Disney dropped the new trailer for the live-action version of Mulan, a remake based on the popular 1998 cartoon. The new flick is a complete about-face from the older cartoon. There’s no General Li Shang, no Mushu, and no singing and dancing. In fact, if you didn’t see the name of the film in the trailer heading you probably wouldn’t even know that it was Mulan.
In fact, the trailer plays more like a typical wuxia drama than it does anything related to the old animated Disney film. Some people are saying this makes Disney’s live-action remake more in tune with the original Chinese tale rather than their animated adaption from the late 1990s. Others, however, weren’t so keen on the more feminist-friendly, [current year] rendition of the film that seemed to strip away all of the life, character, and scintillation that the cartoon contained two decades ago.
You can check out the trailer below, courtesy of Movieclips Trailer, and judge for yourself.
I think the most obvious thing is that Mulan isn’t black.
While some of you might be scoffing at the absurdity of the claim, keep in mind that Ariel was recently blackwashed for upcoming live-action adaption of The Little Mermaid, since Disney apparently hates whites.
Anyway, the main story for this live-action adaptation seems to have changed quite a bit from the cartoon. The focus isn’t so much on Mulan trying to pretend to be a boy to learn how to become a soldier so much as it is about her defying her parent’s wish to have her married off.
Also, instead of focusing on her struggles to become a soldier by pretending to be a man, and the hardships she endures through all of the physical strain and toil to get good, the trailer focused on Mulan beating up men and flying around using wire-fu to showcase how strong she is as a female soldier.
Feminists were probably clam’n up the seats from all that happiness-induced moisture that resulted from them seeing Mulan take on an army of men all by her lonesome self.
There are already some cringe-worthy reactions to this pathetic trailer as if wire-fu and female Asian warriors is something new.
Is this a thing now? People posting reaction videos crying at Disney movie trailers? It’s not like there aren’t a million female-led Asian movies already in existence. Let’s erase those so we can pretend it’s the first time we’re getting representation. pic.twitter.com/sr3lpAgITm
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 8, 2019
The most pathetic part about it all is that this is basically a poor woman’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon just without any of the cool cinematography or notable big-name Chinese actors.
Expect the media to continue to erase all previous wushu (or wuxia if you want to be pedantic about it) films to portray Disney’s uninspired take on Mulan as something special, even though we’ve had tons of similar movies from ages ago all the way up to the recent past, from Dragon Inn to Flying Swords At Dragon Gate, and from Heroic Trio to An Empress and the Warriors, and about two dozen other films in between.
What’s amazing to me is that anyone would think this is even remotely original in an age where you can find any similar flick in a long catalog of Chinese martial arts films to fill the void. Maybe a lot of people who don’t watch movies will take interest just because it’s being produced by Disney? I also wonder how this will be received in China? They get these kind of movies and shows a dime a dozen over there, so I wonder if they will eat this up or if they will ignore it because it’s just a derivative American take on an already over-saturated genre in their region? I guess we’ll find out when Mulan hits theaters in the spring of 2020.