So more information on the upcoming live action Mulan has been released and while I am glad that it will have an all Asian cast, I am not too thrilled on some of the other choices.
For starters, none of the songs will be featured in the new movie. Not even the iconic “Reflection” and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You”. And according to the director, this movie is going to be a “a big, girly martial arts epic. It will be extremely muscular and thrilling and entertaining and moving.” And I’m not sure, but there are doubts as to whether Mushu or Li Shang will be in the movie.
Remember how I said that Disney should refrain from making any more Princess movies? This is why. They feel the need to inject pseudo-feminism into all their new princesses. “Ooh, this princess isn’t like those old weak and useless princess. This is the hip NEW princess who will kick your ass who don’t need no man and will get mad at you for even calling her a princess but is still oh so quirky and relatable!” This is why I couldn’t get invested in Moana’s character, and am extremely anxious to watch the new Beauty and the Beast because apparently they couldn’t leave Belle well enough alone.
See, the reason why Mulan is so special is because it’s about a young woman struggling with her gender, her duty to her family, and her place in the world. I hate this description of it being a ‘girly martial arts epic’. The whole point of Mulan is that she’s NOT girly, nor a tomboy. She’s in between. She can fit the role of both a man and a woman, or be her own unique identity, and that she can still save China and be loved by her family. The action scenes make the film exciting, but they’re not the main focus of the original. That’s why “Reflection” and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” are so important. Aside from being fantastic songs, they also convey the core themes of the movie, how Mulan struggles to fit as either gender. I can see why they wouldn’t want to make this a full fledged musical (the original movie had only about four songs, not really enough to sustain one), but why did they have to cut them out entirely?
So yes, this current description of the movie is really rubbing me the wrong way. I’m afraid that they’re going to take a movie that has empowered people of all genders into a shallow action fake girl power movie. The director did take on a description that it would be ‘moving’ but after all this, that’s hard to fully appreciate and believe. I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but I’m in no rush to see it. I’m just glad the original film will always be a classic that will be appreciated for years to come.