Mulan does not bring honor


Sean Bess

Mulan disappoints fans everywhere.

Kaylee Martinez, staff

The first trailer for Disney’s live action Mulan came out July 7, 2019. Fans of the cartoon caught a small glimpse of how the new film would honor the original animated movie. During the trailer, we saw how Mulan steps in to protect her father when he is called for war. 


Fast forward a crazy year which included a pandemic that closed down movie theatres, and Disney decided to push the movie to Disney Plus where fans who subscribe, can watch it for an additional $30. 


Spoilers ahead!


The new live action plot tells the story of a young woman named Hua Mulan, who is gifted with Qi, an inner life force that makes good warriors however women are not allowed to use this. When Bori Khan and a witch threaten to take over China, one man in each family is called to war. Mulan’s family has no sons, so she goes in her father’s place and cross dresses as a man. 


With many old and new live action Disney movies coming onto the big screen, fans are so excited to relive their childhood memories. Mulan was especially hyped since the trailer showed a more serious approach in comparison to the original cartoon. However it did not bring honor to the film nor stand as a good movie in general. Watching this movie made me rewatch the original to see where they went wrong and why the original succeeded. 


While the film had some awesome action with the warriors running up the walls and different camera angles, the scenes felt either too rushed or too slow. I found myself getting quite bored during the movie because of all the talking. There wasn’t enough plot development. The narrator of the film is Mulan’s father, who is an example of “show don’t tell.” Key moments such as Mulan cutting her hair and the great music are lost, we instead were given slow-motion scenes of her riding on horseback with an orchestral cover of the song Reflection. 


Not only did they take away amazing characters from the original, like grandma, Shang Li and Mushu for example but the directors also took away their personalities as well. The actress of Mulan, Liu Yifei, showed only one emotion the entire time. Even during the sad parts of the story, nothing happened to her face. The whole film felt like there was something missing, maybe the heart of the movie. Since no actual friendships were developed or really explored, especially that of Mulan and her father. The original film was amazing with everything: the enjoyable characters, great storyline and more. If the actors of the story can’t give emotion, why should the audience feel emotion.


The whole idea of the live action movie was exciting to everyone who was a fan of the original. Asians were hoping to see some representation, however that didn’t happen. Since, the whole storyline was written by non-Chinese writers and did not even have a Chinese director. 


Mulan is a disappointment to new generations discovering the legend. I hope their first experience is with the original animated movie instead of this remake. Don’t waste your money and time. Just watch the original animated film.