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This article is about the 2020 live-action film. For the character, see Fa Mulan. For the 1998 film of the same name, see Mulan.

Mulan is an action drama film produced by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is a live-action adaptation of Disney's 1998 animated film of the same name, based on the Chinese folklore "The Ballad of Mulan".

Though intended to be a theatrically released picture, Mulan was instead released on September 4, 2020 as Disney+ exclusive for a premium fee, while being released theatrically in regions where Disney+ was not available. This was a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which rendered the vast majority of movie theaters throughout North America closed.[3] It later released free-of-charge to all Disney+ subscribers on December 4, 2020.[4]

Plot

Many years ago in the Chinese Village of Tulou Hua Mulan helps her father, Hua Zhou guide chickens into a pin. However, one of them escapes into the crowded courtyard. Mulan engages in a chase to retrieve the chicken which causes much distress among the townsfolk and dishonor to Hua Zhou. A statue of a phoenix, the symbol of Mulan's ancestors, is damaged in the chaos. Zhou uses this moment to talk to Mulan about how she has a very strong qi and that she must find balance.

Years later, Böri Khan and his barbarian forces ride on horseback towards the Great Wall. The Rouran's are able to capture a Northern outpost by launching a surprise attack, dealing a drastic blow to the Chinese forces. Hearing of this attack and similar ones in five other northern cities from his chancellor, the Emperor of China demands additional forces to protect China. However, unbeknownst to him, his chancellor was impersonated by a witch in an attempt to trick the leadership of China.

At his camp, Böri Khan discusses his motives for taking over China. His father was slain by the Emperor of China when he was younger, causing him to vow revenge. He gained much support, including Xianniang, a powerful witch with strong, unbalanced qi.

Mulan, now a teenager, is preparing to find a groom. Despite her objections to the process, Mulan goes along with it. Joined by her mother and her sister they meet with the town matchmaker. The meeting starts off according to plan, but disaster strikes when a spider crawls down from the ceiling. Standing up for her sister who is horrified by spiders, Mulan interrupts the matchmaker and ruins the meeting. Once they get outside, they hear an important announcement that the emperor of China is requesting more men to defeat the Rourans. The messenger gives conscription notices to each man who is eligible to fight. Despite not being required to fight as he is a veteran, Hua Zhou is the first to step forward in order to bring honor to his ancestors.

Later that night, Mulan talks to her father as he prepares to head off to the war. He discusses his previous conflicts and his sword which has "Loyal", "Brave", and "True" engraved into it. He again reminds Mulan of the Phoenix and how his ancestors will watch over him. Once her father goes to bed, Mulan steals his armor, sword, and horse, and rides off towards the camp. The next morning, he sees his conscription notice is gone and replaced by Mulan's decorative comb. Hua Zhou and Hua Li pray their ancestors will protect her.

As Mulan rides, a Phoenix flies above, reminding her of what her father said. Mulan arrives at the camp and realizes she must be more aggressive in order to fit in and changes her name to Hua Jun. Later that night, Mulan volunteers to keep watch over the camp rather than bathe with the other soldiers. She uses this time to train and better herself. Despite not fully understanding what it is like to be a man and making some remarks considered to be suspicious, none of the soldiers suspect she isn't truly Hua Jun.

She grows close with Chen Honghui, despite their drawing her sword on him upon arriving at camp. They are partnered up for training and engage in a heated practice duel. Every day during training, Mulan improves and eventually surpasses her fellow soldiers. This catches the attention of Commander Tung. Later, following a long day of practice, Hongui tells Mulan that she smells and needs to take a bath. She heads to the lake to do so. Not aware of Mulan's secret, Hongui arrives at the lake to talk with her. Despite not understanding Mulan's standoffish behavior, Hongui quickly departs.

The next day, Mulan is told to meet with Commander Tung. The Commander is quite impressed with her skill in training and offers her a higher position. Before the conversation can continue, they receive word that they are needed as back up for forces under attack from Bori Khan. With this, the army departs camp and heads off.

They arrive at the valley where Khan's troops are located. While the others fight the Rouran army, Mulan and Hongui chase after Bori Khan. During the chase, Mulan becomes separated and comes face to face with Xianniang. The witch tells Mulan how they are similar and both have very strong qi. During the ensuing conflict, Mulan's armor is damaged, revealing her traditional clothing. Mulan uses this opportunity to embrace the third virtue taught to her by her father, "True". Taking off her helmet and letting down her hair, she goes back to save the others. Noticing that they are being bombarded by a trebuchet, she places helmets on rocks in order to trick to Rourans into firing into a mountain, causing an avalanche. This devastates the Rouran army and saves the Chinese troops. Mulan admits the truth of her identity to her peers, and she is told to leave the army or be killed.

As Mulan begins to head home, Xianniang flies to Mulan and tells her that Böri Khan and the Rourans plan to capture the Emperor and the palace. Mulan races off to save the others, despite being told she would be killed if she returned. Initially, Commander Tung does not trust Mulan's warning of the attack, however many of the troops speak up saying "I Believe Hua Mulan". With this, they head off to the capital.

