Shan Yu is the main antagonist of Mulan. He is the evil leader of the Hun Army.
He was voiced by the late Miguel Ferrer.
Shan Yu is known to be one of the most ruthless Disney villains. He proves that it's not below him to kill his enemies in cold blood to prove his power. 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 to that of China, 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.
Despite Shan Yu not making a full appearance in the second film (due to having been killed), Mushu alludes to his demise at least once. In the deleted scenes of Mulan II, Shan Yu returns where he and his deceased army, all ghosts now, started to haunt Northern China, prompting the Emperor to send Mulan and Shang there. The finale had involved Shan Yu's ghost army fighting against Mulan and her allies, including the Fa Family Ancestors.
- Nice work, gentlemen. You found the Hun army.
- Stop me? He invited me. By building his wall, he challenged my strength. Well, I'm here to play his game.
- Go! Tell your Emperor to send his strongest armies. I'm ready.
- How many men does it take to deliver a message? (One.)
- What do you see?
- This doll came from a village in the Tung Shao Pass, when the Imperial Army is waiting for us.
- No. The quickest way to the emperor is through that pass.
- Besides, the little girl will be missing her doll.
- We should return it to her.
- You took away my victory!
- The soldier from the mountains.
- It looks like you're out of ideas.
Though Shan Yu is a Disney villain, he does not engage in any singing at all, which befits his personality.