Mulan Review: Miracle or Disaster?


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Mulan preparing for battle.

   Picture this; the year is in the early 2000’s and you’ve just cuddled up on the couch with a blanket and a glass of milk. Your seven year old self turns on the TV to watch Disney’s Mulan for the third time that week but, you don’t care, it’s such a wonderful movie. Fast forward a decade and a half and Disney has decided to produce a remake! So, you curl up on the couch with a blanket and a glass of milk waiting to watch the movie you adored so much as a child be brought to life; but here’s the catch. The plot has Mulan take her father’s place in the imperial army, protecting the Emperor, and at the end seems to have a budding romance. While this is the same as the original, there are minor details that seem to have made a drastic change to the storyline. 

   At the beginning of this remake, Mulan is seen as a young child with great skill and agility in tai chi but, in the 1999 version there was no evidence to support the statement she had the power of tai chi before training. Mushu, the dragon, has been recorded as an iconic character in the first movie yet Niki Caro, the film’s director, and others decided it would be best to replace him with a symbol of the Phoenix. Shang is cut from the movie as well but Mulan still has an eye set out for a new character hinted at by the ending of this remake. As far as family goes, Mulan’s grandmother was replaced by a sister; many would say a sibling bond would make the viewers relate with the main character more than a grandmother-granddaughter bond would. 

Many people reported problems with this movie from the beginning. Besides switching half of the characters around and changing Mulan’s abilities in martial arts as a child, there were spurs of outrage at the film’s producers for filming location. While many of the cast and crew have stated the movie was filmed in New Zealand, which has proven to be true, they forgot to include all the times they filmed in Xinjiang. Xinjiang is an area in China where many Uighur Muslims are being detained in mass internment camps. This has caused backlash on the franchise as many learned the crew did nothing to help these poor people ripped away from their families. No donations, no petitions, and no one brought the idea of helping these Muslims to the US Government. The 200 million dollar movie made only 57 million at the box office, setting the film makers back 143 million.

   In conclusion, If you are planning to return to your adolescence and watch this movie, you should expect these changes while trying to hold back your cringe towards the awkwardness brought forth by Niki Caro and the Disney team.  


(Critics ratings: Boring, Bad Acting, Overrated, Over-Hyped, Awkward, Inspiring, Must Watch, Forgettable, Cringe-Worthy, Family Movie.)