When they arrive the city is already deserted, so they search for the emperor. They find an area in which they believe the emperor to be, however they are trapped by enemy forces and must fight to escape. Xianniang tells Mulan that the Emperor is held captive by Böri Khan. She heads off alone, leaving the others to defend themselves. She follows Xianniang's flight path as the witch leads her to a building under construction. As she runs towards the building, Böri Khan fires an arrow directly towards Mulan. Xianniang swiftly flies directly into the line of fire, taking the arrow and saving Mulan's life. Böri and Mulan engage in front of the Emperor. Böri Khan insults Mulan, however, the Emperor commends her. In the conflict, Mulan knocks Khan down the unfinished center of the building. Still living, he fires an arrow at Mulan who redirects it back at him, killing him instantly. After the Emperor returns to the palace, he holds a ceremony honoring Mulan and those who fought alongside her. He offers to make her an officer in the Chinese army, but she refuses, citing her duty to her family.

Mulan returns to her village and is greeted by her family and neighbors with open arms, despite the Matchmaker's disapproval. Shortly after her arrival, Commander Tung arrives on horseback and reiterates the Emperor's offer to appoint her an officer in the army. Additionally, he presents her a gift from the Emperor: a new sword that reads "Loyal", "Brave", "True", and a fourth virtue, "Family".

Cast

Development

The film was announced to be in development on March 30, 2015, to be produced by Chris Bender and J.C. Spike, with a script bought from the writing team Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hayneck.[5] On October 4, 2016, the film was confirmed by Disney with a release date set for November 2, 2018. On February 14, 2017, Disney chose Niki Caro to direct the film and Bill Kong as executive producer, due to familiarity with Chinese culture.

On April 19, 2017, it was reported that Ming-Na Wen, the voice of Mulan in the original film, was in talks to possibly have a cameo in the film.[6] In July 2017, the film's release date was taken off the 2018 calendar with The Nutcracker and the Four Realms taking its place. On November 29, 2017, Liu Yifei was cast as Mulan.[7]

On March 1, 2018, the film was pushed back to March 27, 2020.[8] Production on the film began on August 13 and the first image of Liu Yifei as Mulan was released. Filming began in New Zealand and China.[9] On May 30, it was reported that Mushu will appear.[10] It was, however, later stated by the film's director that while the film will have a spiritual representation of Mulan's ancestors, Mushu would not be present.[11] Regarding the decision, director Niki Caro stated that the character of Mushu was irreplaceable and that the original film stands on its own in that regard.[12] Producer Jason Reed further stated that while the filmmakers loved Mushu, he was "not probably the most culturally acceptable solution to symbolize a dragon in Chinese language tradition." As such, Mulan receives a legendary guardian in the form of a phoenix within the film.[13]

The film's budget, over $200 million, is the priciest of any Disney's live-action remakes to date. This placed added pressure on the film to perform especially well, even before the global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Controversy has also been stirred by star Liu Yifei in regard to her comments in favor of police in regard to the protests in Hong Kong.[14] Following the film's release, it faced new controversy in the form of protesters not only from Hong Kong but additionally from activists joining them in the countries of Thailand and Taiwan.[15]

Music

Main article: Mulan (2020 soundtrack)

The remake does not feature any songs from the original film, and instead uses instrumental versions of the original film's songs. Director Niki Caro later explained that the songs were deleted because she felt their use did not fit with her realistic vision of the film; she believes that since people do not break out into song as they enter war, the film should not either. Though she still tried to honor the music from the animation in a very significant way, she could not find a place to use the original music. Producer Jason T. Reed clarified Caro's previous statement by saying that the songs would be featured "in a slightly different way" in the remake. Harry Gregson-Williams, who previously worked with Caro on The Zookeeper's Wife, composed the film's score.

Matthew Wilder, who co-wrote the songs for the original film, said the remake would feature a new version of the song "Reflection," and that the song thematically plays a large part in the new movie throughout the score. Christina Aguilera, who previously performed an end-credits version of "Reflection" for the original film, confirmed during a performance in The Xperience that she had recorded a new version of "Reflection," as well as new material for the remake's soundtrack. On March 6, 2020, she released a new single for the film's soundtrack, titled "Loyal Brave True." The song was written by Jamie Hartman, Harry Gregson-Williams, Rosi Golan and Billy Crabtree, and produced by Jamie Hartman. The song was also released in Spanish, as "El Mejor Guerrero." Additionally, the singer confirmed that she would also release a re-recorded version of "Reflection." On March 8, a Mandarin-version of the song, titled "自己" ("Zìjǐ"), performed by Yifei Liu was released, while Aguilera's English version was issued later the same year, on August 28. The soundtrack album was released by Walt Disney Records on September 4, 2020.

Release

Yifei Liu on the red carpet.

The film's red-carpet premiere was at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 9, 2020. Mulan actress Yifei Liu appeared wearing an Elie Saab gown sporting small phoenix symbols and a long train. Christina Aguilera, known for her end-credits performance of "Reflection" in the original film and "Loyal Brave True" for the new film was also in attendance, along with Ming-Na Wen, the voice of Fa Mulan in the original animated classic.[16]

Following the Disney Shareholders meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina on March 11th, the film was shown to D23 members. Additional D23 showings around the US were planned, but they were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [17]

