Based on what we’ve seen from the footage so far, Mulan looks to be a different beast entirely from the majority of Disney’s live-action remakes of their classic animated movies. Not only is it the first one to roll off the production line that’s been given a PG-13 rating due to the intense battle scenes, but it also doesn’t look to be a shot-for-shot retread of the original.
Most of the Mouse House’s recent reboots have simply taken the story, characters, plot points, songs and even jokes from their animated predecessors and just tacked on a couple of extra scenes to extend the running time. But Mulan has taken a different approach and looks to stand on its own merits as a blockbuster action adventure.
One aspect of the original that’s missing is wisecracking dragon sidekick Mushu, something the fans are not happy about. While somebody could have come up with an explanation about how the character didn’t fit into the story they were trying to tell, one of the producers came right out and admitted that Mushu’s omission was done as a measure to appease Chinese audiences, with the country set to be one of the movie’s biggest markets.
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However, we’ve now heard from our sources – the same ones who told us that Disney was developing live-action Bambi and Robin Hood films, and that an Aladdin sequel is in the works, all of which turned out to be true – that Mushu could end up being part of a potential Mulan sequel after the studio faced intense backlash over his omission this time around. Apparently, they’ve seen what the fans are saying and are now planning to introduce the character in the next film.
Of course, the notoriously strict Chinese censors could ultimately interfere with these plans, as their fingerprints seem to be all over the theatrical cut of the movie anyway, but if Mulan performs well enough to warrant a follow-up, then the filmmakers will surely be afforded more creative freedom to include the fan favorite character and as of right now, at least, it’s what they’re hoping to do.