After the idiotic backlash over The Little Mermaid’s casting choice, people started wondering if it's even necessary for Disney to make all these live-action films when we have already perfectly good classics. Leaving aside the fact that Disney has found a gold mine in nostalgia (because, let’s face it, these movies aren’t made for the new generations, but rather, for us old souls who can’t let go of our childhood memories), at the end of the day, these projects can be great ways to please us, while also giving the younger generations stories that speak to them and their values.
Having said that, there are some films that do not need the live-action treatment. The teaser trailer for Mulan, released on Sunday, doesn’t disappoint (much) but shows that some stories are best left alone. Like the original version, we get to see a determined Mulan willing to do anything for her family, even dressing up and marrying a stranger to bring honor to them. It’s all there and we couldn’t be happier. However (and it's a big however), there are some things that, apparently, we won’t be seeing in this new version.
Just last week, when Disney announced the first teaser trailer was going to be released on Sunday, they declared that one of the most beloved characters didn't make it into the remake. Mushu, Mulan’s family guide dragon, and probably the best character of the movie after Mulan (and the grandmother), will be left out of the story, probably in an attempt to make it a more realistic, epic-like story (which already exists and we don’t need).
They also added that, though some of the animated movie's most iconic songs will be in the live-action version, it won’t be a musical. So, we won’t be hearing “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” while they’re training, or “Reflection” in one of the most dramatic scenes in the movie. Pardon my French, but that sucks.
Mulan is probably one of the best films of the Disney Renaissance in the 90s, not only because it’s the first time we got a strong female character kicking ass, but also because it has some of the best and most memorable songs ever, so why mess with it? When we watch Disney movies, it’s because of the magic, the music, and the fantasy. Again, if we wanted a serious historical movie about the old legend of Mulan, we would watch any of the many versions that already exist.
Oh, and by the way, it seems that Mulan’s eventual love interest, General Li Shang, will also be cut from the story. So, will this be a Disney remake, a serious retelling of the legend, or a complete mess? Only time will tell. So far, and I know I speak for a lot people, it’s not as exciting as Mulan fans would expect. We hope it’s the right choice, and if not, fortunately, we’ll always have the first one, which will always bring honor to us all.
Though Mulan won't hit theaters until the spring of 2020, here you can get a glimpse of what we're talking about.