After a beautifully crafted teaser, we have finally been blessed by our Disney overlords with a full length trailer for their upcoming live-action remake of their classic film, Mulan. Being probably the biggest fan of the original film, I was of course excited to view this trailer and for good reason because it truly is a sight to behold. And although I never truly allow for a trailer to be my final judgement on the quality of the overall movie, this film is already shaping up to be one of the better remakes the Mouse House has put out. Because it appears to have something as of yet unseen among other movies of this ilk…originality.
Yes, it seems that after several tries, Disney has conceded to make a movie that does not simply take what they have already animated and just place it in real life – although some of the visuals here would argue otherwise. This film truly looks stunning, like a medieval Chinese painting brought to life. The opening shot of Mulan and her father talking about the significance of the Phoenix is already enough to hold your attention. From there the excitement only continues, with sweeping shots of Imperial China, the first glimpses of our villains (which includes a shape-shifting witch) and of course, our main heroine donning her father’s sword and riding off to battle, all the while being backed by a bombastic instrumental version of ‘Reflection’. The music alone is enough to bring tears to the true hardcore Mulan fans, who are happy to see this story being reimagined in a way that no other Disney remake has received. The story has had a complete overhaul, introducing more fantastical notes and an aesthetic that recalls some of the best historical martial arts movies ever made. It seems that having a female director helming the project was a strong creative choice, as Niki Caro has brought something to the film that hopefully will work in the same way that Patty Jenkins did for Wonder Woman.
There is still way to tell what this finished film will be like, but for now we have seen enough promising elements to keep us excited. And to see a wide range of people now changing their opinions of the movie following this trailer is truly heart-warming. Perhaps changing the story is what Disney should have tried to begin with, for it seems that people shouting for originality are going to receive it. With this film, as well as Black Widow and Wonder Woman 1984, 2020 is shaping up to be the year of strong women and I am here for it.