The First Reactions To Disney’s Mulan Are Calling It Their Best Remake To Date
Disney’s remake of Mulan premiered in Los Angeles on Tuesday and viewers are saying that it is the film studio's best live-action effort ever. Early on Disney realised that the best, and least creatively taxing way to make bank was by remaking their old animated IP using CGI and live-action which resulted in some successful box office releases that had tepid critical reviews. The Jungle Book, Beauty, and the Beast and, most recently, the Lion King all made over or close to US$1 billion worldwide while, at best, faithfully retelling the original story and, at worst, tarnishing source material that is loved globally. Finally, though, it looks like the media titan has managed to make a great live-action movie.
Mulan, which tells the story of a young woman who pretends to be her aging father so he doesn’t have to go to war (if you don’t know this... come on), was originally made in 1998, but it's themed resonate now more than ever. Mulan is not a princess, she is a warrior and the new film is being praised for her bad-a** character and Mulan’s place as a role model for young women. The film is also said to feature some truly stunning cinematic moments and the director, Niki Caro, has been praised for her ability to transform an animation classic into a beautiful action masterpiece.
With everything the film has going for it, you would expect that Mulan was going to be another cash cow for Disney come opening weekend on, but it is facing some unexpected challenges. While the movie hasn’t fallen into the white-washing trap that Hollywood is so fond of, the director, screenwriters, and producers noticeably lacked any Chinese representation which has drawn criticism online. What’s making the execs sweat even more though is the backlash against the film’s star actor. Yifei Liu, who has been a star in China for years, spoke out in support of Hong Kong police for their actions against protestors which led to calls for a boycott of the film. Even still, our bet is that despite the bad-press behind the scenes and COVID-19's global impact on pop culture, the strong first reaction to the movie and the power of nostalgia is going to make sure the Disney train rolls into another massive payday.
Check out some of the audiences first reactions to Mulan below:
The cast of Mulan is fantastic in the film. There are lots of little moments that nods to the animated that’ll make the fans happy. Very beautiful & epic cinematography. It had more fantastical elements than I expected. Overall, a great re-telling of the animated and very fun — Wendy Lee Szany (@WendyLeeSzany) March 10, 2020
I’ve seen MULAN twice now and I must say it is grrrreat. Easily Disney’s best live action reboot. I think it’s also Disney’s first battle epic? It is beautiful & absorbing & rich & empowering. The cast is excellent and Niki Caro’s direction is just breathtaking.— Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) March 10, 2020
Wow! @DisneysMulan was everything I hoped it would be and more! They were able to bring new elements to life while maintaining the classic nostalgia we all know & love. Wow. Just incredible! Thanks @DolbyCinema for inviting me. #Mulan pic.twitter.com/BwPVV1m1LP— Katie Wilson (@thekatiewilson) March 10, 2020
#Mulan is about a warrior. And that warrior is a legend. Thank you, from all the female warriors that needed this kick-A movie. It’s different from the animated version, and I’ll be proud to show my daughters this film!— Tania Lamb (@LolaLambchops) March 10, 2020
Disney’s Mulan remake leaves a lot behind, but offers much more in its absence. Plenty of 1998 throwbacks pepper a story full of incredible action, humor, and heart.
Oh, and the romantic chemistry gets STEAMY. Like chanting “kiss” in a silent theater steamy.#Mulan2020 #mulan pic.twitter.com/soILc7OdTm— Alison Foreman (@alfaforeman) March 10, 2020
#Mulan is absolutely fantastic. Different enough with great action scenes, but with the heart of the original film. It doesn't even matter that it's not a musical. If you're a fan of the animated, there are subtle nods to many of the songs. Can’t wait to see this again.— Kirsten (@KirstenAcuna) March 10, 2020
#Mulan is the best of the Disney live-action remakes since Cinderella — I didn’t even miss the songs. Finds new notes in a story we already know while delivering gorgeous action, heart, and humor. Liu Yifei is— Angie J. Han (@ajhan) March 10, 2020
#Mulan is exciting, vibrant, emotional, and different from the animated version. It's definitely its own thing, which I dug - a more mature Disney film, featuring stunning production design & fight choreography. Director Niki Caro & star Liu Yifei are the big stand-outs, imo pic.twitter.com/p6IEQUDNBu— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) March 10, 2020