Original poster with March 27 release date

Originally scheduled to premiere in the United States on March 27, 2020, the film's worldwide release was forced to be delayed until July 24, 2020, in response to crowd concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak. In response to the delay, director Niki Caro wrote a letter to fans, stating that she hoped the fighting spirit of Mulan would inspire everyone working to keep people safe and praising the film's cast and crew.[18] On May 5, 2020, Disney CEO Bob Chapek indicated that the studio remained committed to the July 24th date, stating that "Our fingers are crossed. That's our first big movie out of the gate."[19] However, on June 24, 2020, it was reported that a source close to the film had indicated that Disney was weighing the possibility of again postponing the film.[20] On June 26, 2020, it was officially announced that the film had been delayed to a release date of August 21, 2020. But on July 23, the film was stripped of its release date.[21] On August 4, 2020, it was announced that the film will premiere on Disney+ on September 4, 2020, at a price point of $29.99 and theatrically in markets where theaters are open and Disney+ is not available.[3] The decision was received poorly by U.K. cinema orders who reacted with colorful language, and Phil Clapp, head of the UK Cinema Association stated: "The decision not to give cinemas the chance to play the film (even if day-and-date with Disney+) is frankly bewildering and something we’ve of course gone back to them on."[22] A French theater owner went viral with a video of him taking a baseball bat to a large stand-up Mulan display in his theater following the announcement.[23] The owner of AMC, however, empathized with Disney's decision, stating that AMC had faced similar pressures in the wake of the pandemic.[24] On August 11, 2020, Disney specifically confirmed that the film would be released theatrically in China.[25] On August 21, 2020, it was revealed that the title would also be made available to purchase via Apple, Roku, and Google.[26] On August 29, 2020, Disney erroneously posted a banner on Disney+ stating the film would become available to all Disney+ subscribers on December 4, 2020, though this banner was later removed.[27] It was later confirmed on September 2 that the film would be made available to all Disney+ subscribers on December 4.[4] On October 6, the title was made available to purchase digitally through services other than Disney+.[28]

Home media

Main article: Mulan (2020 video)

Mulan was released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment on Digital HD on October 6, 2020, followed by a DVD, Blu-ray, and Ultra HD Blu-ray release on November 10.

Reception

Critical reception

In the days prior to the film's release, critics were given the ability to stream Mulan in order to review it. The embargo for these reviews was lifted on September 3rd.[29] Mulan received mostly positive reviews, giving it a score of 72% on Rotten Tomatoes out of 308 total reviews and 66% on Metacritic out of 52 total reviews.[30][31] Among critics who spoke highly of Mulan, Laura Prudom with IGN wrote that it is a "confident blend of old and new, hiding a familiar heart under action-packed armor". [32] Leah Greenblatt with Entertainment Weekly wrote that "Mulan might be the closest thing to a true old-fashioned theater-going experience the end of this strange summer will see". [33]

Negative reviews criticized the tonal shift in the film from the original. The film's loss of the musical numbers and Mushu did not sit well with some critics. Among other criticisms were that character development was sabotaged to make a more action-packed film, such as how Mulan is depicted as a rather overpowered protagonist from the get-go who overcomes every obstacle given to her way too flawlessly as opposed to being an average woman who overcame her flaws with her bravery, intelligence and resourcefulness. Meg Downey with Gamespot wrote that "It's not aiming for the same demographic as its animated counterpart, but it never commits to anything that could make it more mature in a meaningful way, instead opting for more battle scenes and CGI-infused action rather than nuance or narrative complexity".[34]

Accolades

Mulan received two nominations for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for Bina Daigeler and an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects at the 93rd Academy Awards, losing its two wins to the Netflix-distributed biographical drama film, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (for the Best Costume Design) and Christopher Nolan's science fiction action-thriller film, Tenet (for the Best Visual Effects).

Box office performance

Mulan grossed $5.9 million from nine countries in its international opening weekend, including $1.2 million in Thailand and $700,000 in Singapore, both of which were the highest debuts of 2020 in the respective countries. It also made $800,000 in both the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Due to the several factors, including the thanking of Xinjiang authorities in the credits resulting in limited promotion, Asian representation in blockbuster films not being as uncommon in China as it is in American ones, and the film's Disney+ digital release resulting in pirated copies online, several outlets predicted that Mulan was likely to bomb at China's box office. The film made RMB 52.5M ($8.26 million) on its first day in the country, including previews.

