Mulan is back, transforming from a beloved animated character into a live-action warrior ready to prove a woman can fight just as well as a man. And Mulan is coming to Disney Plus.
Mulan 2020 is the latest live-action remake of an animated Disney classic. The studio has given the treatment to some of its most beloved movies, including Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin.
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The original Mulan came out in 1998 and captivated audiences with its tale of a young Chinese woman who takes her ailing father's place in the army. To fight off a horde of invaders, the emperor decrees that one man per household must join the army. To shield her father from conscription, Mulan disguises herself as a man. She learns to fight and ends up helping to save the entire country with her skills.
The live-action Mulan movie follows that same story, with a few tweaks to the characters. For one, there's no equivalent to the dragon Mushu (voiced by Eddie Murphy in the animated film). For another, the new Mulan is not a musical, so characters don't burst into song.
Here's everything you need to know about Mulan 2020.
Mulan movie release date
Mulan's release date has changed several times. Its new release date is September 4 on Disney Plus, as a premium on demand title, as well as select theaters across the U.S. and around the world.
Mulan was originally scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on March 27, 2020. The film had its world premiere at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 9, 2020.
Then, on March 12, Mulan's release date was delayed by Disney due to the growing coronavirus pandemic. It joined other movies whose premieres were pushed back, including Fast and Furious 9, A Quiet Place Part II and Black Widow.
Mulan was then scheduled to open on August 21, in the hope that movie theaters would reopen by then. But with the surge of coronavirus cases across the country, it became clear that indoor theaters will not be open for some time.
On July 23, Disney announced Mulan's release date has been postponed indefinitely.
Then, on Disney's Aug. 4 earnings call, the company announced that Mulan will be released on Disney Plus and cost $30 on top of service's regular subscription fee.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek said, "We thought it was important to find alternative ways to bring [Mulan] in a timely manner."
Mulan movie reviews
After Mulan's world premiere, the first reactions began popping up on social media. And they are almost universally glowing.
"Mulan is the best of the Disney live-action remakes since Cinderella — I didn’t even miss the songs," tweeted Mashable editor Angie Han.
Yahoo Entertainment editor Kevin Polowy said, "Easily Disney’s best live action reboot. I think it’s also Disney’s first battle epic? It is beautiful & absorbing & rich & empowering."
Fandango editor Erik Davis gushed about the "stunning production design & fight choreography."
And Screenrant writer Tessa Smith said, "Disney's Mulan is not only visually stunning, it is absolutely magical. I laughed, I cried, and I loved every second of it."
Mulan movie trailer
The first official Mulan trailer proved just how seriously Disney took this live-action remake. It's decidedly darker and more adult in tone. There are war scenes and fighting sequences, but no songs unlike the live-action remake of Aladdin.
And here's the final trailer for the Mulan movie, which gives us more glimpses of the film's villains, the warrior Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee) and the witch Xian Lang (Gong Li).
Mulan movie cast
Casting Mulan was a globe-spanning process that began in 2016. Disney said from the start that they were looking for a Chinese actress for the title role. Casting directors visited five continents and auditioned nearly 1,000 actresses to find someone who could speak English, perform martial arts credibly and had that special star quality.
On November 29, 2017, Disney announced that Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei was cast as Mulan.
The rest of the cast was filled out by Asian and Asian-American actors. Here's the full cast list:
- Liu Yifei as Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of Hua Zhou
- Donnie Yen as Commander Tung, an Imperial Army leader and Mulan's mentor (this character is based on Li Shang from the animated)
- Jason Scott Lee as Bori Khan, a Rouran warrior leader intent on avenging his father's death (based on Shan Yu from the animated film)
- Yoson An as Chen Honghui, a recruit under Commander Tung who becomes Mulan's ally and love interest (based on Li Shang from the animated film)
- Gong Li as Xian Lang, a powerful witch with shapeshifting abilities and an ally of Bori Khan
- Jet Li as The Emperor of China, a wise benevolent ruler of China
- Tzi Ma as Hua Zhou, Mulan's father and a famed war veteran
- Rosalind Chao as Hua Li, Mulan's mother
- Xana Tang as Hua Xiu, Mulan's younger sister (this character is new to the live-action film)
Mulan movie songs
While the animated Mulan movie featured songs (like Reflection and I'll Make a Man Out of You), the live-action film will not be a musical. Instead the Mulan remake features instrumental versions of the original songs.
Christina Aguilera did record a new version of Reflection as well as a new song called Loyal Brave True. Both tunes will be included in the Mulan soundtrack.
Harry Gregson-Williams composed the film's score.