The Matchmaker is responsible for arranging marriages and evaluating potential brides and grooms. Thus, she holds a great deal of influence, as women of the time are believed to uphold family honor only by marrying and bearing children (especially boys). She has a reputation for being short-tempered and imposing. During "Honor to Us All", meeting the Matchmaker was described as "scarier than the Undertaker." However, in spite of her influence, she was ironically shown to have wrong predictions about certain characters throughout the films.
She is described by one woman as being very impatient, and she also seems to be very strict and harsh. In the second film, Ling describes her as also being "smug and snooty."
The Matchmaker appears at the beginning of the film. She calls Mulan to be the first of the candidates and immediately scolds the girl for speaking without permission (which causes Grandmother Fa to remark on the woman's harsh attitude).
Inside, she puts Mulan through a series of evaluations. She first notes that Mulan is "too skinny", which is supposedly not good for bearing sons. The Matchmaker then has Mulan recite "The Final Admonition", but becomes suspicious that Mulan is cheating when Mulan falters (which she slightly did through hidden notes written in her arm and not in her hand fan as the Matchmaker suspected) and pulls Mulan to the table, grabbing her by her arm with the notes and unknowingly smearing her hand with ink.
Finally, the Matchmaker has Mulan pour tea, while the Matchmaker speaks of Mulan's future role in her in-laws' home - poised, dignified, and refined, but silent (women were not allowed to speak in their in-laws' presence, nor in the presence of men such as husbands and fathers, as Chi-Fu reveals later) while unknowingly drawing a ink beard in her face with her smeared hand. At this point, Cri-Kee, who was in a cage hidden under Mulan's dress, escapes into the cup of tea that the Matchmaker was about to drink. 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 accidentally pouring steaming hot tea on the Matchmaker in an attempt to douse the fire that is burning the Matchmaker's dress. Mulan quickly heads outside. The Matchmaker openly berates Mulan in front of the crowd, noting that while Mulan looks like a bride, she will never bring her family honor through becoming a servile wife.
However, later in the film, when her father is called to serve in the war against the Hun Army of Shan Yu, Mulan goes in his place and helps Li Shang's army to defeat the Huns. Ultimately, Mulan ends up saving the Emperor and all of China, bringing honor to her family after Shan Yu's death, thus proving that the Matchmaker was actually wrong about her.
The Matchmaker makes a minor appearance in the sequel. In her appearance, Mulan and Shang's friends, Yao, Ling, and Chien Po, visit her in an attempt to find brides for themselves. But, just like Mulan's visit at the beginning of the first film, the three men visit to the Matchmaker ends in disaster as calamity. The Matchmaker throws out the trio (literally) and throws a pot at Ling's head, and claims that they'll never be able to find wives.
However, the Matchmaker's claims ultimately prove to be untrue once again, as while escorting Ting-Ting, Su, and Mei, the Emperor's three daughters, to Qui Gong so one of them could marry Prince Jeeki, Lord Qin's son, they fall in love with the trio and after Mushu helps to settle an alliance between China and Qui Gong, he convinces Lord Qin to allow the Emperor's daughters to marry whomever they want.
The Matchmaker appeared in the 2020 remake, portrayed by Cheng Pei-Pei.
- While having a minor appearance in Mulan II, the Matchmaker was initially intended to play a bigger role in the sequel, accompanying Mulan, Li Shang, Yao, Ling, and Chien Po and the Emperor's daughters on their trip to Qui Gong.
- http://bigbearken.blogspot.com/2011/03/mulan-2.html "Big Bear Ken: Mulan 2" post on Big Bear Ken's blog