Disney’s ‘Mulan’ remake is a shallow telling of the original


Photo courtesy of Disney.

Joseph Ferrer, Arts & Entertainment Editor

The original Mulan is fondly remembered as a charming film that uniquely depicted Chinese culture in an animated setting while telling an empowering story about a young girl who trains to prove herself. The liveaction remake of the animated classic markets itself as being a more serious, culturally accurate telling of the film. While Mulan does achieve this to an extent, it also completely strips away everything that made the original enjoyable while making changes that add nothing worthwhileMulan is shallow representation of the original movie and is potentially the worst of the Disney liveaction remakes so far.  


Compared to other Disney liveaction remakes, Mulan” drastically diverts from its source material for the worseMemorable characters such as Li Shang and Mushu are completely removed from the story, and their absence contributes to Mulan herself feeling incredibly underdevelopedWith Mulan having fewer characters to interact with and the script being unengaging, it feels as if Mulan has no personality, and the lead actress’s bland acting makes this even worse.  


By not being a musical, Mulan loses the heart that the original film had. The worst example of this is the iconic “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” scene being replaced with a dull training montageNot having the songs present makes Mulan even more of a barren character as the musical numbers helped progress her character development in the original.  


Arguably the worst change of Mulan is the introduction of Mulan’s magical chi abilities. Mulan is now naturally gifted with powerful energy, and from the first scene in the movie she is shown to innately be physically capable and proficient. Taking a character who originally had to work and train in order to become strong and making her perfect from the start completely invalidates Mulan’s journey throughout the film.  


Despite touting itself as a realistic take on Mulan, the film’s action is more exaggerated than the cartoon on which it’s based. Characters run on walls, do backflips and perform other acrobatic feats so frequently that its hard to take it seriously. The editing of the film makes action scenes even worse with constant jumps between different shots, making it difficult to keep track of what’s happening.  


UltimatelyMulan is at best a shallow, shoddily done action film with no substance, and, at worst, a hollow husk of a remake that is devoid of any heart that the original film had.