Treat Mulan as the Queen she is
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In the past few years, Disney has begun their journey on creating their classic animated movies into live-action films. These movies are precious gems that live in the hearts of all people, young or old. Childhood favorites like Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and Maleficent. Because of the wild success these movies ave achieved, Disney has been adding more and more classics to their upcoming live-action remakes. These movies include Dumbo (March 2019), Aladdin (May 2019), and The Lion King (July 2019). For me, and many others I know, the remake I anticipate the most, is the Live-Action Mulan. As a half-asian theater kid, who I might mention played the title role in Mulan Jr. in eighth grade, my heart warms at the thought of seeing a beautiful, strong, and valiant Asian woman breaking the norms of a princess. Like all media that includes people of color, the public needs to keep a close eye on casting and plot decisions.
Every few months news spreads about the development of Mulan. Each one more heartbreaking than the next. First, reports came out that the movie will not be a musical, "yes, from what I understand, no songs right now, much to the horror of my children," said Director Niki Caro. After the news exploded on the internet, and fans demanded what the possible explanation could be, Caro said, "we're still exploring the role that music's going to play in it, but for sure there will be music."
As heartbreaking as this development is, there's still more. Everyone's favorite bisexual hunk, Li Shang, will not be appearing. His replacement is a man named "Chen Honghui," who is described as "mean, with a bullying streak to him," and "strapping, cocky and handsome." What??? What could be the possible reasoning behind this? Besides this abomination, the plot between the two love birds is described as this: "He quickly realizes that Mulan is his chief rival, but he does not realize that she is a woman ... But after learning that his rival is a woman, his intense feelings of rivalry turn into something very different, something like love." So basically they made sure he's not bisexual.
Something that flew under the radar during the information releases about this movie is that the main villain as changed. Originally, the antagonist was the Hun leader Shan-Yu, a frightening, historically accurate, yellow-eyed beast of a man. His fear-factor was heightened by the fact that he was a human. Something that could exist in the real-world. The director and writers have ripped our villain out of our hands and instead given us a witch. Yes. A witch. With supernatural elements that completely tear our beloved film away from the grips of reality. The movie now exists purely as a fantasy.
Lastly, there are some minor character changes that somehow are just as disappointing. Mulan now has a sister! Why? WHO KNOWS! This addition of a sister completely ruins the storyline. If Mulan has a sister, why would she feel the need to go to the army in place of her father so badly? In case you weren't angry enough, they're altering the emperor as well. The emperor has some iconic lines and is known for being super old but wise, and having the most well-groomed, lucious beard literally ever. They've cast Jet Li as the emperor, who is a great actor, but he's only 54. He's not an old, wise man. He's just not.
We need to convey to the writers and directors that they are going to be held accountable for the decisions they make. Mulan is a movie that means so so much to so many people, and they can't just frolic around in the plot with a magic wand and just zap major plot points without any consequences.
Mulan is a traditional Chinese legend. It needs to be kept in mind that every disgusting "edit" they make, they get further and further away from Mulan's Chinese origins. Not only is it rude, but it's offensive and ignorant
As Cosmopolitan said,
"What's next, Khan the horse is replaced by a unicorn? Mulan doesn't dramatically cut off her hair with a single sword stroke whilst singing in the down-pouring rain? We don't have a scene where a tiny red dragon and a cricket impersonate a general riding a panda?
SMH. This movie better pray it has a lucky cricket up its sleeve."
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