Mulan is in action once again, but this time it’s live

Many of us grew up with the fearless animated warrior and her little witty dragon best friend. Truly inspiring children to defy the expectations put in place for them, and achieve more. Well in this live action remake of the Disney classic “Mulan,” we see that same fearless warrior but without the iconic best friend Mushu. That on its own was enough to cause disappointment within Disney fanatics everywhere, but the role was replaced by the appearance of a phoenix to more accurately symbolize and represent Chinese culture. 

Many filmgoers did appreciate the Chinese culture represented within the film, including the ethnically Chinese casting. American actress Liu Yifei played the lead role in the film quite successfully bringing the iconic character to life, and drawing an emotional connection to the character from the audience. 

In an interview with Cosmopolitan Korea in 2016 (and translated by Yifei discussed her true goals within pursuing her career as an actress. 

“I realized that acting is not all about receiving people’s applause or cheer,” Yifei said. “It is about delivering the right character to the audience and feeling satisfied in who you become on stage. Therefore, I try to focus more on the abstract qualities of acting, and I hope to become a better actress throughout time.

That she did, such as the scene when Mulan is practicing with her sword, and notices her own reflection within it. A split second moment, that is loaded with emotion. A scene that would not have been so hard hitting without a skilled actress. 

Her skilled dramatic acting paid off as there is a definite increase in violence from the animated classic to the live action remake. According to Common Sense Media, the appropriate minimum age is around 11 because of the violence and martial arts. This has some parents concerned as typically Disney films are geared towards a younger audience. Beyond this, younger children may have a hard time understanding the concepts discussed in the movie including war and gender conformity. 

Also, many of the songs we all know and love from the original, such as “I’ll make a man out of you”, are left out from the remake. In fact, there is no singing at all in this new movie.

The new movie launched on Sept. 4th on Disney’s streaming service “Disney+” but only with premier access, meaning there is an additional $29.99 fee on top of the subscription fee in order to access the film.  

While the live action Mulan may be an empowering, strong, and ethnically representative film, it may not be the greatest remake of its prior film. It is much more impressive when looking at it like a new movie all on its own. The story line may have remained but many of the iconic concepts that kept the movie in our minds as children are now missing. 

Mulan is now inspiring children in a whole new way, but not to be compared with the animated princess of the past. 


Overall Review: As its own movie, Mulan gets a definite 5/5 stars. If you are looking at it as a representation of the classic though, that would knock it down to a ⅗ stars. Definitely worth the watch!