The iconic Disney movie Mulan was remade in 2020 and to everyone’s viewing, they told the story a little different from what we all remember it.
The original 1998 Mulan movie was about the Huns invading China by breaching the Great Wall, the Emperor realizes that he must conscript his male subjects to the Imperial Army. He sends a letter to every household in China requiring every family to send one man to fight. A young girl who has proven ineligible for marriage and is worried about the safety of her ailing father decides to disguise herself as a man and take her father’s place in the army. She was an only child in the original so she doesn’t want to lose her father. She fights to become a great warrior, then when the doctor checks her out they find out she is a woman and they leave her. Eventually, she becomes a hero, at the end marrying the commander.
The new live-action movie told the story in a different way, portraying Mulan more as a warrior rather than a princess. Showing the same storyline of Mulan, wanting to go into battle instead of her father that has already been to battle. Although women are not allowed to fight in the war that didn’t stop her, she was willing to dress as a man and risk shame upon her family if she got caught then let her dad die in battle.
There are a lot of differences between the original movie and the new live-action movie, to name a few, there are no songs like “I’ll make a man out of you” or “Reflection”, there is no Shang, the main villain is a witch, and they give Mulan a sister. Those are just a few of the differences but the big difference that got a lot of people talking is the Mulan 2020 doesn’t include Mushu. “Mushu was by far my favorite character, I will never understand why they don’t put him in this new remake, he brings humor to the movie and shows Mulan her worth as a woman not as pretending to be a man,” said senior Kayla Humphrey. There is no animal sidekick anymore but the animal role is filled by a phoenix. The writers of Mulan state “the phoenix serves an important role in the movie, albeit less as a sidekick and more as a symbolic companion. Symbolically, the phoenix fits better with the motifs of Mulan. Within Chinese mythology, the phoenix contains elements of gender fluidity. Called the Fenghuang, with Feng referring to the male version and Huang referring to the female, it represents blurred gender distinction. On a second level, the Fenghuang also represents the female companion to the dragon, which itself often symbolized the emperor.”
Another beloved character who didn’t make the cut is General Li Sheng, Mulan’s main love interest and commander of her troop. Instead, he is replaced in romantic terms by Chen Honghui, “I think they did this to show Mulan doesn’t need a man to be a warrior, to show the younger audience, mainly young girls, that you can be the greatest warrior in the world and you don’t need a guy to be great.” said junior Jillian Schlenk.
Another big difference is how they find out she is a woman, not a man. In the original, they discover she is a woman because the doctor finds out she is a woman and tells everyone. But in the remake, she makes the choice herself to take off her “man gear” and show herself as a woman.
In the original the characters are too Americanized, and the story was too far removed from the original legend. Mulan 2020, corrects that, linking its plot and characterization more to the source material. Mulan is about self- discovery and challenging prejudices to show your true value.