Differences from the 1998 film

  • The remake starts with Mulan's childhood, while the original film did not.
  • Mulan's family name "Fa" has been changed to "Hua", which is the same name introduced in "The Female Mulan" (Chinese: 雌木蘭) written by Xu Wei (Chinese: 徐渭) in Ming Dynasty[35] (while the original legend never told Mulan's family name).
  • Khan is renamed Black Wind in the remake and does not show much emotion like his animated counterpart.
  • General Li Shang from the 1998 film is split into two characters: Commander Tung, her military commander and Chen Honghui, her love interest.[36]
    • Also because of the difference, Commander Tung is portrayed as an older veteran commander, while in the original film, Li Shang is a newly appointed commander, having just recently been granted that position by his father.
  • The villain character Böri Khan (played by Jason Scott Lee) takes the place of Shan Yu in the 1998 film.
    • Shan Yu's goal in the original film is to conquer China while Böri Khan's goal in the remake is to avenge his father, who was killed by the Emperor sometime prior to the film.
    • Bori Khan is a Rouran descent instead of a Hun. This is drawn from the 2009 version, which used the Rourans instead of the Huns.
  • The shapeshifting witch character Xianniang takes the place of Hayabusa the Falcon.
  • The Rouran Army takes the place of the Hun Army.
  • In the original film, Mulan was first seen eating rice. In this film, she was instead seen helping her father round up chickens.
    • On a related note, the scene where a young Mulan is told to round up the chickens is used as an homage to the scene where Little Brother is told to feed the chickens.
  • Mulan is an only-child as shown in the 1998 film, while in the remake, she has a younger sister named Hua Xiu (played by Xana Tang). She did have a younger brother in the original legend.
  • Mulan's village is named Tulou in the remake. In the original, her village's name is unknown.
    • Instead of appearing as random houses, the entire village is instead built to look like a colosseum.
  • While the film pays tribute to the songs of the original film, it does not have musical numbers.[11] However, Christina Aguilera, who performed a pop version of "Reflection" for the original film, returns to perform a new song titled "Loyal Brave True"[37]. Aguilera recorded a new version of "Reflection" for the film's credits.[38]
  • The Great Stone Dragon statue is smaller in the remake and appears in front of the Hua Family's shrine along with a phoenix statue instead of being a few feet away.
    • The statue doesn't get destroyed at all. However, the phoenix statue does get damaged by Mulan.
  • The shrine dedicated to Mulan's ancestors has a different design.
  • While Mulan's personality is still the same in the remake, she is more mature and talks in a more calming manner than her animated counterpart.
  • Zhou's armor is dark red instead of black.
  • The Emperor's clothes are gray-black instead of yellow.
  • In the remake, Mulan not only wraps her hair into a bun but also wears a helmet alongside her father's armor before departing to join the army. In the original film, she never wore a helmet before leaving her home.
  • In the original film, Mulan leaves the dinner table after arguing with her father while in the remake, Zhou does this instead.
    • It was still daytime during this scene.
  • Mulan did not leave home right away after arguing with her father. Instead, she did it sometime after watching her father practice sword fighting.
  • Khan (Black Wind) being startled by Mulan's disguise is omitted.
  • The scroll and flower comb are found near the closet containing Zhou's armor instead of near Zhou's bed.
  • It did not rain until after Mulan left home.
    • It rained a second time when Mulan offers to be the lookout for the training camp.
  • After Mulan's family learn of her departure, they do not venture outside the house.
    • This happens in the morning instead of at night.
  • In the original film, Grandmother Fa prays to the ancestors to protect Mulan. In this film, Zhou does this instead, but from inside the Hua Family's shrine instead of at his house.
  • In the original film, Mulan lies to General Shang about her name being Ping as a disguise to get into the army, but in this movie, she doesn't say her name is Ping. She tells Commander Tung her name is Hua Jun instead. She also does not spit in front of him like how she did to Shang in the original film.
  • Mushu, Cri-Kee, Mulan's pet dog Little Brother, the spirits of Mulan's ancestors, General Li, and Grandmother Fa do not appear in the live-action movie.
    • A phoenix showed in this film, an original character created for the remake, which takes Mushu's role of being the symbol of her ancestors.
      • Coincidentally, the phoenix has a similar color scheme as Mushu.
  • In the original film, the Huns (Rourans) scale the Great Wall using grappling hooks. In this film, they instead run up and over the wall.
    • The Great Wall also has a gate in the remake.
    • The Great Wall is now set at Yumen Pass (Chinese: 玉門關) (the texture is based on Juayu Pass (Chinese: 嘉峪關) due to Yumen Pass lost enough reference) due to the scene now set on The North Silk Road. In the original film, the texture of the Great Wall is based on the part in Badaling (Chinese: 八達嶺).
    • This scene occurs in the day instead of at night.
    • The soldiers on the Great Wall do not light signal fires to warn all of China and Shan Yu (Böri Khan) does not burn a flag in one of the torches.
    • Unlike the original film, there is a village behind the Great Wall.
  • In the original film, General Shang and Chancellor Chi-Fu find out about Fa Zhou by reading the scroll that Mulan had and believe that she is Fa Zhou's son. In the remake, Mulan instead simply tells Commander Tung and Chen Honghui that she is Hua Zhou's son.
  • It took Mulan a few days to reach the camp in the remake. In the original, she arrived there the next day after leaving home.
  • In the remake, it was stated that Tung and Zhou once fought together in the past while in the original film, there was no mention of a partnership between Shang and Zhou.
  • In the remake, the Rourans (Huns) have set up camps during the invasion while in the original film, they did not.
  • In the original film, Mulan slept in a small tent alone. In the remake, she slept in a larger tent with other soldiers.
