This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
MULAN – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 55 mins.
DIRECTOR: Niki Caro
WRITERS: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Elizabeth Martin, Lauren Hynek
STARRING: Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Li Gong, Jet Li, Jason Scott Lee, Rosalind Chao, and Tzi Ma
A tale as old as time… Nope, wrong Disney film, but this statement totally works for Disney’s latest LIVE ACTION film, MULAN, as the story itself ventures back to a folk tale from the 12th Century, with references within that take it back to the 4th or 5th century…but enough with this history lesson…
Disney’s latest release, ventures initially down the same path as its original 1998 Animated feature, when the Emperor decrees that one man from each household must step forward to help against the invasion from the North. So, Hua Mulan as the eldest of the daughters of an honored warrior, feels compelled to go to war in her father’s place, posing as a man, to bring honor to her family, and save her ailing father from certain death on the battlefield.
But it seems that in this live action thriller, we are staying truer to our ancestorial roots, or to the vision of Director Niki Caro with the storyline, as we are definitely not venturing down the paths of any love interest, and definitely making clear that the message this time around is “Girls can do anything”, regardless of the circumstances you must endure through to live our your destiny!
I give MULAN a rating between CATCH IT ON STREAMING NOW or WAIT TILL IT’S AVAILABLE on STREAMING for FREE on DISNEY+ in December.
Captivatingly beautiful is the cinematography throughout this latest Disney LIVE Action creation, as is its heroin this time around too, as Yifei Liu totally channels this heroin, as she brings her to life. It is also exciting to see Jason Scott Lee, playing the leader of the North Bori Khan. I also very much enjoyed seeing Rosalind Chao cast as the mother of Mulan, as I so loved her in many things throughout the years, including her small, but pivotal role in Disney’s 2003 film, Freaky Friday! But I am also sad to say, that even though this film is beautifully made, with a solid cast throughout, I still prefer the 1998 Animated version more. And why? Because I totally miss the music telling aspects of the storyline, that envelope the original film. I miss the cute and adorable creatures that assist Mulan in her quest for greatness. I even miss the love story aspects that the original film possesses, I mean, I’m the first person to tell you that no women needs a man to survive, but that companionship aspect of life, is an essential relationship component of life too, and I missed that part of the storyline coming to fruition within this new film. I think part of me loves the animated version so much too, because I got to experience my two girls falling head over heels in love with that version of Mulan, and the significance that the creatures within the film played in Mulan’s life as well. And it saddens me too, that this film met with hurdles in getting it to theaters, as I am most certain that it is definitely breathtakingly beautiful being viewed that way, by how beautiful it is on the small screen, COVID won, forcing Disney to decide that it was best for families to be able to experience it in their own homes, rather than taking the family out to a theater, as this pandemic rages on.
I know I’ve heard some backlash headed Disney’s way too, stemming from the price of this film, beyond the streaming service monthly price that family’s already pay. Fact of the matter is, Disney spent 2 million in creating this LIVE ACTION version of their favorite Asian Heroin, and like everything else in business, they have to try to recoup some of the money spent in the making of this film, especially since box office revenue is now out of the equation, in leu of Disney choosing the health and safety of its families, with its final decision on how to release it. Thus which is why I am suggesting that if you aren’t feeling paying the $29.99 to see MULAN now, (although remember, a trip to the theater for a family of 4 is right at $100), then you might want to just hold out to catch this film when it does stream on Disney+ as part of your subscription, just three short months from now!