By Raymond Nava
Disney’s 2020 remake of the animated classic “Mulan” is a rushed film that does nothing for fans of the original, nor for people who were hopeful for something new.
The film tries to take a new direction but is constantly held back by the changes made.
This, in addition to the price of $30 and a subscription to Disney+, is a dishonor to the original movie. By doing this, Disney is double dipping into its fans’ pocket books.
Disney has made live action remakes of their animated movies over the past few years.
Most remakes drew generally positive reviews from critics and audiences, while others have drawn mixed to negative reviews.
The recent remake of “The Lion King,” while getting mostly positive reception from audiences, also drew mixed reviews from critics.
They’ve also received criticism for having an overall same plot to their animated counterparts, only translated in live action.
The biggest issues with the film is the exclusion of characters and songs that were in the animated version, as well as the inclusion of new characters that were not in the original.
Back when the live action film was in production, it was announced that they would not include characters such as Mushu and Shang, voiced by Eddie Murphy and BD Wong in the animated version respectively.
The argument was that these changes were made to be more realistic and faithful to the original ballad.
Despite this claim, the film added a witch character which not only isn’t realistic, but doesn’t appear in the original Mulan ballad. This contradiction adds more fuel to the anger at these changes.
The removal of these characters is extremely frustrating as these were some of the best core features of the original.
The film suffers from trying to go in a new direction, then holds itself back by trying to emulate the original.
Doing so makes the exclusions from the original movie all the more prominent.
The film feels like it’s in a constant rush, especially in some scenes that are lifted from the animated movie.
This is apparent in an adapted scene which previously had a song in the animated version, but is absent in this one.
It’s almost like the film wants to get the scene over with so people don’t dwell on the fact the song is missing.
The matchmaker scene is a great example of this. In the animated version, the song “Bring Honor to Us All,” accompanies a montage of Mulan getting ready to meet the matchmaker.
In the live action version, the montage is quickly rushed while a light instrumental version of the song plays.
Mulans’ journey in the film isn’t as engaging as the animated version. In the animated version, Mulan is shown to not be a good fighter, and has no experience at all. In the remake she is shown as a much more capable fighter from the start.
This change weakens the importance and impact of her decision to fight in the war since she seems more prepared for the struggles ahead.
It’s almost hard to get invested in any of the characters. The things that were changed get in the way too much.
As mentioned earlier, one change was the addition of a witch character who is just uninspiring. There was no reason for her inclusion and if she was removed, nothing would really be missed.
Ultimately, the film is a giant letdown, not only for people who were hoping this Disney remake would be different, but also for those who loved the original and were hoping to see that adapted into live action.
It is not worth the $30 asking price. Audiences are better off waiting until it becomes available for free in December to all Disney+ subscribers.