Mulan Becomes First Disney Live-Action Remake To Earn PG-13 Rating


The Walt Disney Company has recently hit something of a stride when it comes to the unpredictable art of remodeling its own animated catalogue into live-action movies (though some of their projects stretch the meaning of the phrase “live-action”) marketed toward the now-adult audiences who fell in love with those original films. In between modest performers like last year’s Dumbo and the-year-before’s Christopher Robin, the studio has released bona-fide blockbuster remakes of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King, following in the tradition of their 2010 live-action version of Alice in Wonderland (whose own 2016 sequel experienced a considerably less successful run).

Whether they broke into the billion-dollar club or not, all of Disney’s remakes have shared at least one trait in common: they’ve all earned the relatively tame PG rating from the Motion Picture Association of America. But this year’s retelling of the Ballad of Mulan is about to change that. Disney’s latest adaptation of the Chinese warrior Hua Mulan, said to be a more grounded story that will adhere more closely to the original folktale, has reportedly been assigned a PG-13 rating, meaning that “parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.”

This isn’t exactly surprising, as Mulan is essentially a war movie, and it isn’t the first time that a live-action Disney film has earned the Strongly Cautious rating. Jerry Bruckheimer first broke Disney out of its comfort zone in 2003 when he produced the PG-13-rated inaugural installment of the popular Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, The Curse of the Black Pearl. Based on the beloved attractions at all five Disney theme parks around the world, the film set the stage for four subsequent sequels, each of which was given a PG-13 by the MPAA.

Those five films are joined by the 2010 video game adaptation Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, 2012’s adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom novels John Carter (which remains one of the top ten most expensive films ever produced), the 2013 adaptation of the classic radio western The Lone Ranger, and the 2013 P. L. Travers biopic Saving Mr. Banks. Of the eight films in Disney’s limited PG-13 catalogue, only the Pirates movies have been truly successful, averaging over $900 million per pic, while Prince of Persia, John Carter and The Lone Ranger are regarded as unmitigated financial failures.

How Mulan fares with this rare rating remains to be seen when the film debuts on March 27th, of course, but in the meantime, tell us, are you looking forward to it? Sound off below with your thoughts.