often gets the shorter end of the stick by either being scolded by Mushu and facing some kind of physical injury. Cri-Kee does not seem to mind, and in turn, Mushu goes out of his way to protect Cri-Kee when things become dangerous (as was the case in the mountain battle against the Huns). In relation to Mushu, Cri-Kee acts as a straight man foil to the dragon's larger-than-life personality. Despite serving as Mushu's "yes man", Cri-Kee has had his fair share of wisecracks at the dragon's expense (such as referring to him as a loser at one point), though this typically ends with a round of scolding from Mushu.

In Mulan II, Cri-Kee's personality differs slightly as he is portrayed as having more agency than in the original film. Rather than being the put upon assistant of Mushu, Cri-Kee is portrayed as Mushu's polar opposite and better half. Though he values Mushu as a friend, he shows to be easily annoyed by the dragon's schemes and selfishness, particularly when they affect their friends. As such, Cri-Kee takes it upon himself to keep a sharp eye on Mushu and at least tries to lead the dragon down the right path. He usually fails, but there are times where his guidance is taken for what it's worth.

Appearances

Mulan

Cri-Kee is first shown being caged up. Mulan's grandmother walks across a road (while covering her eyes) to test Cri-Kee's luckiness, despite Mulan's protests. After being successful, he is "proven" lucky. He accidentally messes up Mulan's chance with the Matchmaker by climbing into the tea that the Matchmaker was going to drink out of. Mulan attempts to retrieve the cup to stop the Matchmaker from consuming the cricket. Unfortunately, this results in a series of accidents, culminating in Mulan pouring tea on the Matchmaker in an attempt to douse the fire that is burning the Matchmaker's dress. Mulan quickly heads outside, where the Matchmaker openly berates her in front of the crowd. During the "Reflection" musical number, Mulan releases Cri-Kee but he, out of sympathy for Mulan, chooses to follow her instead of leaving.

After Mulan leaves for the war, it is Cri-Kee that persuades Mushu to go after her (as the Ancestors wanted him to bring her home by force). Cri-Kee aids Mushu in turning Mulan into a war hero. At one point, he assists Mushu in tricking Chi-Fu by forging a letter by General Li as a means to get Mulan and her unit into the front of battle. During the final battle at the Imperial City, Cri-Kee helps Mushu defeat Shan Yu by firing a Chinese firecracker towards him on top of the Emperor's palace. When Cri-Kee miraculously survives the explosion afterwards, Mushu comments that Cri-Kee is "a lucky bug". During the epilogue, Cri-Kee lastly appears to summon the ancestors by striking the gong once and playing a drum kit made out of pots and pans.

Mulan II

Cri Kee Mulan 2

Cri-Kee in Mulan II.

In the sequel, Cri-Kee reappears as Mushu's companion (though he spends significantly more time with Mulan than he does in the original film). Cri-Kee is first seen helping Mulan and Little Brother with the former's martial arts lesson. Later when Mulan announces her engagement to Shang to Mushu, Cri-Kee leaps at the opportunity to assist in overseeing wedding preparations. Unfortunately for Mushu, Mulan and Shang's marriage would result in him losing his job as Mulan's guardian, prompting him to make several attempts to sabotage their relationship to preserve his position. Cri-Kee tags along to prevent Mushu's scheme, but his inability to warn Mulan results in Mushu's unmitigated success. Fortunately, upon seeing the negative effects of his actions, Mushu has a change of heart and works alongside Cri-Kee to save Mulan and Shang's relationship. The two eventually marry, resulting in Mushu losing his position. Cri-Kee stands by his companion as the latter packs away his belongings, and commends him on his selfless behavior. Mushu is initially content with his good deed and Cri-Kee's support, but is further rewarded when Shang combines his family temple with Mulan's, thus allowing Mushu to retain his position.

Mulan (2020 film)

Cri-Kee is set to appear in the upcoming live action remake.

