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Disney Releases Teaser Trailer for Mulan: A Homage To Chinese Mythology

BY Jason Okoli

Published 3 years ago

Disney Releases Teaser Trailer for Mulan: A Homage To Chinese Mythology

Disney has dropped the first trailer for the live-action adaptation of 1998’s classic Mulan. The first teaser trailer hints at a retelling of the original 1998 animated musical action-adventure film. Since the turn of the century, Disney has blessed fans with live-action remakes of classic tales. Such movies have gone on to become box office successes and garner love and admiration from fans. These include Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, Alladin, the upcoming The Lion King and others.

Mulan And A Plot Deeply Rooted In Chinese Lore

As seen in the teaser trailer, Mulan will only take inspiration from the original but looks set to be its very own story. The movie seeks to be different from the original and unfortunately for some fans, this means no singing. The director of the upcoming movie, Niki Caro in his interview with Moviefone stated that “Yes, from what I understand, no songs right now, much to the horror of my children.”

Iconic songs “Reflection” or I’ll Make a Man Out of You will not appear in the movie. This wouldn’t be the first time Disney has taken a different route with the remakes of their animated films. Fans and moviegoers alike will recall that 2015’s Cinderella featured no singing. This year’s Dumbo had no songs as well much to the disdain of fans. To make things even more interesting, as per the trailer and reports, Mulan will be without certain animated characters. This means fans will have to settle for a Mulan movie without Eddie Murphy’s Wushu.

“Quiet, composed, graceful, discipline, these are the qualities we see in a good wife. These are the qualities we see in Mulan.”

Mulan, it seems, means a warrior and nothing but. Unlike the 1998 animated original where women weren’t allowed to serve in the military, this movie will be the opposite. The trailer shows us Mulan training with the army and possibly without any disguise. We also get a glimpse of Mulan in the battle against what seems to be the Huns. However, the new Mulan trailer seems to be a little bit of an offshoot from the real-life story of Hua Mulan. Hua Mulan is a legendary figure from ancient China who was originally described in a Chinese poem known as The Ballad of Mulan (木蘭辭). 

In this sense, the Disney animation of 1998 pays respect to the real story of Mulan. In the poem, Mulan takes her aged father’s place in the army. To do this, she fought for twelve years and gained height merit. The emperor chose to honor her with a horse and a bagful of wealth but she declined and simply retired to her hometown. In truth, the story of Mulan is one of the first poems in Chinese history to support the notion of gender equality. 

The All Asian Cast of Mulan

Hollywood, as it seems, has listened to the accusations of whitewashing and chosen to do something about it. Mulan features an all-Asian cast, something that has been widely welcomed and praised by fans and movie critics even before the movie’s release. It stars Liu Yifei playing the lead role as Mulan. She is joined by the legendary Chinese actor, Jet Li who plays the Emperor. Other cast members include Rogue One’s Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan; Yoson An as Cheng Honghui; with Gong Li as Xianniang and others.

Mulan hits theaters on March 27, 2020. 

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