mulan pg-13

As you might have noticed, all of Disney’s recent live-action remakes of their animated films have scored PG ratings – until now. Mulan just landed a PG-13 rating, making it the first of these remakes to suggest something slightly more mature than what we’ve seen from Disney so far. The rating is due to “sequences of violence”, which makes sense since the story involves the main character going off to war. But the original 1998 film did as well – and still managed a G rating. So just how violent does the new Mulan get?

Let’s get down to business and watch a surprisingly violent Mulan movie, shall we? Mulan has landed a PG-13 rating, which makes it the first of the Disney live-action remakes to do so. The House of Mouse has released plenty of PG-13 titles before – the Pirates of the Carribean movies all had that rating – but this is a new one, even for them.

In Mulan, “When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father.”

The cast includes Yifei Liu as Mulan; Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan; Yoson An as Cheng Honghui; with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor. Niki Caro directs.

Mulan appears to be shaping up much differently than recent Disney remakes in many ways. Besides the PG-13 rating, the new Mulan does not look like a shot-for-shot remake like the recent Lion King remake. Mushu, the comic relief dragon character voiced by Eddie Murphy in the 1998 film, won’t be making an appearance in the new Mulan. Nor will there be any musical numbers. While that’s a bit of a bummer – a lot of the songs in the 1998 Mulan are great – I’m all for Disney trying new things with this “let’s remake all our movies!” idea. Why do a shot-for-shot remake when the original already exists? There’s nothing wrong with trying something different.

The big question is: What happens next? If Mulan is a hit, will Disney risk more adult ratings for future remakes? If so, I demand a hard-R live-action Hunchback of Notre Dame. Make it happen, Bob Iger.

Mulan opens March 27.

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