Shan Yu is indeed based on Ghenghis Khan. Ghenghis Khan was also said to have yellow wolf-like eyes and a similar apperance. He was intelligent and confident in his armies military prowess, as depicted in Mulan when he invites the emperors armies to meet him in battle.
188.8.131.52 14:54, October 25, 2015 (UTC)
Strangelly enough there was a deleted scene where Shan Yu considered Hayabusa to be his friend...I'm not sure if that's canon though. Fattubby