Walt Disney Studios has released a new trailer for Mulan starring Liu Yefei in the title role. Although the film is yet another in a long line of their live-action adaptations of the studio’s animated classics, director Niki Caro’s take promises to be different from its animated counterpart by making the story less of a carbon copy of animated original and more visual epic that continues to carry its themes of female empowerment.
Like the 1998 animated original, the live-action Mulan is based on the narrative poem “The Ballad of Mulan,” and it will follow the title character, a daughter and only child in her family, who poses as a man to take her ailing father’s place in China’s Imperial Army.
As Caro promised, Mulan looks to be more of a visual epic andless of a carbon copy of the animated original. This means that a lot of the childish and humorous gags like Mushu are omitted. And since the film is focusing more on the story, it means that some of the fan-favorite songs won’t be included. Which is perfectly fine as it will help distinguish the film from its animated predecessor. But if for those who are still clinging on to the past, there are some recognizable themes and lines from a few songs that could be heard in the trailer.
“Acclaimed filmmaker Niki Caro brings the epic tale of China’s legendary warrior to life in Disney’s “Mulan,” in which a fearless young woman risks everything out of love for her family and her country to become one of the greatest warriors China has ever known. When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father. “Mulan” features a celebrated international cast that includes: Yifei Liu as Mulan; Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan; Yoson An as Cheng Honghui; with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor. The film is directed by Niki Caro from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Lauren Hynek & Elizabeth Martin suggested by the narrative poem ‘The Ballad of Mulan.’”
I’ll admit, I got a little teary-eyed from watching this one trailer. This is practically a film that was a huge part of my childhood, and to be able to see myself in these characters is something that I thought would never happen.
Mulan also stars Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Ron Yuan, Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao, Cheng Pei-Pei, Nelson Lee, Chum Ehelepola, with Gong Li and Jet Li.
Mulan opens in theaters on March 20, 2020.