Footage from Disney's live-action Mulan shown at D23 revealed the matchmaker scene, along with music from the original animated film's score. Word broke about Disney's plans for a live-action Mulan in 2015. The idea was to take the story that inspired the animated movie and recreate it in a way that was more accurate to the original legend of Mulan.
In Chinese folklore, Lua Mulan was a legendary Chinese warrior who disguised herself as a man to take her father's place in the army. Disney created an animated film based on Mulan in 1998, complete with singing characters and a talking dragon named Mushu. However, when Disney decided to create a live-action movie based on the character, the company decided to offer a more realistic take on the story. Disney decided to get rid of the original movie's musical aspects, as well as the talking dragon. However, Disney eventually revealed that some of the music from the animated Mulan would get new life in the live-action movie's score.
Disney showcased the live-action Mulan at D23, although the star of the film, Crystal Liu Yifei, was absent due to recent controversial statements about the civil unrest in Hong Kong. However, Disney showcased about five minutes of footage from the film. The footage showed a recreation of the matchmaker scene from the animated movie. In the clip, Mulan is getting dressed, and she and the matchmaker are walking over to have tea. They talk about what makes a good wife: "She must be silent, must be invisible." A spider crawls onto the table, and Mulan covers it with the teapot. This makes the matchmaker angry. After the spider escapes, Mulan uses teacups, chopsticks and everything else she can grab to kill the spider. At one point during the scene, music from the animated film plays as an instrumental in the background.
After that, the Chinese army attempts to recruit Mulan's father, as he has no son to fight. As Mulan watches her father begin training, she takes up her sword. There are shots of her fighting with her saying, "I will bring honor to us all." The footage also showed a first look at the phoenix that replaced Mushu from the animated film.
As Disney's most expensive movie ever, it's still hard to tell if the live-action Mulan will do well at the box office. Given the controversy surrounding its lead actress, its most important market, China, could be affected. However, the footage does show a movie that still honors the animated film, which should please fans of the original film who were worried about the lack of singing and Mushu in Mulan.
- Mulan (2020) release date: Mar 27, 2020