1998 Mulan vs. 2020 Mulan

Liu Yifei playing as Mulan in recently released movie “Mulan.” Disney

Recently, Disney has been remaking many of its older, animated movies into live actions. These movies include “The Lion King,” “The Jungle Book,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Cinderella” and “Alice in Wonderland,” just to name a few. Its most recent remake is “Mulan.”

While Disney has had some great live-action movies created out of the classic originals, “Mulan” is not one of them. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the audience score of “Mulan” was 51% positive. Most reviewers complain that the movie lacks depth and the emotion of the 1998 rendition.

There are also controversies surrounding the star of the movie as well as Disney itself. Liu Yifei, the woman who played Mulan in the movie, openly supported the Hong Kong police who are punishing individuals that are protesting the Chinese government in favor of democracy.

Disney thanked the Xinjiang province in the movie credits, which is located in Northwest China where parts of the movie were filmed. They also gave their thanks to the Public Security Bureau in the city of Turpan, which is within the Xinjiang province, where dozens of “reeducation camps” are located. These reeducation camps have been reported to have forced labor, forced sterilization, and forced political indoctrination. The majority of those who are put in these camps are those of Muslim or Christian religion.

In Disney’s most recent live action remakes, such as “The Lion King,” it seemed to be more concerned with the visuals rather than the depth of the characters and storyline. The same rang true for “Mulan.” The costumes and environment were colorful and vibrant, but the acting was quite bland.

Many audience members were also upset at how much the movie deviated from the original. Many main characters were either missing, such as Mushu and the Ancestors, or replaced, such as Cricket. Disney also added a witch to the movie, which completely brings in an entirely new aspect: magic.

Fans of the original “Mulan” noticed that some of their favorite scenes were missing. In the original, there is a very important scene where Mulan decides to take the place of her father in the war. She stares at herself in the mirror and cuts her hair off, symbolizing her cutting ties with the fear of dishonoring her family.

Next, she dresses herself in her father’s armor and puts her hair into a bun so she looks like a man. The new movie completely cuts out these scenes, and jumps to her already dressed in her father’s armor without all of the emotions. She also never cuts her hair and simply puts it up into a bun to hide that she is a woman.

These deviations from the original movie had unintentionally made it much more shallow, lacking character development and emotion. Many described the actress playing Mulan as “blank” or “bland” and criticized the movie for its unrealistic, bloodless and unengaging battle scenes.

Mulan simply unleashes a power at the end that makes her unstoppable on the battlefield, instead of revealing her true identity as a woman like she does in the original. She is portrayed as being powerful not because she is a woman, but because she has that ability deep inside of her. Instead of having to prove herself as an equal by training hard and becoming just as strong as the men, she was simply born with a strength that did not require any hard work. In the 1998 movie, the entire story behind her being a woman out at war and fearing for her life because of the threat of execution if they discover her gender is completely disregarded.

For people who have seen both the 1998 “Mulan” versus the 2020 “Mulan,” there is a very big difference between the two movies. From lack of depth and emotion to completely scratching main characters from the live-action, it is obvious that it did not live up to the expectations of the fans of the original movie.