A teaser trailer dropped yesterday for Disney's latest(?) reboot of their animated classics.
I believe this won't be a musical like the traditional Disney animations/adaptations, which I'm actually kind of disappointed by this time around since I really like the songs in Mulan. A lot of comments are also freaking out about how Mushu won't be in this one, but other sources say otherwise so that remains to be seen. We do know Li Shang, Mulan's original love interest in Disney's animation is definitely replaced with a different character here though.
This trailer is a little hit and miss for me - I am still definitely going to watch it because I love Mulan, and there are some cool moments in the trailer, but it's really missing that Disney charm and feel. What do you guys think?
Okay let's get one thing straight here, this is NOT a remake of the cartoon Disney film. At least not in the sense that Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, etc. were. This is another take on the original Hua Mulan ballad.
The cartoon Mulan, while popular in the West, was a huge flop in China partly because it wasn't very accurate to the original story and had some cultural inaccuracies like the emperor bowing to Mulan towards the end of the film (also due to Chinese film laws and bad marketing, but the most common complaint is the historical inaccuracies). The inclusion of characters in Shang and Mushu were highly controversial in China since they're not in the original Hua Mulan ballad. As a result, Disney took care and even rewrote the script at least once that I can find to make this a more serious and accurate representation of the original ballad from 3rd or 4th century China. And while the movie won't be a musical, it's been stated that instrumental versions of some of the titular songs will be included in the film. And while people have pointed out some inaccuracies still in the trailer (like some of the architecture), for the most part it's been well received in China.
Mulan was always my favorite film as a child. It's what inspired me to look into Asian culture further and discover the original ballad of Hua Mulan, which is a lot more intense and in my opinion epic than the cartoon. It looks like they're sticking closer to the original source material and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. The trailer was beautiful, Mulan already looks like an awesome character, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what they do with it.
I guess to me if you're going to do a live adaptation of the Disney version then it should be a close resemblance of the Disney version with extras tossed in here and there. If not then base it on the real thing and not what's already out there.
Yeah while I enjoyed Mulan as a kid, I heard about folks in China having mixed feelings towards the Disney cartoon version. While I'm lukewarm towards the Disney movies remake trend I think it's good that this time they're attempting to stay more faithful to the original tale and am curious how that'll go.
This genuinely looks good compared to some of the other live action adaptations. I appreciate that Disney is taking an effort to make this new version closer to the original ballad as possible. As much as I love characters like Mushu, Mulan was a warrior who fought for the sake of country. She didn’t have a pet or love interest that motivated her to fight. I hope this makes for a better and more accurate story.
"Unable to perceive the shape of You, I find You all around me. Your presence fills my eyes with Your love, It humbles my heart, For You are everywhere"
I did hear about the decision to base it on the original ballad and not the animation, but I didn't know the reasoning for it so it seemed like an odd choice to me since all the other live adaptations have that Disney feel to it, not to mention Mulan is not the first or only Disney adaptation of a historical tale that had a lot of details changed to make it more whimsical and Disney-fied.
The Guardian actually put it into words really well how this trailer appears to me:
Although you can’t judge a film by its trailer, the muted, unhumorous tone of this teaser hints at the film’s objective. Mulan is no longer the self-conscious teenager who disappoints her parents by failing to become the ideal wife, before her fierce and beautiful transformation into the woman she wants to be. Instead, she appears solemn and resolute: Mulan is a now robotic warrior. The removal of the songs is a big mistake: it eliminates the joy and emotional heart that Disney do so well. I can’t help wonder why Disney are remaking Mulan at all if they are simply going to pander to the nationalistic values espoused by the mainland Chinese government – especially as it looks exactly like the kind of “Imperial dramas” that the state media are currently taking aim at.
While I think it's a bit of a stretch to say it's that much of a political statement and of course, this is a very, very short teaser trailer so there's a lot that's yet to be seen, this really does look so much like any other Chinese "Imperial drama" so I guess as someone who has seen a lot of them growing up this just does not look as exciting as what it could have been. Especially since there already exists a faithful adaptation of Mulan back in 2009, written and produced in China, so if people wanted to see a historically accurate version of it they could watch that with sub/dub. Personally I think it would have been more interesting to see Disney's spin on it since it is, in fact supposed to be a Disney movie, but I guess if the other version wasn't so well known worldwide this is one way to tell the original story to a wider audience.