Does anyone else remember the last time Disney gave us an original live action film? Sure, you can name Christopher Robin, or The Nutcracker and the Four Realms out of kindness, but other than that, there hasn’t been much.
That’s mostly because the studio’s been super busy taking our childhood favorites and converting them into live action remakes, pushed into theaters for some good ol’ nostalgia-based cash grabbing. With the exception of maybe Dumbo, none of them have been particularly unenjoyable, but they do feel, to a lot of people, a bit uninspired.
That being said, the upcoming Mulan actually has us pretty excited and now that the first trailer’s hit the web, initial impressions on it are starting to roll in. Thankfully, most people seem to dig it, but over in China, the preview is being trashed for its supposed historical inaccuracies.
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According to Variety, those in the Middle Kingdom are taking issue with Mulan and the backlash is beginning to show on social media.
“Disney shouldn’t be so careless and just think that because tulou are beautiful, they can make Mulan live in one. She’s not Fujianese!” wrote one detractor who wondered how Mulan would manage to make it north to fight the Huns, adding: “I guess this Mulan has to take the subway out to join the army?”
Meanwhile, someone else expressed a similar sentiment in a video that now has roughly 8 million views, saying:
“This film is just trying to ingratiate itself to Western audiences. It’s like they thought, oh, this element is really Chinese, it’s very Oriental, so I’m going to shove it into the film to make everyone feel this is a very ‘Chinese’ film.”
“This mess of mixing unrelated Oriental elements is really disrespectful of non-Western cultures and audiences,” the individual added. “This is not about [the producers] truly appreciating elements of a culture that is different from Hollywood’s, but using them to create something that [Americans] find comfortable and appealing.”
While we could see where these people are coming from, it also feels like they’re being a bit too nit-picky. I mean, it’s just a movie, and it’s not exactly like it’s pretending to be a perfectly accurate historical epic or anything of the sort. But you’re always going to run into these issues when it comes to telling a story like the one Mulan aims to tell. After all, you can’t please everyone, right?