I’ve made my feelings on the Disney live-action adaptations clear. I’m all for rebooting a movie that came out before most Disney+ viewers were even born. I loved The Jungle Book, enjoyed The Lion King, and Lady and the Tramp is as sweet as pie. So if Disney can remake these beloved films with a level of wokeness and cultural sensitivity that Hollywood lacked in the ‘90s, I’m all for it.
I’m a sucker for wuxia films and martial arts flicks, so Mulan speaks directly to me — there are several stunning looking action sequences in this two-minute trailer. But something feels different about this entry into Disney’s live-action canon. With its stunning locations, gorgeous costumes, and epic scale, Mulan 2020 looks like an Oscar-bait movie. I have no delusions about this film winning over critics (who tend to be cynical about all Disney’s live-action adaptations), but it looks heftier than the studio’s previous adaptations.
Acclaimed filmmaker Niki Caro brings the epic tale of China’s legendary warrior to life in Disney’s “Mulan,” in which a fearless young woman risks everything out of love for her family and her country to become one of the greatest warriors China has ever known. When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father.
“Mulan” features a celebrated international cast that includes: Yifei Liu as Mulan; Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan; Yoson An as Cheng Honghui; with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor. The film is directed by Niki Caro from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Lauren Hynek & Elizabeth Martin suggested by the narrative poem “The Ballad of Mulan.”
Disney’s Mulan opens in theatres on March 26, 2020.