Disney: stop bringing men down!
Disney: stop bringing men down!
Dear Disney, on behalf of fans Worldwide,
It is with great disappointment that I write this to you. I recently came across an article in which it was stated that the character of LI SHANG was being removed from your upcoming remake of MULAN. The reasons were cited as being the result of their #metoo movement and: “...having a commanding officer that was also the sexual love interest was very uncomfortable and we didn’t think it was appropriate.”
OK well firstly, ANY sexual interest in a family film is just awkward and wrong. Romantic interests are a different thing.
Disney: you have missed out on a wonderful opportunity for good. When I was in early high school, when MULAN came out, I loved “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You”, belting out the chorus over and over again with goosebumps running down my arms. It was an anthem about overcoming fear and insecurity. It’s a song where we hear the inner dialogues of the soldiers and hear how they really feel.
“I’m never gonna catch my breath!” (Worried he wont pass basic)
“Say goodbye to those who knew me!” (Afraid of the reality that he may die)
“Boy, was I a fool in school for cutting gym!” (Afraid he is unprepared)
“This guy’s got them scared to death!” (Admission that everyone is terrified)
“Hope he doesn’t see right through me!” (Mulan’s own fear of being discovered)
“Now I really I wish I knew how to swim!” (Another fear of being unprepared)
LI SHANG addresses these fears, with a rousing chorus about that it takes to overcome it all.
But SHANG also has his own fears and insecurities. It’s his first command, and he has his Father’s reputation to maintain.
This is a powerful moment in the movie for boys and men. It shows that men also have fears and feelings of inadequacy. It gives an anthem for us to sing along with, get our blood pumping, “be a man” and fight through it all, coming out victorious as a result. This is an important life lesson about not giving up. This isn’t toxic masculinity, this is POSITIVE masculinity!
My point isn’t that the song needs to come back. That’s not what I am saying. What I AM saying, is that by removing LI SHANG from the plot, you are missing out on a wonderful WONDERFUL opportunity to create a positive role model in the character of SHANG. A character and role model that boys can look up to just as much as girls can look up to MULAN herself.
In the animated version, SHANG is humble and sweet when it comes to MULAN. He shows the respect she deserves and even feels unworthy of her, finally having the EMPEROR tell him to go for it because: “...you don’t find a girl like THAT every Dynasty!”
Is this not the kind of example we DO want? Where Emperors and Generals stand in awe and wonder of this peasant girl? To show boys in the Audience that its OK to be so shocked and amazed at what a girl can do?
Please. Stop kowtowing to political correctness and new-wave feminism. #metoo has no place in family films. It is nothing short of misandry. Don’t take men away from your plots. Build them up and turn them into amazing role models.
That’s what Walt would have done.
I was excited for this new MULAN release. I have friends that animated the original. Now I want nothing to do with it and my family will never buy a ticket for it. We’ll just stick to the animated version.
We need more positive male role models...not less.
Very disappointed fans.