I have no words to describe to you how heartbroken I am right now. Today was just another day in paradise until I got a text from my friend informing me of the tragic news.
Today, unfortunately, Miguel Ferrer whom I knew best for voicing Sesa Refumee in Halo 2, and Shan Yu in Mulan (and probably numerous other roles I never was exposed to), has passed away today from cancer. He was only 61.
Now both of the voices of my two Disney villain crushes are gone, but Miguel’s death affects me inside greatly since Shan Yu was part of my childhood. He was the villain I secretly loved back then but was too young to realize it. I felt like the only person who thought he was a character that deserved more screen time and development. Whenever I watched Mulan as a kid, I was always looking forward to seeing Shan Yu the most other than Mulan herself. I’ve watched the movie so many times that I could probably recite most of the lines from it.
Shan Yu was always one of the underrated Disney villains. He’s the most ruthless and violent of them all, and he had no remorse in killing anyone, even the weaker. He may not have a song but he doesn’t need one to be serious about what he wants. When you begin to understand a character like him, that’s what makes you like him more. I’d say if his role in the movie was expanded, he’d be as dark of a villain as Claude Frollo.
It’s a small role compared to his entire film career, but it is a role of a character that has held a special place in my heart since I was a little girl. At times I did not know it as I began to discover other passions until he returned to me earlier last year, I realized how much I loved Shan Yu back then and still do. He was a badass villain with a take-no-prisoners attitude, and those are the types of villains I love the most, as well as the dark, tragic and complex ones now that I like Frollo as well.
I’ll always remember the time Miguel answered me on Twitter when I asked him about Shan Yu if he remembered him. That was a touching moment to hear from the man behind who played a part in my childhood, and I’ll never forget what he did to make that part memorable that I have carried on with me to today.
Rest in peace Miguel Ferrer, I can’t believe you have left us while I am still writing The Warlord’s Prize, dedicated to your character that I love. Thank you once again for voicing the villain that has been in my heart for my entire life.