House of Mouse

Cri-Kee makes numerous cameo appearances in the animated series House of Mouse as a recurring guest. Cri-Kee is usually found with Mushu and is seen spectating whenever the dragon is on screen. Many times throughout the show, Mushu would have a sassy comment, dictating it to Cri-Kee. One notable cameo had Cri-Kee seated with Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio. Cri-Kee also appears with Mushu, in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse.

Other appearances

In It's a Small World: The Animated Series, Cri-Kee makes a brief, non-speaking cameo in the episode "Just One Moon".

Video games

Animated StoryBook: Mulan

In the interactive game, Mushu is tasked with delivering scrolls to try Emperor. Before he can begin his errand, however, Cri-Kee approaches and inadvertently startles Mushu, causing the scrolls to lose some of their magic. Cri-Kee then leaves the scene. He later appears during actual gameplay, specifically in the village stage, where Grandma Pa pitched Cri-Kee in the market.

Gallery

Wiki
The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Cri-Kee.

Trivia

  • According to Barry Temple, most of the filmmakers believed Cri-Kee's character was not necessary to the story. During story meetings, some would even comment something along the lines of, "Oh, to hell with the cricket." when discussing Cri-Kee's role in a scene.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Kurtti, J. (1998). The Art of Mulan. Hyperion Books. 


v - e - d
Mulan Logo
Media
Films: MulanMulan IIMulan (2020 film)Video

Video games: Animated StoryBook: MulanKingdom Hearts IIDisney Emoji BlitzDisney Crossy RoadDisney Magic KingdomsDisney Sorcerer's Arena
Books: The Art of MulanDisney Princess BeginningsReflection (A Twisted Tale)Kilala Princess
Music: Mulan (soundtrack)Mulan II (soundtrack)

Disney Parks
Disney Animation BuildingFantasy GardensGarden of the Twelve FriendsIt's a Small WorldPrincesses CastleVoyage to the Crystal Grotto

Entertainment: Cinderella's Surprise CelebrationDisney's WishesMickey and the Magical MapMulan, La LégendeOnce Upon a MouseRoyal Princess Music CelebrationThe Golden Mickeys
Restaurants: Plaza Inn
Parade: Mickey's New Year's Eve ParadeMickey's Rainy Day ExpressMickey's Storybook ExpressMickey's WaterWorksMulan Parade
Firework: Disney in the StarsHappily Ever AfterHurry Home: Lunar New Year CelebrationIgnite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light
Halloween: The Disney Villains Halloween Showtime

Characters
Original: Fa MulanMushuCri-KeeLi ShangYao, Ling, and Chien PoChi-FuShan YuGeneral LiFa ZhouFa LiGrandmother FaFirst Ancestor FaFa Family AncestorsThe Emperor of ChinaThe MatchmakerLittle BrotherKhanShang's HorseHayabusa the FalconElite Hun SoldiersHun Army

Sequel: Sha-RonTing-Ting, Su, and MeiLord QinPrince Jeeki
Remake: Xian LangHua Xiu

Songs
Original: Honor to Us AllReflectionI'll Make a Man Out of YouA Girl Worth Fighting ForTrue To Your Heart

Sequel: Lesson Number OneLike Other GirlsHere Beside Me
Deleted songs: Keep 'em Guessing

Locations
ChinaImperial CityFa Family homeVillage
Objects
Great Stone DragonMulan's Hair AccessorySword of Shan YuMulan and Shang's NecklacesGolden Dragon of Unity


v - e - d
House of Mouse Disney
Media
House of MouseMickey's Magical ChristmasMickey's House of Villains
Characters
Main Characters: Mickey MouseMinnie MouseDonald DuckDaisy DuckGoofyPlutoPeteMax GoofHuey, Dewey, and LouieClarabelle CowHorace HorsecollarGus GooseMortimer MouseLudwig Von DrakeMike the MicrophoneChip and Dale

