“Mulan”: Did the Live-Action Remake Let Disney Fans Down?

The expectations were high for the live-action remake of the Disney classic, and sadly not all were met. Disney’s original animated movie Mulan came out in the year 1998. The film reached a box office of 304.3 million dollars qualifying as the second-highest grossing family film of the year, and seventh overall.

Since the movie was so well liked, people were more than excited about the live-action remake. Fans knew Disney would do a wonderful job at transforming the story into a live-action movie and truly making it come alive. The story tells of Hua Mulan, a young and adventurous girl who has dreams of becoming a warrior. Her parents deeply disapproved of this idea, for gender stereotypes at the time strictly prohibited women in battle, and Mulan could even be executed for such an act. Seeing no other way to fulfill her dream, Mulan decides to take her father’s place in battle when the Imperial Army comes to her town. Mulan kept her identity a secret and she did not let a single soul know of what she was keeping to herself.

As the storyline continues, fans may notice that some things that were included in the 1998 ‘Mulan’ were missing from this year’s remake. The first being the lack of music. In the original film, there were multiple well-known musical numbers that did not appear in the remake. 

In the original film, there were multiple well-known musical numbers that did not appear in the remake. 


The next point is one of the missing main character’s, Mulan’s love interest, Captain Shang. In the new film, Mulan still has a love interest that she keeps her eyes on throughout the film, but he is not necessarily the same guy. 

The upset that caused fans the most heartbreak was the removal of the character “Mushu,” Mulan’s sassy sidekick dragon. Mushu was a beloved character who made the audience laugh. Niki Caro, the director of the ‘Mulan’ remake, stated that she believes Mushu is irreplaceable. In the remake however, she aimed for a more serious tone, so the only way Mushu would’ve meshed well in the movie is if his humor was removed, but that would be taking away from his character. Therefore, she decided to simply remove his character altogether. 

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