By Kory Goldsmith
With many movie theaters still closed across the country due to COVID-19 – including those in West Michigan – the highly anticipated premier of “Mulan” was delayed nearly six months.
On Sept. 4, Disney executives released “Mulan,” the live action version based on the musical comedy released in 1998 on Disney+. The price to watch it is $6.99 monthly or a one time $69.99 year subscription for a premium Disney+ membership and a payment of $29.99.
Some might think that’s a lot of money to see a movie but it’s actually less money than most would spend at the theater. Split the cost of the movie between you and four people and you’ll spend less than you would if each of you bought individual movie tickets. Although, I’m guessing nothing beats theater popcorn, you can go to whichever grocery store you choose and you’ll most likely spend half on food and drinks.
Within the first 10 minutes of the film, you’ll be saying to yourself, “This isn’t going to be like the original and I won’t compare the differences.” Although the majority of the characters from the animated version are in the remake, the characters are different including Mulan. Instead of Hunes climbing over the Great Wall and marching to the Imperial City, it’s the Khan who are from north China whose previous generation tried to overthrow the previous Emperor in which Mulan’s father fought and became a war hero.
In the beginning, Mulan as a child demonstrates she could potentially be a good warrior which her father enjoys seeing but her mother disapproves because it won’t help her being matched with a man and bring honor to the family.
In the middle of the night after being told she won’t bring honor to the family by the matchmaker and her father is ordered because he has no son to serve in the Imperial Army again, Mulan leaves to take her father’s place.
Mulan volunteers to take the night watch every night so she can return to the tent she’s sharing with other soldiers while they are all asleep. She doesn’t bathe and flattens her chest to hide she’s a female.
During training in which she demonstrates her skills, she impresses Commander Tung who doesn’t have any suspicion Mulan is a girl and wants her to be matched with his daughter.
An odd thing that happened throughout the film is Mulan has a closer relationship with one soldier in the group she shares a tent with. Multiple moments throughout the movie you get the sense that this is the guy who Mulan is falling far and he’ll fall for her when he discovers she’s a female.
It’s an action packed movie that was correctly rated PG-13. The tempo of the movie would have been disrupted and certain critical parts of the movie would have had to be taken out if it was a musical. The director took the path of giving the story a war is surious theme which left no room for humor.
If it was wished that the falcon who was the Hun’s scout in the animated version had a bigger role, that happened in this one. Xianniang, a female witch who’s the Khan’s scout and gives the Khan army an edge with her powers over the Imperial Army in battle, fits that role and is also a female who tries to be an equal to the men in the Khan army and men period.
Mulan’s sister Xiu is a girl who follows the cultural norms of how a girl should behave which will lead to her being matched and bring honor to the family.
After the first weekend of “Mulan” being able to be seen through streaming service, Disney has seen success as people are creating another boycott against the movie being streamed on top of the boycott due to Lui Yifei who played Mulan praising police in China.Time will tell if this direct-to-consumer release could begin a trend of more movies being released as streaming events.