Recurring Guests: TimonPumbaaJafarIagoHadesMushuCri-KeeArielPrince EricKing TritonFlounderSebastianPeter PanJiminy CricketPinocchioBelleBeastLumièreGastonDumboTimothy Q. MouseMad HatterMowgliShere KhanThe Three Little Pigs Cruella De VilChernabogMufasaSimbaGrumpyMagic MirrorAladdinJasmineCinderellaMaleficentPain and PanicUrsulaKida NedakhMilo Thatch

Episodes
Season One: "The Stolen Cartoons" • "Big Bad Wolf Daddy" • "The Three Caballeros" • "Goofy's Valentine Date" • "Unplugged Club" • "Timon and Pumbaa" • "Gone Goofy" • "Jiminy Cricket" • "Rent Day" • "Donald's Lamp Trade" • "Donald's Pumbaa Prank" • "Thanks to Minnie" • "Pluto Saves the Day"

Season Two: "Daisy's Debut" • "Goofy for a Day" • "Clarabelle's Big Secret" • "The Mouse Who Came to Dinner" • "Max's New Car" • "Not So Goofy" • "Everybody Loves Mickey" • "Max's Embarrassing Date" • "Where's Minnie?" • "Super Goof" • "King Larry Swings In" • "Ladies' Night" • "Dennis the Duck"
Season Three: "Suddenly Hades" • "Pete's One-Man Show" • "House of Crime" • "Mickey and Minnie's Big Vacation" • "Donald and the Aracuan Bird" • "Goofy's Menu Magic" • "Music Day" • "House of Scrooge" • "Donald Wants to Fly" • "Dining Goofy" • "Chip 'n' Dale" • "Humphrey in the House" • "Ask Von Drake" • "Salute to Sports" • "Pluto vs. Figaro" • "House of Magic" • "Mickey vs. Shelby" • "House of Turkey" • "Clarabelle's Christmas List" • "Pete's Christmas Caper" • "Snow Day" • "Pete's House of Villains" • "Halloween With Hades" • "House Ghosts" • "House of Genius" • "Mickey and the Culture Clash"

Songs
Rockin' at the House of MouseMortimer MouseSoup or Salad, Fries or Biscuits, Extra Olives, DonutsBibbidi-Bobbidi-BooBig Bad Wolf DaddyA Parrot's Life for MeLet's Slay the BeastThe Ludwig Von Drake SongIt's Our House Now!The Best Christmas of AllGrim Grinning GhostsHumphrey HopEverybody Wants to Be a WoofI Wanna Be Like M-O-YouPink Elephants on ParadeMy Name is PanchitoBoom-Da-BoomWe Are the Three CaballerosMe the Mouse (and I'm the Duck) (Reprise) • Daisy CrockettThe Daisy Duckie RoomMinnie Mouse (in the House)
Locations
House of Mouse (night club)Disneyville
Objects
Maleficent's StaffPoisoned AppleSorcerer HatJafar's Snake Staff


v - e - d
Disney Crossy Road Logo
Media
Disney Crossy RoadSoundtrack
Disney
Mickey Mouse & Friends: MickeyMinnieDonaldDaisyGoofyPlutoFifiPeteClarabelle CowHorace HorsecollarWillie the GiantChip and DaleMortimer MouseChief O'HaraDetective CaseyButch the BulldogGolden HarpPeter Pig