  • The training camp's location does not have much plants in the remake.
  • Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po (simply renamed Po) are all normal-sized men with less comedic personalities in the remake.
    • Chien-Po was bald and overweight in the original film, while in the remake, Po is skinny and has hair on his head.
    • While Yao's still maintains his gruff characteristics, he is more jovial and much taller than his animated counterpart.
    • Ling is much friendlier and adept at quoting poetry.
    • They never antagonize Mulan in the remake.
    • Mulan does not disguise them as women during the final battle against the Huns (Rourans).
  • Prior to the Rouran Army invading China, it is said that they had ravaged the northern cities located outside of China.
  • Mulan's face makeover is given more details in the remake.
    • Also, unlike the original film, Mulan wasn't seen taking a bath before wearing her clothes and applying the make-up on her face.
  • The Matchmaker is less cruel but more serious and strict in the remake.
    • Her appearance also differs: She now has face paint and her body size is smaller.
    • Unlike the original film, the Matchmaker had assistants with her.
    • She makes a second appearance at the end of the remake while in the original film, she only appeared once.
    • In the original film, the meeting with the Matchmaker goes horribly wrong thanks to Cri-Kee and Mulan accidentally setting her on fire. In the remake, this happens with Hua Xiu's fear of spiders and Mulan accidentally wrecking the tea table.
    • No other women accompanied Mulan and Xiu while on their way to see the Matchmaker. They also did not have parasols with them.
    • The Matchmaker does not deem Mulan a bride, only considering her a disgrace to her family.
  • Chancellor Chi-Fu is never referred by name, only by his job as chancellor. He is also not as arrogant and spoiled as his animated counterpart in the remake.
    • Also, Chancellor Chi-Fu was never at the training camp in the remake.
  • The scenes where Shan Yu (Böri Khan) acquires a doll from Hayabusa (Xianniang) and the two men who confront Shan Yu (Böri Khan) are omitted.
  • The fight that was triggered at the camp while the soldiers are waiting in line for rice does not happen in the remake. Instead, a soldier pushes Mulan over and Chen Honghui tries to help her up, who then refuses his help. The two nearly get into a fight with their swords before Commander Tung stops them.
  • Sergeant Qiang, Red Fez, Cricket, and Lee Xian are new characters that appear in the remake.
    • Two additional characters, Skath and Ramtish, were intended to appear but were cut.
    • Cricket takes the role of Cri-Kee in the remake.
  • The scene where the Chancellor arrives to recruit men for the Chinese Army happens after Mulan and Xiu's meeting with the Matchmaker.
    • The names of the families that the Chancellor calls out are different from the original film.
  • In the original film, Mulan attempts to stop her father from joining the army but is silenced by Chi-Fu. In the remake, she did try to do this when her father's frail health kicks in, but was stopped by her mother.
  • After watching her father practice with his sword, he tells Mulan more about the Phoenix. This was omitted in the original film.
    • Zhou was practicing after dinner in the remake while in the original, it was before.
  • The scene where Shang (Tung) and his fellow soldiers use a giant shishi statue to barge in the palace to fight against the Huns (Rourans) is omitted.
  • In the original film, Shang (Tung) ends training after Chi-Fu receives a fake urgent message from a disguised Mushu. In this film, he instead does this after learning of a nearby village that is under attack by the Rourans (Huns), which they will later find already destroyed.
  • The destruction of the village that the Chinese Army will later come across is shown in the remake. In the original, this did not happen and the village was already found destroyed.
    • There was no snow in this scene.
    • Mulan does not find the doll that Shan Yu (Böri Khan) found earlier as it never appears in the remake.
    • Shang (Tung) does not receive his father's helmet from Chien-Po (Po) nor does he create a shrine for him.
  • In the original film, the training scene involved climbing a tree with weighs to retrieve an arrow on the top of it, training with poles, shooting onions in the air, blocking rocks with a pole while balancing a bucket of water on your head, grabbing fish, dodging a field of fiery darts, chopping concrete blocks with your head, hand-to-hand combat with Shang, walking over logs, cannon target practicing, and climbing a mountain while carrying heavy bags. In the remake, it instead consists of combat training, sword combat training, carrying buckets of water to the top of a mountain, arrow target practice, and spear combat training.
    • Ling does not bully Mulan in this scene.
  • Mulan had two meetings with Commander Tung discussing her qi and later a visit to her father. This never happens in the original film.
  • Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po (Po) discuss their ideas of meeting a girl while having lunch with Mulan and Honghui. In the original, they did this while on their way to help Shang's father.
  • In the original film, Mulan cuts her hair with her father's sword trying to look like a man in the army. In this film, she doesn't cut her hair short at all; instead, she keeps her long hair for the entire film.
  • Hua Zhou's sword bears the Chinese characters for "Loyal" (Chinese: 忠), "Brave" (Chinese: 勇), and "True" (Chinese: 真) in the remake. In the original film, the sword did not have any writing on it.
    • At the end of the film, after her original sword was destroyed, Mulan gets a new sword with "Loyal", "Brave", "True", and "Filial" (Chinese: 孝) engraved on it. In the original, Mulan was given Shan Yu's sword and the Emperor's Crest.
    • Mulan never used the sword to fight Shan Yu (Böri Khan) in the original film. She did use it in the remake.
  • Xianniang changes sides in the remake while in the original film, Hayabusa remained loyal to the Huns before being burned and tamed by Mushu.
  • While going for a night swim to clean herself up in the original film, Mulan is joined by Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po. In this film, she is instead joined by Honghui.
