Disney’s newest movie “Mulan” fails to deliver a good story

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Photo by Disney

The live-action remake of Disney’s ”Mulan” came out Sept. 4 on Disney+ Premier Access, and failed to meet the audiences expectations. 

The movie takes the audience through the classic story of a Chinese girl who disguises herself as a man to fight with soldiers in order to protect her father and China. The original animated 90s film was a classic, touching the hearts of many; there were so many unique and fun aspects about the original that made people love it, but the remake failed to recreate those core scenes.

The cinematography of the movie was exceptional. All of the settings seemed so lively. The scenery was vibrant and immediately caught my attention because the view was breathtaking and it seemed so real. The remake also did a great job of showing Mulan, played by Liu Yifei, in her battles. It focused on her strength and determination to fight throughout the movie; the battle scenes proved her courage and power. 

I was disappointed by the new side characters in the movie. Mulan’s grandma was replaced with another character, Hua Xiu (Xana Tang), who portrayed Mulan’s sister in the new film. In the animated version, the grandma had quite a few comedic lines which pleased audiences. In the remake, she was replaced with a sister and it seemed that they had no connection. There weren’t any special scenes or much bonding shown, so it seemed pointless to include this new relationship. In the animated movie, Mulan had a little guardian dragon named Mushu. In the new movie, he is shown as some sort of Phoenix guardian who never speaks. Mushu was probably my favorite character in the animated movie, and not seeing him there was disappointing. Mushu was a key character in the movie as his interference in Mulan’s life was essential for her journey.

I did, however, like the addition of a new female villain. The original movie’s villain was Shan-Yu of the Huns who was played as Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee) and the additional villain was Xian Lang (Li Gong). The change gave a nice feminist aspect of the story that I enjoyed. Her intense powers added a great flair to the storyline. She had powers similar to Mulan and she had a troubled past of being an outcast. I feel Mulan can relate to her and showing another strong female character made the movie unique.

The famous song ”I’ll Make A Man Out of You” is the biggest disappointment for me. The animated version was amazing and the whole scene showed how Mulan struggled and improved. It was the most entertaining sequence in the movie. The remake version was boring and it didn’t show her journey as she was training. It doesn’t show any of her progress as a soldier. The whole movie seems as though she didn’t even need training and that she was trained from the beginning of the movie. There aren’t any real songs in the movie, only references to them, but the original ”I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” was so powerful and there was something special about it that the new movie failed to achieve. 

Overall the movie was good, but not great. The story of Mulan was so unique and powerful, and this movie didn’t live up to that potential. Although I loved the the feminist ideas and the amazing battle sequences, I feel a lot more could have been done to make the movie as good as the classic animated version.