Another Disney Disaster: The Live-Action Mulan Movie

Sophia Paranzino, Features Editor

In the midst of a pandemic, Disney became the hero we all needed by releasing what we all so desperately wanted, another subpar live action remake of a classic film. This time Disney remade the 1998 animated, “Mulan,” only this time without the amazing songs or hilarious talking dragon for the sake of “realism.” Another unique twist to the release of this live action film is that you could only watch it if you payed an additional $30 on top of your Disney Plus subscription, an interesting move for a streaming service that hardly releases any new content to begin with.

Let’s put aside the strange conditions under which this movie was released and examine the quality of the movie itself. In the original “Mulan,” the story follows an ordinary girl who takes her father’s place in a war and works hard to become a fierce warrior. Yet in the new “Mulan,” she is no ordinary girl who works hard. In this movie, Mulan has a large amount of “ch’i” which means she holds a large amount of power, yet in her society women are taught to suppress their ch’i because it is seen as manly. So instead of watching Mulan work hard to become a fierce warrior, we simply watch a pre-gifted Mulan stop suppressing her power. This takes away from the original message that you can achieve your goals with enough hard work by instead creating a message that one must have a natural ability in something in order to succeed. This inclusion of ch’i contradicts the whole idea that this movie would be realistic, and if they cut out such amazing songs as “Reflection” and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” for the sake of realism, they shouldn’t have included these fantastical ideas of magical stored power.

But ch’i isn’t the only area where “Mulan” strayed from realism. This new movie added a new antagonist alongside the original villain. This new antagonist is a shapeshifting witch named Xianniang, a totally unrealistic and unnecessary addition to a movie about war.

Not only was this movie a questionable attempt at realism, but it was also a film shrouded in controversy. Many have questioned Disney’s choice to film this movie in China, as the country is currently persecuting Muslims to “fight terrorism,” causing many to call for a boycott of this movie. The main actress, Liu Yifei, has also caused controversy, mainly because she is outspoken for the Hong Kong police who are aggressively breaking apart pro-democracy protests.

In the end, this is simply a feeble attempt to remake a classic and beloved film, all for the sake of a profit. Yet this movie has caused more controversy than its worth, as Disney made some questionable choices in choosing their actors and in choosing where to film.

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