No Mushu, No Problem: The Mulan Live Remake is a Reflection of Who She is Inside
by Sherry Tadeja, July 10, 2019 8:50am
Still from Mulan Trailer Video/Youtube
After speculations about the major changes in the live-action remake of Mulan, Disney confirms that Mushu, Captain Li-Shang, and the infamous songs in the 1998 Disney film are not present in the first-ever trailer of Chinese-heroine set to theaters in 2020.
The trailer that premiered on July 8 hints that the movie adapts the original story, The Ballad of Mulan, rather than the animated film. In the ballad, Hua Mulan replaced her old and weak father after the latter was called to serve and defend China against the Rouran invaders. Mulan is the eldest child in her family, while her younger brother is just a child. Mulan, skilled in fighting and arms, disguises herself as a man, fought the invaders, and after 12 years came home to her family.
The trailer received mixed views as iconic characters in the Disney film didn't make it.
Less is More
It may feel like a huge part is missing without the presence of the songs and comical characters, but the live-action Mulan is making up for a bigger, more significant part of Chinese history with this remake.
Hua Mulan’s story dates to as early as 386 AD frm a folk song & later a transcription in the 6th century. Disney’s live action film is attempting to honor the OG version for Western & Eastern (China) audiences. There is no Mushu or Li Shang in the original so please, shut up! https://t.co/IA4D0uudpJ— Cindy PikaPika Chu (@iamcindychu) July 7, 2019
In fact, the Mulan animated Disney film didn't sit quite well in China. The box office was low and the Chinese people complained about Disney's depiction of Mulan as a trivialized and westernized version of the Chinese culture and the folktale. The movie was even delayed over a year before it premiered with a limited release.
me first hearing about the live action mulan missing key characters and songs from the original film vs me learning the reason being due to respect to chinese culture and history pic.twitter.com/gAljqi1ou1— costanza (@forasiah) July 8, 2019
It is only fitting that the 2020 Mulan brings us a story closer to its origins, and the least we could do is not complain about what’s missing but instead appreciate what Mulan should have really been. There’s a new light of excitement to see an action-packed Mulan in the big screen played by no less than Liu Yifei. Sure, it may not have the songs and characters we’ve grown to love, but if it means paying more respect and tribute to the culture and hero that brought us the animated version in the first place, we are all in for it.