It’s impressive how the story of Hua Mulan dates back centuries and was loved by many when they were kids, I know I still do. However, this latest Disney remake was just bland and compromised, definitely not living up to the fans expectations in comparison to the 1998 original. Over the years, we have succumbed to fundamentally hollow remakes such as Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and don’t get me started with The Lion King.
Now, do you see why we, Disney fans are frustrated with the outcome of this highly anticipated film?
Disney didn’t give Mulan the flair and effortless pleasure it originally had and it certainly took a toll when they chose to leave out a few essential aspects that were apparent in the original animated film. Pssst, where is the iconic scene where Mulan cuts off her hair with a sword?
The question here is though, is it a shot-for-shot remake with new and subtle touches that deserves our praise or is the film more about us noticing what’s not there and rather easy to forget? Beyond doubt, I’m leaning towards the latter with this one.
If you’re going to call it a Disney remake, by all means, please do stick to how the story was first portrayed in the 1998 original.
In their defence, they chose to go with extremity which I’m fine with but a tad bit of fantasy would have unquestionably elevated the film and brought it to life. If that was the case, without a doubt it would have been a pleasure for the fans to watch. I get the part where the producers and filmmakers wanted to portray a more realistic story of this Chinese folk legend, which is to pay tribute to the original literature, The Ballad of Hua Mulan. But then again though, we would have not set our expectations high if we knew that this Disney live-action remake wasn’t going to be a reflection of the original animated film.
Why market the film as a Disney one when you’re just going to get rid of the lively elements that made Mulan, Mulan? I may be right, I may be wrong but it is what it is.
Yet, even with the missing ballads, the adorable, lucky critter Cri-Kee and the loquacious red dragon, Mushu, we weren’t at all offended. It was more of a touch and go kind of narrative that gave no room for character developments. As for certain scenes, it would have been much more impactful and memorable with the addition of the songs but instead, it came down to being unconvincing and heartless — diminishing whatever emotions that were left in the film.
With that said, I won’t deny the fact that the action sequences were amazing especially when they found ways to spatter colours across the screen. But what was a truly great piece of filmmaking turned out to be a major disappointment for Mulan fans and I personally feel it did not bring honour to the character’s legacy.
Pictures by Disney, IMDB & Sweety High