Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 14 December 2019

5 details you may have missed in the 'Mulan' live action trailer

From scene-by-scene comparisons to what they are doing with the movie's popular songs, here's what to know about the live action reboot

Disney's live action remakes are showing no sign of slowing down, and the latest to be teased to eager fans is a rebooting of Mulan.

Mulan is based on the folksong The Ballad of Mulan. The poem, by an anonymous author, dates back to the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534 AD), and in 1998 was adapted into a Disney animated film. The cartoon version is incredibly popular, with a score of 86 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.

The movie tells the story of Mulan, a young woman who secretly takes the place of her father when he is drafted to serve in the Chinese military. Her family wants her to "honour them" by getting married, not going to war.

Along with a new poster, the latest trailer for the film dropped at halftime during the Women’s World Cup final, ahead of its March 27, 2020 release.

Here are five things we noticed about the brand new trailer ...

1. The songs are gone

It had been rumoured that fan favourite songs, including Reflection and I'll Make a Man Out of You, would be omitted from the live action version, ever since director, Niki Caro, said "no songs right now, much to the horror of my children," in a 2017 interview. Fans held onto hope, as she didn't outright deny a musical element to the film, but the lack of singing in the trailer seems to hint that we won't be hearing any singing from Yifei Liu, who has been cast in the title role.

2. But the film will honour the songs

While we don't seem set to hear the songs, they certainly will be referenced in the movie. In the trailer alone the song Honour to Us All is referenced.

While it is not sang as Mulan is made over by the matchmaker, the trailer shows her at dinner with her parents, when her mother says, "The matchmaker has found you an auspicious match". "It is decided. Come and sit down," her father adds. "It is what is best for our family." To which Mulan replies, "Yes, I will bring honour to us all," as notes from the song play. It is thought that instrumental versions of the songs will serve as the soundtrack to the movie. A slowed down version of Reflection is heard in the trailer.

3. Mushu is missing

Mushu and Milan in the 2008 Disney cartoon, 'Mulan'. Courtesy Disney 
Mushu and Milan in the 2008 Disney cartoon, 'Mulan'. Courtesy Disney

Another fan favorite, Mushu the sassy and talkative dragon, voiced by Eddie Murphy in the original, is no where to be seen in the live action version of the movie. It has been alleged that a phoenix may serve a similar role in the film, but that is yet to be confirmed.

4. There are plenty of nods to the original film

Fans of the original are in for a treat. First of all, there is the scene where she gets ready for the matchmaker, and the delicate placing of the blue flower pin:

The blue pin appears in both the 2008 original and new 2020 live action remake. Courtesy Disney 
The blue pin appears in both the 2008 original and new 2020 live action remake. Courtesy Disney

Then there is the finished made-up look:

There are plenty of similarities in the finished looks, when Mulan is ready to meet the matchmaker. Courtesy Disney 
There are plenty of similarities in the finished looks, when Mulan is ready to meet the matchmaker. Courtesy Disney

Then the young warrior starts training alone in her bedroom:

Mulan can be seen training to fight in both of the movies' trailers. Courtesy Disney 
Mulan can be seen training to fight in both of the movies' trailers. Courtesy Disney

We also see footage of Mulan preparing to "defeat the Huns" with the army she masquerades as a man to join:

The Chinese military preparing for battle in each of the films. Courtesy Disney 
The Chinese military preparing for battle in each of the films. Courtesy Disney

Naturally, there are also similarities in the horseback battle:

Battle scenes from each of the 'Mulan' films. Courtesy Disney 
Battle scenes from each of the 'Mulan' films. Courtesy Disney

Mulan can be seen in her armour in each of the films:

Mulan's armour in the live action remake echoes that of the 2008 cartoon. Courtesy Disney 
Mulan's armour in the live action remake echoes that of the 2008 cartoon. Courtesy Disney

Plus, the new poster is a direct reflection of the 2008 movie:

The poster for the 2020 movie echoes a significant scene from the original 'Mulan'. A Courtesy Disney 
The poster for the 2020 movie echoes a significant scene from the original 'Mulan'. A Courtesy Disney

5. It has a predominantly Chinese cast

Chinese-American actress Yifei Liu has been cast in the titular role, while Guangzhou-born actor Donnie Yen will play Commander Tung, Beijing-born Jet Li plays the emperor of China and and Chinese-Kiwi actor Yoson An portrays an ally and potential love interest Chen Honghui. It seems Chen Honghui may have taken the place of popular character, Li Shang.

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Updated: July 8, 2019 05:53 PM

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