People are refusing to watch Disney’s ‘Mulan’—here’s why


Casey Chang

One outright critique of the movie was that viewers could only watch if they paid an extra charge for Disney Premium on Disney Plus.

Disney’s Mulan is set to be released on September 4, 2020. However, comments from the lead actress and controversy surrounding the production team have sparked a wave of backlash. 

Protests have sprung up in Hong-Kong after amendments were proposed to China’s extradition laws. These protests largely stem from the fear that the amendments will erode freedoms in China. 

The bill has since been suspended, but protests have continued. Clashes between the police and protesters have gotten more frequent and more violent. 

Liu Yifei, the lead actress of Mulan, has stood up in favor of the extradition bill and shared a post that some believe excuse police brutality. The post said, “I support the Hong-Kong Police. You can hit me now.”

“The cognizance of multiple Chinese celebrities supporting police brutality is disgusting and pathetic. This is a recurring problem that has caused many moral and political issues in our world. As human beings, not only celebrities, we need to use our mouths for what they are made for, to stand up and make a change, instead of promoting atrocity,” says Taj Jawanda (‘23).

It sparked backlash, causing a #BoycottMulan to trend in many places. Disney had remained silent on the issue. 

Another controversy surrounding Mulan is the predominantly white production team leading the film. Additionally, many say that the research into Chinese culture done by the production team was inadequate, leading to costumes from the wrong time period. 

“I don’t think the production team being predominantly white matters too much to me. I just want the film to accurately represent and respect Asian culture, but I’m frustrated that they should’ve included more Asian representatives to have another opinion on the culture and film,” says Andrea Yang (‘23)

Besides some mistakes or errors in the movie, there are other deliberate changes to live-action Mulan from the original film. Changes include the removal of Shang, Mushu, Shang Yu, the villain, and furthermore, the deletion of certain scenes.

“I think that there was one change where they said they wouldn’t show the cutting of her hair and they said they wanted to stay true to the original and portray all the emotions and be realistic,” says Varsha Harnoor (‘23).

With the many issues that have surfaced before the movie came out, one can only wait for Mulan to be finally released on Disney Plus on Sept. 4 to judge for themselves on the movie.

Movie Review: Live Action ‘Mulan’

Since the release of a live-action Alice in Wonderland in 2010, Disney has pushed out an impressive 13 live-action classics, the most recent being Mulan on September 4th, 2020.

Available with a $30 streaming fee until November 4th, when it will be free to all Disney+ members, the intense combination of vibrant colors, traditional Chinese scenery and a beautiful all-Asian cast make for a stunning two hours.  

Director Niko Caro altered many characters. New installments included soldier and love interest Chen Hongui, played by Yoson An, as well as female villain Xian Lang, played by Gong Li.

Unfortunately, the loveable Mushu was not present, but rather replaced by a phoenix. While the phoenix was a beautiful addition, the absence of such a well-loved character was taken with much disappointment by viewers. 

The magical elements were installed in different ways than in the original animation. In my opinion, a positive example would be the fact that animated Hun leader Shan Yu’s falcon is a shape shifting witch in the live-action film.

However, I’d consider a negative example to be the film’s more realistic portrayal of battle. The image of the Huns appearing over a large snowy mountain and rushing towards the Chinese troops is a beautiful and familiar scene, but in the live-action there is only a small troop coming over a dry hill. 

Part of the allure of many Disney princess classics is the musical aspect, as the animated Mulan boasts a 6-song soundtrack with classics such as “Reflection” and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”

The live-action rendition includes not one familiar nor original tune, and for those that dislike musicals, this may be considered a win. However, many Disney fanatics are lovers of a good soundtrack, and therefore this alteration may not exactly be taken in with open arms.  

As for the pace, the film had a rather fast beginning and transition to middle, but the running time of scenes in the second half felt awkward in comparison to the first half of the movie. I felt that as the movie turned to its final third, it began to feel rather drawn-out. 

Getting into the numbers, critics at Rotten Tomatoes rated Mulan a 75%, while the average audience member rated it a 51%. While the artistic appeal may have been strong, it is evident that its general appeal to the audience was not as successful.

For viewers who hold the original plot, characters, and overall feel of Mulan close to their hearts, the live-action adaptation may not live up to one’s expectations. However, if you are somebody who appreciates the realism of live-action and stunning stills, this may be more up your alley.

Leave a Comment
Donate to AmadorValleyToday
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists in the AVJournalism program. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

AmadorValleyToday • Copyright 2024 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNOLog in

Donate to AmadorValleyToday
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All AmadorValleyToday Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *