Now, Mulan is being moved to Disney+, their new streaming service which launched in the UK this year. Many will be able watch the hugely anticipated remake in the comfort of their own homes. But, as always, there’s a catch – a very expensive catch. Even if you have a Disney+ subscription, you’ll have to pay $29.99 (£23) for the privilege of renting Mulan.
Doubtless people will pay the price, especially the fans who grew up with the 1998 musical animation. But it’s an extortionate cost – even for a streaming cinema release, which are usually around £10 to £15 to rent. Will it be worth it? Here’s everything we know.
Liu Yifei as Mulan (Credit: Disney)
What’s the story of Mulan?
The remake draws more from the original tale from Chinese folklore, The Ballad of Mulan, than the original animated version. And, to the disappointment of some, it’s not a musical but a medieval war movie. The story follows Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honoured but ailing warrior. When the Emperor calls on one man per family to fight in the upcoming war, Mulan masquerades as a man to spare her father.
Disney have been commendably inclusive in their selection of cast and craftspeople to head the project. Not only is the film directed by a woman, Niki Caro, but it’s the first Disney-branded movie with an all-Asian cast.
There has been controversy around Disney not choosing an Asian filmmaker to direct the film, with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon director Ang Lee being the first choice. Caro stated in The Hollywood Reporter that ‘Although it's a critically important Chinese story and it's set in Chinese culture and history, there is another culture at play here, which is the culture of Disney, and that the director, whoever they were, needed to be able to handle both — and here I am.’
Although her statement makes the uncomfortable suggestion that a Chinese filmmaker couldn’t deal with Disney, Caro has gone through strenuous efforts to enrich the film in Chinese culture and history. This was especially the case in the casting, where she looked for a lead female actor who was specifically Chinese.
Who’s in the Mulan cast?
Liu Yifei (Hanson and the Beast) plays Mulan, and she’s been the subject of controversy herself when she posted pro-police comments during the Hong Kong protests last year. After #BoycottMulan trended on Twitter, she’s since tried to distance herself from the statements she made.
Also starring is Jet Li (The Expendables) as the Emperor, Donnie Yen (Rogue One) as Commander Tung, Jason Scott Lee (Lilo & Stitch) as Böri Khan, and Li Gong (Memoirs of a Geisha) as Xianniang. Mushu the Dragon, voiced by Eddie Murphy in the 1998 film, was cut from the remake entirely because Chinese audiences didn’t like the character’s representation of their culture.
What’s the Mulan release date?
After several delays, Mulan will be hitting Disney+ on Friday 4 September. A UK cinema release date has yet to be confirmed. Watch the latest trailer below.
|What||Disney's Mulan remake moves to Disney Plus|
04 Sep 20 – 04 Sep 21, TIMES VARY
|Price||£determined by cinemas|
|Website||click here for more information|