The Lion King: SimbaNalaShenzi, Banzai, and EdOstrichGrubZazuRafikiTimonPumbaaMufasaScar
Tangled: RapunzelFlynn RiderStabbington BrothersPug ThugsPascalMaximusMother GothelThe KingCaptain of the Guards
Wreck-It Ralph: RalphVanellopeFelixSgt. CalhounKing CandyTaffytaCandleheadSurge ProtectorGeneNicelandersRancisOther Sugar Rush RacersSour Bill
Big Hero 6: Hiro HamadaBaymaxRobert CallahaganGo Go TomagoWasabiFredFred's FatherTadashi HamadaCassYamaAlistair Krei
Zootopia: Judy HoppsNick WildeFlashClawhauserGazelleYaxBogoMayor LionheartBellwetherDougFinnickMr. BigMr. OttertonManchasGideonJerry Jumbeaux Jr.NangaPriscillaStu HoppsBonnie HoppsBusiness LemmingDuke WeaseltonFru Fru
The Jungle Book: MowgliKaaBalooAkelaShere KhanColonel HathiKing LouieBandar-Log Monkey
Alice Through the Looking Glass: Alice KingsleighDormouseTweedledee and TweedledumBandersnatchBayardWhite QueenMarch HareWhite RabbitMad HatterAbsolemTimeHumpty DumptyRed Queen
Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack SparrowWill TurnerElizabeth SwannJoshamee GibbsTia DalmaJames NorringtonMartyCottonBootstrap Bill TurnerPintelRagettiAngelicaBlackbeardPrison Dog
Aladdin: AladdinJasmineThe SultanPrince AchmedGazeemRazoulRajahIagoAbuGenieJafarMagic CarpetPink FlamingoBeggar JafarGolden Scarab BeetleMagic LampSnake Charmer
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Jack SkellingtonSallyLock, Shock, and BarrelOogie BoogieSanta Claus
Mulan: MulanYao, Ling, and Chien PoFa LiFa ZhouHayabusaKhanCri-KeeLittle BrotherMushuShan YuCaptain Li ShangThe Emperor of ChinaThe MatchmakerGeneral LiGrandmother FaFirst Ancestor FaChi-FuGreat Stone Dragon
Moana: MoanaSinaFrigatebirdChief TuiGramma TalaPuaKakamora ChiefMauiHeiHeiGhost MataiTamatoa
Beauty and the Beast: BelleMauriceChip PottsMrs. PottsGastonLeFouFrouFrouChapeauPlumetteBeastCogsworthLumièreThe Enchantress
Lilo & Stitch: Lilo PelekaiNani PelekaiDavid KawenaMrs. HasagawaMertle EdmondsStitch
DuckTales: Scrooge McDuckDonald Duck (Classic)Huey, Dewey, and LouieWebbigail VanderquackMrs. BeakleyBeagle Boys (Big Time, Burger, and Bouncer)GyroDarkwing DuckFalcon GravesPixiu Chinese DragonPeghook's GhostLaunchpad McQuackHack and Slash SmashnikovGizmoduckMagica's ShadowMa BeagleFlintheart GlomgoldPharaoh Toth-RaHeadless Man-Horse

Pixar
Toy Story: WoodyJessieBuzz LightyearHammEmperor ZurgRexSlinky DogMrs. NesbitBo PeepWheezyBabyheadBullseyeLennyThe ProspectorMint in the Box ProspectorTrixieBig BabyGreen Army MenBabyfaceJaney DollStretchBookwormRocky GibraltarMr. PricklepantsChucklesButtercup

Inside Out: JoySadnessAngerDisgustFearBing BongFrank and DaveForgettersJanglesRainbow Unicorn
Finding Dory: DoryDebGurglePearlSheldonTadGillBloatSquirtNemoMarlinJacquesBubblesDestinyBaileyGeraldHankCrushMr. Ray
Monsters, Inc.: BooNeedlemanWaxfordC.D.A. AgentMike WazowskiCelia MaeFlintMr. WaternooseJames P. SullivanRandall BoggsRozPhlegmTonySimulation KidGarbage KidHarleySpike
The Incredibles: Bob ParrHelen Parr

Disney Parks
The Haunted Mansion: Professor Phineas PlumpMaidGargoyleCaretaker and DogButlerSally SlaterExecutionerSpiderMadame LeotaRavenConstance Hatchaway
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