    • Mulan does not unravel her hair while doing this.
    • No other men were seen in this scene.
  • The Huns (Rourans) launching a surprise attack at the Chinese Army, who fire back at them using cannons is omitted in the remake.
  • Unlike the original film, the Chinese Army and the Rourans actually fight each other, although this battle is revealed to be a diversion that allows Böri Khan to sneak into the Imperial City.
    • No Chinese soldiers fought the Rourans until this point.
    • Besides swords, other types of weaponry (spears, catapults, shields, and arrows) were also used in the battle.
    • No cannons were used in this scene.
  • The avalanche was triggered differently. In the original film, Mulan uses Yao's cannon to fire at a nearby mountain. In the remake, she instead tricks the Rourans into firing at the mountain by placing helmets on the mountain rocks.
  • After saving Honghui from the avalanche, he, Khan (Black Wind), and Mulan do not go over a cliff.
  • In the original film, Mulan's identity is revealed when a medic is treating her injuries. In the remake, she instead reveals her identity before the defeat of the Rouran Army.
  • In the original film, Mulan was meant to be executed for deceiving the Chinese Army but was instead spared and told to leave. In the remake, Tung instead simply tells her to leave or she will be executed.
  • In the original film, Shan Yu (Böri Khan) is killed in an explosion while in the remake, he is killed by his own arrow that was caught by the Emperor and shot back at him by Mulan.
  • In the original film, Shan Yu slashes Mulan in the crest with his sword after she causes the avalanche, injuring her. In the remake, Xianniang (who sees through Mulan's disguise) does this instead, but with her claws. She also throws a shuriken at her, although she survives thanks to her armor.
    • This scene happens before the avalanche.
    • Unlike the original film, Mulan's injuries did not make her bleed much.
  • In the original film, the avalanche wipes out the entire Hun army, but Shan Yu and a few of the Huns have survived it. In this film, all the Rourans died in the avalanche, but Böri Khan wasn't among them. He was heading for the Imperial City at this time.
  • When Mulan tried to warn the Chinese Army of Shan Yu's survival, they did not believe her. In the remake, only Tung didn't believe her at first while the others did. Tung then tells Mulan that while her actions have brought disgrace and dishonor to their regiment, the kingdom and her family, her loyalty and bravery are without question and lets her lead them as they ride to the Imperial City.
  • In the remake, Mulan has a brief meeting with Xianniang after being exiled from the army, who warns her of Böri Khan's plot. In the original film, Mulan instead had a heart-to-heart conversation with Mushu.
    • There was no snow in their location.
  • When arriving at the palace, Mulan encounters Xianniang instead of the Emperor. This is omitted in the original film.
  • In the original film, Hayabusa's feathers are burned away by Mushu when he tries to warn the Huns of Shang's presence. Mushu then tames and rides him like a chicken. In this film, Xianniang dies while protecting Mulan from Böri Khan's attack.
    • While Xianniang's fate is shown in the remake, Hayabusa's fate in the original is unknown.
  • The battle between Mulan and Böri Khan takes place in a construction site instead of at the palace.
    • Additionally, the Emperor goes there to confront Böri Khan and is captured.
    • This happens in the day instead of at night.
  • Xianniang disguises herself as a merchant named Red Fez to sneak through the Great Wall and tricks the Emperor by pretending to be a Chinese guard and later the Chancellor. These events do not happen in the original film.
    • Additionally, Xianniang is briefly antagonized by the Rourans (Huns) before Böri Khan stops them while Hayabusa does not experience this at all.
  • Mulan doesn't use a hand fan in the fight against Böri Khan. Instead, she uses a bamboo pole. Additionally, Mulan uses Böri Khan's sword to cut the rope holding the platform that they are standing on while in the original, she used it to hold Shan Yu in place to be hit by the oncoming fireworks.
  • The Emperor never mentions any of Mulan's crimes and instead celebrates her saving of him and the empire.
  • In the original film, Shang temporally faces Shan Yu (Böri Khan) with Mulan while in the remake, Mulan fights him alone.
  • The fight between the Chinese soldiers and the Rourans takes place outside the palace instead of inside. Also, Mulan is accompanied by the entire Imperial Army while in the original, she is only accompanied by Yao, Ling, Chien-Po, and Shang.
  • In the remake, the Emperor remains imprisoned until after Mulan defeats Böri Khan while in the original, Chien-Po (Po) escapes with the Emperor down a zip line.
  • Mulan is still offered a position; however, it's as a member of the army rather than as chancellor.
    • Mulan turns down this offer but later accepts after receiving her new sword.
  • The celebration scene happens after the battle in the Imperial City rather than before it.
    • In that same scene, there was no parade director announcing, "Make way for the heroes of China", nor acrobats, nor musicians in the remake. Additionally, the people who are using a Chinese dragon figure were not Rourans (Huns) who did a surprise attack in the original film, but rather by a team of dragon dancers.
  • Rather than being an ordinary human, Mulan is blessed with an abundance of the supernatural force known as "qi", granting her superhuman balance and strength.
  • Unlike the original film, the remake has a narrator (who is really Zhou), who is heard at the beginning and the ending.
  • When returning home in the original film, Mulan was greeted by her father while in the remake, she was instead greeted by her whole family, the Matchmaker, and the villagers.
    • Unlike the original film, she didn't have gifts for her father upon returning home. Instead, Tung (Shang) later arrives and presents Mulan with her new sword while in the original film, he came to return Mulan's helmet.
  • In the 1998 movie, Mulan talks in a man accent trying to fool everyone thinking she's a man, but in the remake, she uses her normal voice while pretending to be a man even though no one can tell that she's originally a woman.

