Mulan is now streaming in India on Disney+ Hotstar. The live-action remake of the 1998 animated original, stars Liu Yifei (known for The Forbidden Kingdom) in the titular role. The animated film itself took its story from The Ballad of Mulan, a Chinese folk song.
Set in China during the Han dynasty, Mulan follows Hua Mulan, a rebellious young woman who disguises herself as a man and enlists in the Imperial Army to fight off the Huns, invaders from the north, so that her ailing father would not have to go as part of conscription.
Despite being basically the same story, the original and the remake are quite different. Here are five distinct differences between the two films.
Like many Disney animated movies, 1998’s original was a musical and had many songs during its runtime. There is a song called “Loyal Brave True” in the credits, though, and there are instrumental versions of the original’s songs during the film.
There is no Mushu in the live-action Mulan. The film is more grounded than the animated one, which had fantasy elements, so Mushu (memorably voiced by Eddie Murphy), a small Chinese dragon, had to go.
Mulan does not cut her hair
The original film had a memorable scene in which Mulan goes to the way by pilfering her father’s armour and sword and hacks off her hair to disguise herself as a man. The live-action version does not have that scene. She still has long hair, it is just tied up. And in one scene, she lets it untie and flow gloriously, as though embracing what she is.
The live-action version of Mulan is much more serious, and sadly loses much of the original’s humour.
Droll animated characters would not have fit into the live-action Mulan. And Cricket is another casualty of this tone and approach. Instead he is a human man in the film.
Mulan is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
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