Mad the Live-Action Mulan Won't Have Music or Mushu? Get Over It
Mad the Live-Action 'Mulan' Won't Have Music or Mushu? Get Over It
The animated version of Mulan isn't going anywhere, and more viewers need to be open to the idea of a fresh take on a beloved classic.
Unless you've been living under a huge rock, then you probably already know that a new trailer (and poster) for Disney's retelling of their 1998 animated classic Mulan was just released earlier today.
\u201cLoyal. Brave. True. I will bring honor to us all. Watch the brand new trailer for #Mulan. See it in theaters March 27, 2020.\u201d— Disney (@Disney) 1575554400
\u201cCheck out the official poster for @DisneysMulan. Tune in tomorrow morning to watch the brand new trailer! #Mulan\u201d— Disney (@Disney) 1575489601
The upcoming film is a part of Disney's recent push of creating live-action versions of their legendary animated catalog, and I'd be totally lying to you all if I said I didn't tear up towards the end of the trailer when the instrumental version of "Reflection" started playing in the background.
Still, despite how badass and incredibly promising the trailer for Mulan looks, because the film reportedly won't have many elements from the 1998 animated version (most notably iconic musical numbers like "I'll Make a Man Out of You" and characters like bisexual icon Li Shang and the hilarious dragon sidekick Mushu), many folks on the internet have already made it very well known that they don't like it.
\u201cEvery time they show something else from the movie and we still don\u2019t see Mushu #Mulan\u201d— dramabananna (@dramabananna) 1575550394
None— Dorian (@Dorian) 1575555565
\u201cNo Mushu & Li Shang in the live #Mulan movie.\nHow is this gonna turn out? Why such a big change? How is it gonna make sense without them?\nIt\u2019s like making Cinderella without the Prince & the Fairy godmother or Lion King without Nala & Rafiki.\n\ud83d\ude2d\u2639\ufe0f\ud83d\ude1e #heartbroken\u201d— \ud83c\udf0d\u2650 \uc120\uc8fc Sun Ju\u2640\ud83e\udd0e (@\ud83c\udf0d\u2650 \uc120\uc8fc Sun Ju\u2640\ud83e\udd0e) 1575274970
Li Shang and Mushu are some of my favorite movie characters of all time too, don't get me wrong, and a live-action production of "I'll Make a Man Out of You" would have absolutely set my queer soul on fire, but here's the thing: there needs to be room for creators to add original, new, and fresh ideas to films, even if it's a remake of an already-beloved title.
Part of the reason Disney's live-action versions of Aladdin and The Lion King were so critically-panned was that they were both nearly shot-for-shot remakes that added little to nothing new to the lore of their animated predecessors. While many rightfully called those films boring and unoriginal, since they were literally made just to appeal to the '90s nostalgia of many millennials' childhoods, why is it that when someone wants to add some originality into a Disney remake to avoid being boring and uninspired (which is the case with Mulan) it's suddenly a problem?
I get it. Our childhood movies tend to hold very special places in our hearts. Growing up Filipino American in a predominantly white suburb, the '98 Mulan is one of the first times I've ever seen Asian culture represented and celebrated on-screen and will forever be iconic to me. But as much as we want to believe they are, our childhoods and our fond memories aren't sacred, and viewers need to be more open to the idea of a new and different spin on their favorites. The animated Mulan film isn't going anywhere, and if you want to see Li Shang and Mushu in all their beloved glory, it's literally as easy as logging onto Disney+ and seeing it again. New ideas and new twists are an essential part of the filmmaking process, even in remakes, otherwise what's even the point of retelling these stories at all? (That's probably a much larger discussion/argument that I won't be having here.)
Luckily, there are also people in the Twitterverse calling for audiences to keep an open mind when it comes to the 2020's Mulan.
\u201cRespectfully: can everyone just appreciate the potential of the new MULAN movie and GIVE IT A REST COMPLAINING THAT THERE\u2019S NO MUSHU\u201d— Blyde (@Blyde) 1575557655
Now if only lead actress Liu Yifei didn't make those cringe-worthy social media comments about the increased turmoil and controversial pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong...
Mulan is set to hit theaters on March 27, 2020.