There’s a strong argument to be made that Disney’s live-action remakes pale in comparison to their original animated counterparts. While these updated movies have made the studio some serious bank, it’s hard to imagine any of them standing the test of time in the hearts of fans.The movies that preceded them, on the other hand, will live forever.
At the same time, every movie should be judged on its own merits, and remakes can be interesting if they bring something new to the table. The latest animated classic to get the live-action treatment is Mulan, and for this iteration of the story, Disney has opted for a more grown-up tale. Gone are the whimsical songs and talking dragons. Instead, audiences can expect a full-scale Wuxia epic that’s reminiscent of movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers. The film might not appeal to your inner child, but perhaps it will offer a new set of thrills.
Mulan will hit theaters in March 2020, but until then, Disney has released a new trailer for the Niki Caro-helmed feature to tide us over. Check it out below, and then we’ll break it down.
The trailer opens with an eerie shot of a small village in the countryside. The scenic view is hidden by dark clouds, and while there’s a calmness in the air for now, a sense of imminent danger lingers in the background.
Cut to Mulan (Liu Yifei) and her father (Tzi Ma) having a conversation next to a phoenix ornament. He asks her if she knows why the mythical bird sits by the Emperor’s side. When she doesn’t respond, he informs her that the phoenix is a guardian. Remember this information.
In these scenes, we see Mulan living her day-to-day life. It’s idyllic and peaceful, and there’s no reason to believe that she’ll ever be involved in a conflict. However, her father’s narration states that the phoenix is fearless, beautiful, and strong, which more or less confirms that Mulan will soon become a guardian of the Empire. It is her duty to bring honor to the family, but at this point, no one is expecting what’s to come.