mulan chinese audiences

I’ll admit I didn’t know much of the original Ballad of Mulan when I set foot on the set of Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan two years ago. Like many others, I had grown up watching Disney’s animated Mulan thinking of the heroine as a feminist icon (though one typical of the ’90s version of the concept): she was a tomboy, she was an outsider, she was too rambunctious, too independent. But most importantly, Mulan was the lone Disney princess who looked a little like me. Though I didn’t share her cultural identity, it meant something to a 6-year-old Asian American — and thousands of other Asian-Americans — who had never seen herself represented on the big screen.

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Baby Yoda toys Mulan delay

As the coronavirus continues to claim lives and infect people in multiple countries across the world, the virus is also having an impact on the entertainment industry.

A new report says that Hasbro’s supply chain has been interrupted because of the coronavirus, leading at least one expert to predict that Baby Yoda toy deliveries to the United States might be delayed. But there have been more concrete repercussions than that. While Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan will still arrive in U.S. theaters on schedule, the studio has now officially delayed its release in select international markets. And this likely won’t be the last we hear about the coronavirus impacting Hollywood. Read More »

mulan reflection

Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of Mulan may not share a lot in common with its animated counterpart, but one thing it will share is the best Disney song: Christina Aguilera‘s “Reflection.” The ballad that the pop singer recorded for the 1998 Disney movie (and which subsequently helped launch her career) was the sweeping centerpiece for the film and remains one of its most iconic songs. But while fans may gripe over Mulan not being a musical, they will at least get the chance to hear a new version of “Reflection” recorded by Aguilera herself.

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mulan featurette

Disney has released a new featurette spotlighting the stunts and the action of their upcoming live-action remake of Mulan directed by Niki Caro.

The film was always going to be action-forward, as the movie is set during wartime and follows a young woman who disguises herself to fight in the Chinese army. But with a cast stacked with martial arts masters like Donnie Yen and Jet Li, and stars with a history of fighting onscreen like film’s star Liu YifeiMulan may feature some of the best action sequences in a Disney film. Watch the Mulan featurette below.

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There are many elements that seem to set Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan apart from other Disney remakes, but two of them stand out the most: it’s not a musical, and it doesn’t feature any of the wacky sidekicks that made the 1998 animated film so beloved.

While the live-action remake directed by Niki Caro seems to take the serious war epic approach to the story of Fa Mulan, the Chinese folk hero and Disney heroine, producer Jason Reed teased to /Film during a visit to the set of Mulan that some of the elements of the beloved 1998 animated film will make their way into the film. You might just have to go on the hunt for them.

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How ‘Mulan’ Approaches Its LGBTQ Romance [Set Visit]

mulan lgbt

Disney has been championing more progressive diversity representation in their films in recent years, but have tread lightly when it comes to LGBTQ elements making their way into international releases. So that makes the live-action remake of Mulan a bit of a conundrum.

In the original 1998 animated film, the central romance was between Mulan, disguising herself as a man, and her commanding officer Li Shang, who was implied to be attracted to Mulan despite thinking her to be a man. That dynamic turned Shang into “sort of an LGBTQ icon,” producer Jason Reed acknowledged to /Film on the set of Niki Caro‘s Mulan. But while Disney has withheld LGBTQ elements from releases in China before, Reed assures that the romance will “play the same way as it does in the animated [film].”

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mulan love interest

It was a question heard around the world when the casting for Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan came out: Where is Shang? The commanding officer and romantic interest of the 1998 Mulan provided an unexpected LGBTQ element to the film (as well as many a sexual awakening for a young moviegoer). But the hunky character’s name was nowhere to be seen in the cast list. Would Disney be doing away with the pseudo-homoerotic romance that made the animated Mulan feel so groundbreaking? Not quite.

Worry not: the live-action Mulan will still have a strong central romance, but Liu Yifei‘s Mulan will instead be flirting with a fellow conscript instead of her commanding officer. In the live-action remake, Li Shang has been split into two characters: Donnie Yen‘s Commander Tung and Yoson An‘s soldier Chen Honghui. The change stems from the Me Too movement currently overtaking Hollwood.

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mulan hair

It was an iconic scene in Walt Disney Animation’s 1998 film Mulan: in despair that her injured father was going to be sent off to likely die in war, Mulan weeps underneath a giant stone dragon statue, uncaring that she’s caught in a downpour. Suddenly, as Jerry Goldsmith‘s intense score swells to a crescendo, Mulan looks up with a steely resolve. The montage is epic and frightful, Mulan heading first to her ancestral shrine to light an incense stick then to her sleeping parents’ room to leave her comb. Then she descends on her father’s armory, unsheathing his sword and — flinching for a second — using it to cut her long hair.

It’s a strong, impactful scene that is still remembered today as a formative feminist moment for audiences who grew up watching it. But it’s nowhere to be seen in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of Mulan. Read More »

mulan set visit report

Resplendently armored Chinese army generals sit atop horses in a valley nestled in the middle of a mighty mountainscape, fluttering yellow and red flags surrounding them and dust billowing in from a wind machine. Not that they need one — the natural wind of the New Zealand countryside acting as the Chinese battlefield on the set of the live-action remake of Mulan is strong enough. It’s the kind of wind that blows through your hair until the separate strands cut into your face, and pierces through your coat to settle into your bones.

But Mulan star Liu Yifei is paying no mind to the wind, even as it whips her long hair around her face in such a wild frenzy that her eyes can barely be seen on the monitors. She’s poised, stony-faced, her simple robe the one bright flash of red among the weather-beaten, dirt-covered soldiers who ready themselves to charge against the invading Rouran army, a battlefield strewn with dead horses and soldiers stretching out between them. Yifei is running through the climactic battle scene of Mulan: the zenith of the film in which the mythic Chinese warrior has now revealed her identity to the world.

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lizzie mcguire revival stalled

Lizzie McGuire has a case of Peter Pan syndrome: Disney won’t let her grow up. The Disney+ revival of the beloved early 2000s Disney Channel comedy series Lizzie McGuire was set to debut on the streaming service with star Hilary Duff on board and enthusiastic about exploring her sassy, fourth wall-breaking character as a 30-something New Yorker.

But then things suddenly ground to a halt for the Lizzie McGuire revival, with original series creator and revival showrunner Terri Minsky fired after two episodes and production stalled. So what happened, exactly? While there’s no official word yet from Disney or Minsky, Duff has been hinting on social media that the problem lies with Disney+ and its “family-friendly” mission statement.

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