For those of you unfamiliar with the story of Mulan, she is a fearless woman who decides to disguise herself as a man to join the Imperial Chinese army to save her ailing father from serving. And on a personal note, Mulan is one of my favorite Disney films and characters of all time.
Niki Caro’s live action adaptation of Mulan takes an authentically Chinese approach, focusing on the folktale while still paying homage to the original.
So unlike its animated original, there are no musical moments, no love interest, no quirky grandmother and yes — there is no Mushu. And although this may upset some die hard Disneyfiles, it worked out for the best with this adaptation. And let’s be honest, Mushu would have looked stupid in CGI.
Caro’s film is a new stylistic experience and an ode to heroism and honor. The plot remains very similar to its predecessor, with some tweaks and additions that feel a little like Star Wars at times. But overall, it is a strong adaptation with a brilliant cast.
Yifei Liu is the perfect Mulan. She is intense yet delicate, and speaks volumes with just the look in her eyes. She isn’t nearly as charismatic as the animated characters, but she commands our attention. However, given the maturity of this adaptation, I would have loved to see more depth and personality given to this Mulan.
With gorgeous sweeping cinematography that only the countryside of China could provide and beautifully choreographed action sequences reminiscent of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, it is no doubt that Mulan is an epic, visual marvel.
The biggest disappointment is that Mulan was not released theatrically. That being said, watch it on the biggest screen you can.
And yes, it was worth purchasing on Disney Premier.
Final Thoughts: Mulan is an beautifully crafted epic thay is surely one of Disney’s best live-action films. She has brought honor to us all.