The Entire World Has Seen Disney’s Live Action ‘Mulan’ Trailer—But Fans Stand Divided

Mulan.
Photo: Disney.

Disney is having a field day with their old animated films. With nearly ten live-action remakes already under their belt and many more on the way, people are reliving their childhoods like nobodies business. Disney’s Live Action Mulan trailer reactions are rolling in, in anticipation of the film’s March 2020 premiere. The teaser trailer sent chills down our spines as we watched actress Liu Yifei’s Mulan come to life. Disney is always so good at reaching your heart—their films have a soul and spirit that is so unique to their “world.”

According to Deadline, the clip hit an astonishing 175 million views within the first 24 hours of being released. So in terms of popularity, Mulan is already in league with major hits like Avengers and The Lion King. And while many are thrilled with the prospect of this film, some had a few complaints. It’s received blowback for not incorporating any songs–and for leaving out one of the most beloved characters: Mushu.

But in classic Disney remake fashion, they seem to be taking the animated film and turning it into a new story. We’ll always have the original 1998 version, so while we understand why people are upset at Mushu’s absence, it shouldn’t be enough to turn you off of this project. Mushu, the dragon voiced by Eddie Murphy in the original film, was adored for his incredible comedic timing and perfect one-liners. Naturally, his absence from this teaser trailer was quickly noticed by diehard fans.

While we understand the disappointment and the concern that, without Mishu, the story just won’t be the same, we also know it’s important to recognize that might be Disney’s intention. In 2020, the movie should be a departure from the animated film. Just like the 1998 iteration, the live action version is based on the Chinese legend of warrior Hua Mulan, a girl born in Northern China in the 5th century A.D. This interpretation isn’t supposed to be a remake of the animated film, but rather just another adaptation of the original legend. So it’s understandable that the two films would be different—especially given the 22-year gap between the making of both.

Ming-Na Wen, who voiced the original Mulan character in the 1998 Disney animated movie of the same name, shared her excitement after seeing the new trailer.

Others were a fan of the film as well, understanding that it’s a completely new take on the story we thought we knew.

There’s another issue with the latest trailer—Variety reported that the trailer has been widely criticized in Asia for featuring historical inaccuracies. Like we said, the film is set back in the 5th Century A.D., when the country was split between the Northern and Southern dynasties. Though there’s a lot excitement surrounding this remake in China, many have voiced their frustrations with the the teaser trailer on the social media platform Weibo. As Variety explained, the trailer for Mulan shows the title character and her parents living a round “tulou” house, described as a “traditional communal living structure of the Hakka people unique to coastal, southern Fujian.” Many have been quick to point out that since Mulan is from northern China, it’s highly unlikely she would actually be living in a home like that, which is associated with the Hakka people. The tulou house also corresponded more with the Ming dynasty—more than a thousand years after the film takes place.

“Disney shouldn’t be so careless and just think that because tulou are beautiful, they can make Mulan live in one,” one user penned on Weibo. “She’s not Fujianese! I guess this Mulan has to take the subway out to join the army?”

The concerns are completely valid. Others have pointed out that it feels like Disney is trying to Westernize the culture that is so distinctly their own. But with these complaints also comes a lot of praise and excitement.

Also…if we’re taking any issues with this…her hair length has to be one of them!

That moment was so satisfying in the original, just saying.

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