Among the host of female-led features we have to look forward to this year is the live-action remake of Mulan. The latest of such live-action reboots from Disney, the new take on the story will appear in a rather different form from the animated original.
Mulan represents a character similar in premise to that of the historical figure Joan of Arc. A simple maiden, she feels a calling taking her far from the peace of her home to a life of battle and bloodshed. She does this out of love for her father and out of love for her family.
This setting in and of itself, while certainly endearing, is not your typical sing-along in the sunshine story. The original Mulan was serious, while at the same time presenting moments of comedic relief as all dramas ought to. But it was also a musical, featuring such memorable, inspirational ditties as “A Girl Worth Fighting For” and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”
However, the director of the upcoming Mulan remake, Niki Caro, has recently confirmed that no songs shall be featured in her adaptation. In an interview with Digital Spy, Caro explained:
“I mean, back to the realism question – we don’t tend to break into song when we go to war. Not that I’m saying anything against the animation. The songs are brilliant, and if I could squeeze them in there, I would have. But we do honour the music from the animation in a very significant way. I guess that’s the biggest thing for me about making – remaking – an iconic title like Mulan in live-action. It’s the fact that it can be real, and it’s the real story of a girl going to war.”
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This is a bit of a change even when compared to the other live-action Disney remakes. Aladdin (2019) and The Lion King (2019) both gave their audiences some of those classic beats from the originals, but it’s clear that Mulan intends to be a remake set apart from the rest.
Caro also added that the beloved Mushu from the original, voiced by comedian Eddie Murphy, will be excluded from this updated version as well, saying:
“You know, the animated classic stands on its own in that regard. In this movie, there is a creature representative – a spiritual representation of the ancestors, and most particularly of Mulan’s relationship with her father… But an update of Mushu? No.”
The production appears to have purged itself of various elements which made the classic story iconic, but this might also be a way of presenting something enticingly fresh. In any case, we’ll find out soon enough, as Mulan hits theaters on March 27th.
Source: The Disney Insider