There was so much build up to Mulan’s release, especially considering it was supposed to come out in March and ended up being pushed back numerous times due to the pandemic. If you ask me, Disney should have just released it straight away instead of waiting. This is why I believe the reboot was just not good. It pains me to say that I really did not like it because the story was so well known and groundbreaking for it’s time, but there was too much here that didn’t work.
We all know the story. A young Chinese maiden named Mulan (Yifei Liu) has always been different from what society says a woman is supposed to be. When her father is called forward to serve in the war, Mulan can’t allow that to happen for he is too old and will surely die in battle. So she decides to disguise herself as a man to take his place.
Having a female warrior front and center was so unheard of when the animated feature film came out in 1998. Mulan was bad ass and seemingly fearless. That aspect still holds true in this new version and it’s wonderful that little girls have a strong female role model, but there was something missing from Liu’s portrayal. I don’t think that she did the role justice and felt that outside of the fighting scenes, there was no emotion or energy.
The only other thing I liked was the cinematography. Many of the views depicted were breathtaking and at times it really felt like I was actually there instead of just watching something on a screen. Disney has always been good at making their audience feel like part of the story and they did this one right.
Unfortunately nothing else worked. Too much was changed from the original and I couldn’t handle it. Mulan is known for classic songs like Reflection and I’ll Make A Man Out Of You, but none of these numbers were featured. The songs were scrapped all together which was a major mistake. Sure they had instrumental versions, but it wasn’t the same at all.
The story was completely changed as well. I understand wanting to take a more modern approach, but it wasn’t done properly at all. With these changes meant getting rid of the romantic lead, Mulan’s hilarious grandmother and the best ever sidekick in Mushu. In fact, because these characters were taken out, all the humor from the animated film was gone, taking the magic with it.
Overall, Mulan was a disappointment. Maybe I had high expectations, but wouldn’t you have had too? Don’t waste your thirty dollars on this.