Gallery

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The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Mulan (2020 film).

Videos

Trivia

  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, another live action Disney movie with a mostly Asian cast and centered around Chinese culture and society, also ended up facing backlash from China.
    • However, unlike Shang-Chi, which both received critical acclaim from both Metacritic and non-Chinese audiences, Mulan received critical acclaim from Metacritic but negative reviews from non-Chinese audiences.
  • Mulan is the tenth of many live-action adaptations of classic Disney animated films released in the 21st century, following Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Christopher Robin, Dumbo, Aladdin, The Lion King, and Lady and the Tramp (Pete's Dragon doesn't count as it is considered a remake of a live-action movie).
  • This is the first live-action adaptation/remake of a Disney Animated Canon movie to be rated PG-13. Notably, the original film was rated G, and the film's PG-13 rating is stated to be entirely in relation to "sequences of violence."[39]
    • Thus, it's also the third live-action remake of a Disney Animated Canon movie not to be rated PG by the MPAA after 1996's 101 Dalmatians and 1998's direct-to-video film The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story.
    • This is the first time neither animated nor live-action film receives a PG rating in a Disney franchise.
  • This is the eleventh Disney film to rated PG-13, but the sixth outside of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, after Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, John Carter, The Lone Ranger, Saving Mr. Banks, and The Finest Hours.
  • This is the second live-action adaptation of a Disney Animated Canon movie that is released on Disney+, the first being Lady and the Tramp.
  • This is the first Disney+ original movie to get a home video release.
  • This is the first film to debut on Disney+ as a Premiere Access title.
  • This is the fourth Disney+ movie that was originally intended as a theatrical release, after Artemis Fowl, Magic Camp, and The One and Only Ivan, due to the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This is the fifth Disney Princess film to get a live-action remake, after Maleficent, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin.
  • This is the second Disney movie for Niki Caro to helm a movie which has a budget exceeding 100 million dollars, after Ava DuVernay for 2018's A Wrinkle in Time (and the third overall female director after Patty Jenkins for 2017's Wonder Woman).
  • This is the third time an end credits performer of a Disney animated film performs a new end credits song for a Disney live-action adaptation (Christina Aguilera performs both Loyal Brave True and a new version of Reflection) after 2017's Beauty and the Beast (in which Celine Dion performed an end credits version of How Does a Moment Last Forever) and 2019's The Lion King (in which Elton John performed Never Too Late).
    • Thus, it is also the first time an end credits performer of a Disney animated film reprises an end credits song from the original Disney animated film.
  • The castle in the Walt Disney Pictures logo takes on the form of Shanghai Disneyland's Enchanted Storybook Castle.
  • Actress Gong Li, who plays the evil witch character, Xianniang, was also the inspiration for the 1998 animated version/counterpart of Mulan.
  • Liu Yifei, Gong Li, Jet Li, and Cheng Pei-Pei reprised their roles in the Mandarin dub of the film.
  • Ming-Na Wen (the original voice of Mulan) has a cameo at the end of the film when she introduces Mulan to the emperor.
  • Utkarsh Ambudkar and Chum Ehelepola were cast as Skath and Ramtish, respectively, a couple of con artists, but their roles were cut.[40][41]
  • When Mulan asks "When the two rabbits run side by side, how can you tell a male from a female?", that question contains the two last verses of "The Ballad of Mulan".

References

  1. "Harry Gregson-Williams to Score Disney’s ‘Mulan’ Live-Action Movie". Film Music Reporter. Retrieved on 24 Aug 2018.
  2. https://twitter.com/DisneyD23/status/1235714444769898499
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 4, 2020). "‘Mulan’ Going On Disney+ & Theaters In September; CEO Bob Chapek Says Decision Is “One-Off”, Not New Windows Model". Deadline. Retrieved on August 4, 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Spangler, Todd (September 2, 2020). "‘Mulan’ Will Be Available to All Disney Plus Subscribers in December for No Extra Cos". Variety. Retrieved on September 2, 2020.
  5. Disney Developing Live-Action MULAN Remake
  6. Ming-Na Wen talks Mulan live action
  7. "Disney's 'Mulan' Finds Its Star (Exclusive)". Hollywoodreporter.com (November 29, 2017). Retrieved on 2017-11-29.
  8. "Disney's live-action Mulan pushed back to 2020". EntertainmentWeekly. Retrieved on March 1, 2018.
  9. "Disney Shares First Look at Live-Action Mulan". Hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved on August 13, 2018.
  10. "EXCLUSIVE: Disney's MULAN Remake To Feature Music; Mushu To Appear". thedisinsider.com. Retrieved on May 30, 2019.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Evans, Nick (January 15, 2020). "Mulan Director Explains Why The Remake Won't Have Mushu Or Musical Numbers". Cinema Blend. Retrieved on January 16, 2020.
  12. Arguello, Toby (January 20, 2020). "Disney’s Live-Action Mulan Does NOT Have Mushu: Here’s Why". Screen Rant. Retrieved on January 21, 2020.
  13. "Mulan remake filmmakers clarify why they needed to slay Mushu and the well-known songs". BingePost (February 21, 2020). Retrieved on February 22, 2020.
  14. Ford, Rebecca (February 26, 2020). "Inside Disney's Bold $200M Gamble on 'Mulan': "The Stakes Couldn't Be Higher"", Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on February 29, 2020. 
  15. Kaur, Harmeet (September 4, 2020). "Pro-democracy activists are again calling on people to boycott 'Mulan'". CNN. Retrieved on September 4, 2020.
  16. "'Mulan' premiere: Christina Aguilera, Yifei Liu and more stun on the red carpet". USA Today (March 10, 2020).
  17. https://twitter.com/DisneyD23/status/1235714444769898499
  18. Xinhua (March 13, 2020). "Disney postpones 'Mulan' movie release over COVID-19 concerns". The Nation. Retrieved on March 14, 2020.
  19. Alexander, Bryan (May 5, 2020). "'Fingers crossed': Disney keeps 'Mulan' theatrical release in July, banks on 'pent-up demand'". USA Today. Retrieved on May 6, 2020.
  20. Watson, R.T. (June 24, 2020). "Disney Weighs Postponing July 24 Release of ‘Mulan’ as Theaters Struggle to Reopen". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved on June 25, 2020.
  21. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named unscheduled
  22. Grater, Tom (August 5, 2020). "UK Cinema Owners Blindsided By Disney ‘Mulan’ Decision: “It’s A F*ck You To Exhibitors”". Deadline. Retrieved on August 5, 2020.
  23. "Theater Owner Destroys Mulan Poster". Yahoo! Entertainment (August 6, 2020). Retrieved on August 7, 2020.
  24. Bui, Hoai-Tran (August 7, 2020). "AMC Theatres CEO Understands Disney’s Decision to Release ‘Mulan’ on VOD, in Stark Contrast to ‘Trolls’ Reaction". Slashfilm. Retrieved on August 9, 2020.
  25. Grater, Tom (August 11, 2020). "Disney Confirms ‘Mulan’ China Theatrical Release". Deadline. Retrieved on August 11, 2020.
  26. Hayes, Dade (August 21, 2020). "Disney Adds Apple, Roku And Google For ‘Mulan’ PVOD Billing On Disney+". Deadline. Retrieved on August 22, 2020.
  27. "Mulan Releases To All Disney+ Subscribers For Free in December [UPDATED]". Screenrant (August 29, 2020). Retrieved on August 30, 2020.
  28. You must specify title = and url = when using {{cite web}}.Alexander, Julia (October 1, 2020). . The Verge. Retrieved on October 2, 2020.
  29. https://twitter.com/GraceRandolph/status/1299904197362679808
  30. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/mulan_2020
  31. https://www.metacritic.com/movie/mulan-2020
  32. https://www.ign.com/articles/mulan-review
  33. https://ew.com/movies/movie-reviews/mulan-review/
  34. https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/mulan-review-all-style-no-substance/
  35. Kwa, Shiamin; Idema, Wilt L. (2010), Mulan: Five Versions of a Classic Chinese Legend with Related Texts, Hackett Publishing, ISBN 1603848711
  36. "‘Mulan’: Why Captain Li Shang Isn’t in the Live-Action Remake". Collider (February 27, 2020).
  37. "Disney’s Mulan". Walt Disney Studios (March 6, 2020). Retrieved on March 7, 2020.
  38. Kiefer, Halle (March 7, 2020). "How Does Christina Aguilera’s New Mulan Song Stack Up to ‘Reflection’?". Vulture. Retrieved on March 8, 2020.
  39. Mendelson, Scott (February 19, 2020). "For Disney’s ‘Mulan,’ A PG-13 Rating Is Both A Risk And A Flex". Forbes. Retrieved on February 19, 2020.
  40. "‘Mulan’: Utkarsh Ambudkar & Ron Yuan Added To Disney’s Live-Action Adaptation", Deadline (May 23, 2018). Retrieved on May 24, 2018. 
  41. "Disney Casts 'Mulan' Love Interest (Exclusive)". Hollywoodreorter.com. Retrieved on August 15, 2018.


