live action mulan
The live action version will make many changes including a new villain and a new love interest, and won't have everyone's favorite dragon, Mushu.
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live action mulan

It looks like the remake won’t be bringing honor to us all, though.

Disney’s 1998 (yes, it’s that old) animated film “Mulan” is one of my favorites because it has just about everything a great film needs: strong plot, strong characters and some GREAT music.

So when Disney announced its intention to create a live action version of the film, I, like a lot of others, was excited to see “Mulan” brought to life.

But as the film prepares to begin shooting in August, it looks so far like the movie is going to be a disappointment for any fans of the original animation.

Although IGN reports that the main plotline, with Mulan leaving her family to join the army, will stay the same in the live action remake, some of the more focused plot elements are going to be seriously altered in the update, changing some of the best parts of the original film.

First, some of the major characters will be different from the original. For example, Li Shang, Mulan’s love interest, is going to be replaced. The film will also change Mulan’s friend group and add characters not previously found in the original.

Additionally, the film is going to add a new villain for Mulan to face: a witch. In the original film, the main villains were the Huns attacking China, but the new film is doing a huge 180 from the original in introducing a nonhuman villain into the story.

Yet perhaps the worst change to the characters is the elimination of Mushu the Dragon, Mulan’s hilarious sidekick. Mushu brought a serious comedic element to the animated “Mulan” and it’s a shame that he’ll not be a part of the new journey to save all of China.

Mushu, along with Li Shang and Shan Yu, are some of the original characters who won’t appear in the live action remake of “Mulan.” (Image via Giphy)

Second, the live action version will most likely not be a musical like the original. Although those working on the film say that it will “incorporate music,” unlike all the other live action adaptations of Disney films, there’s currently no indication that the live action “Mulan” will feature any of the songs that were popular from the animated version.

For a film supposedly based on the original animated one, it makes no sense to take away one of the most popular aspects of the movie from the live-action remake.

Songs like “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” and “Reflection” are still among Disney’s best, most popular songs, and the live action film is losing out on a huge element of what made the original “Mulan” so wonderful for audiences.

Although the live action “Mulan” will not be released until 2020, I’m certainly not looking forward to it, and from social media backlash to the above-mentioned decisions, I’m hardly the only one questioning whether this live action remake is a good idea.

Writer Profile

Kate Maxwell

NC State University
Political Science


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