Mulan makeover

Makinzy Todd, Memorial Staff Writer

When the idea of a live action “Mulan” remake circulated, thoughts of popcorn, a movie theater and a big screen came rushing to mind, but the reality of the situation is something none could have guessed. 

Sept. 4 the live action remake of “Mulan” was released, only to those who have a Disney Plus subscription and on top of that wanted to pay $29.99 to rent the movie ahead of its Dec. 4 release date for all subscribers. 

Disney’s extra charge was their way to still release the movie, while keeping everyone safe and at home during the pandemic. This additional charge is assuming that those renting is an average family that would have spent that much on the movie tickets if they were watching it in theaters. While this was a good idea to put the movie out there, many did not want to pay this extra fee when they could wait a couple more months and watch it for free.

The movie was directed by Niki Caro and features Liu Yifei as Hua Mulan, Jet Li as the Emperor and Donnie Yen as Commander Tung.

When held alone, without thoughts of the previous movie, it was a decent adaptation. The film followed an entertaining plot that told the story of Mulan, a girl who took her father’s place in the war at a time when female fighters was unacceptable. She hid her true identity from the army and learned how to be a warrior.

In comparison to its predecessor, the live action movie wasn’t as entertaining as the original. With the new remake, several fan favorite features were removed, such as the characters breaking out in song and Mulan’s dragon companion, Mushu. These aspects were removed to make the movie more serious and realistic.

These deletions from the movie have led to multiple people not wishing to watch the film, as they wanted a replica of the movie, not one that just had the general plot and character names.

Along with these removals, Disney added some more controversial aspects to the movie, one of these being a witch who fights against Mulan. This has been seen as insensitive towards Chinese culture and as a result of this, many are boycotting the film, which has also severely hurt the movie’s box office total.

The original animated “Mulan” earned $304.3 million in the box office, while the new live action is just short of a $40 million box office release. This movie was a chance for Disney to decide how they wanted to continue with future releases and based off the numbers they will more than likely wait for the theaters to open.

All of the actors played convincing roles but some of the special effects did not help the movie seem realistic, such as the use of a phoenix that only came around in hard times for Mulan. The bird is so unrealistic looking that it was almost laughable and kept the movie from being as serious as it could have been.

My hopes were set high for the movie as Disney’s past live action releases “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” were complete successes, but overall my hopes fell short as “Mulan” does not compete with other Disney remakes. 

 Contact Makinzy Todd at [email protected]