External links


v - e - d
Mulan Logo.png
Media
Films: MulanMulan IIMulan (2020 film)Video

Video games: Animated StoryBook: MulanKingdom Hearts IIDisney Emoji BlitzDisney Crossy RoadDisney Magic KingdomsDisney Sorcerer's ArenaDisney's MulanDisney Heroes: Battle Mode
Books: The Art of MulanDisney Princess BeginningsReflection (A Twisted Tale)Kilala Princess
Music: MulanMulan IIMulan (2020)

Disney Parks
Castle of Magical DreamsDisney Animation BuildingFantasy GardensGarden of the Twelve FriendsIt's a Small WorldVoyage to the Crystal Grotto

Entertainment: Cinderella's Surprise CelebrationDisney's WishesMickey and the Magical MapMickey’s Storybook AdventureMulan, La LégendeOnce Upon a MouseRoyal Princess Music CelebrationThe Golden Mickeys
Restaurants: Plaza Inn
Parade: Mickey's New Year's Eve ParadeMickey's Rainy Day ExpressMickey's Storybook ExpressMulan Parade
Firework: Cherish the MemoriesDisney in the StarsDisney Movie MagicHappily Ever AfterHarmonioUSHurry Home: Lunar New Year CelebrationIgnite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light
Spring: Disney Color-Fest: A Street Party!
Summer: Mickey's WaterWorks
Halloween: The Disney Villains Halloween Showtime

Characters
Original: Fa MulanMushuCri-KeeLi ShangYao, Ling, and Chien PoChi-FuShan YuGeneral LiFa ZhouFa LiGrandmother FaFirst Ancestor FaFa Family AncestorsThe Emperor of ChinaThe MatchmakerLittle BrotherKhanShang's HorseHayabusa the FalconElite Hun SoldiersHun Army

Sequel: Sha-RonTing-Ting, Su, and MeiLord QinPrince Jeeki
Remake: Hua XiuCommander TungChen Honghui

Songs
Original: Honor to Us AllReflectionI'll Make a Man Out of YouA Girl Worth Fighting ForTrue To Your Heart

Sequel: Lesson Number OneLike Other GirlsHere Beside Me
Live-action: Loyal Brave True
Deleted songs: Keep 'em Guessing

Locations
ChinaImperial CityFa Family HomeVillage
Objects
Great Stone DragonMulan's Hair AccessorySword of Shan YuMulan and Shang's NecklacesGolden Dragon of Unity
See Also
Mulan: Alternative OpeningMulan: Shan Yu Destroys the Village


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