Walt Disney Studios releases the Mulan teaser trailer, offering fans a first look at the upcoming live-action reimagining. Released in 1998 at the tail end of the Disney Renaissance, Mulan was adapted from the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan. However, with the empowering tale of Mulan (Ming-Na Wen) becoming a warrior in the Chinese army, a hilarious performance from Eddie Murphy as the dragon guardian Mushu, and catchy soundtrack songs like "I'll Make A Man Out of You," the movie became a beloved piece of Disney's animated library. Like many other animated Disney movies, it also takes a great deal of liberties with the source material, making for a much lighter, family friendly movie.
Still, the love that many fans still have for Mulan made it an obvious choice for Disney's trend of reimagining its animated classics as live-action films. Set for release in March 2020, Disney's live-action Mulan is directed by Niki Caro and starring Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei. A first look photo of Yifei as Mulan was released when filming started last year, but Disney had yet to release any footage to the fans - until now.
Disney unveiled the Mulan teaser trailer and poster, giving fans of the animated movie their first look at the new live-action take. Watch the trailer and check out the teaser poster below.
In addition to Liu, the movie stars Donnie Yen as Mulan's mentor Commander Tung, Yoson An as Mulan's ally and love interest Chen Honghui, Jason Scott Lee as Hun warrior Bori Khan, Gong Li as the villainous witch Xian Lang, Tzi Ma as Mulan's father Hua Zhou and Jet Li as the Emperor. Further, Jimmy Wong, Doua Moua and Chen Tang star as fellow soldiers in Mulan's unit, Ling, Po and Yao, respectively. As evidenced by the cast list, the characters set to appear in Disney's live-action Mulan are a mix of those from the original animated movie - as is the case with Ling, Po and Yao - while others are completely new, with Chen Honghui replacing Li Shang as Mulan's love interest.
The Mulan trailer further proves the many differences Caro's film will have to Disney's original animated movie. Unlike recent reimaginings like Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book, the creative team behind Mulan has chosen to differentiate itself a great deal from the animated film. Whether that pays off remains to be seen. Without the iconic soundtrack, the fan-favorite characters of Mushu and Li Shang and a number of changes to the story, it's unclear if Mulan will be able to appeal both to those who grew up watching the 1998 animated musical as well as new viewers.
That said, the majority of Disney's live-action remakes have done well with critics and viewers, as well as at the box office. So it's likely the Mouse House knows exactly what they're doing with this latest reimagining. Fans will just have to wait and see Mulan for themselves when the movie hits theaters next spring.
- Mulan (2020) release date: Mar 27, 2020