Disney’s live-action version ‘Mulan’ faces controversy


Fair use image by Disney

The Disney film “Mulan” was released on Sept. 4 on Disney+. Fans criticize the new version and compare it to the original.

Adrianna Garcia, Distribution Reporter

Remaking original movies can come with the conflict of comparison, and other difficulties that can cause criticism. The 1998 version of the movie “Mulan”, was recently remade as a live-action film. It was released Sept. 4 on Disney+. Many fans are disappointed in this new version, as it lacks some of the same aspects that were originally important to the movie storyline. Along with the backlash of a storyline change, the movie comes at a higher price, which is very a topic many audience members are unhappy with.

Unlike the 1998 animated original film, the new live version lacks the songs and a musical aspect that fans truly loved. The new live version does include various intense action scenes, but still misses out on the original musical style. 

“There was no music, there were no songs,” Movie Critic parent Tom Chang said. “There’s no Mooshu the dragon which was a great character. It was a little disappointing.”

“Mulan” carries an important message amongst both versions, and that would be the power of a strong woman who truly fights for, and carries herself confidently and bravely. The new version tends to focus more on physical fighting, instead of the emotional message that should be portrayed.

Chang said that they should have included a great message and have better-hidden teachings right on how women have strength.

Due to COVID-19, the new live version of “Mulan” was not released in theaters. Because of this, it was released on Disney+, for an additional $30 on top of the $6.99 subscription rate. Many believe this $30 charge for the movie was unnecessary, and disappointed many fans.

“Personally, I think that any family should be able to afford a movie, especially during the tough time we’re in. You already have to pay for Disney Plus itself,” senior Owen Kuckler said.

With remaking a movie, there comes criticism amongst fans due to plot change, character removal, and overall small differences that mean a lot to the audience. Remakes of movies can hold controversy, and the difference in opinions, according to someone’s personal liking and enjoyment.

Although many reviews of the new “Mulan” have been negative, there are various thoughts that the new version was just as good, or even better than the original. Live-action films tend to have more action, which certain audiences really enjoy.

“Personally, I like the new one better. Cartoons are more entertaining when you are young, but the new one just makes more sense to me,” freshman Lauren Laier said. “It’s a lot more descriptive, and I think it includes a lot more detail and action.”

“It didn’t have the same storyline and had different characters,” Kuckler added. It was disappointing that some characters were missing because they added humor that the new version just lacked.”

Many movie companies remake versions of original films. This can be very controversial, especially for films that are known to be classics. Disney specifically, is known for turning cartoon films into live-action films. 

I think it is a cool thing when movies are remade into new versions. I think it adds excitement to be able and watch both versions and compare the two. I think the directors of ‘Mulan’ did a good job of keeping the action and overall storyline exciting and entertaining,” Laier said.

Despite the mixed feelings towards this beautifully scripted movie, “Mulan” still portrays a message for all young women, proving that women can be just as strong and powerful as a man. The new version has brought a lot of controversy and backlash for its lack of message portrayal, but gains praise for its highly entertaining fight scenes. 

Movie Critic, Tom Chang said, “There was no music, there were no songs. It was a little disappointing.”