Disney's stunning live-action 'Mulan' trailer lands but everyone's asking the same question

Ben Arnold
Contributor

The trailer for Disney's live-action remake of Mulan dropped during the final of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Final, and it looks stunning.

It stars Liu Yifei as the girl who poses as a boy in place of her father, a storied but ailing warrior, when the Chinese emperor calls for a fighter from each family to defend the country from attack.

Helmed by New Zealand's Niki Caro, it also stars Rogue One star Donnie Yen as Mulan's Commander Tung and Jet Li as the Emperor of China.

Liu Yifei as Mulan (Credit: Disney)

And with its sweeping vistas and slo-mo fight scenes, it has all the hallmarks of something pretty epic. It’s also only the second live action Disney film with a $100m+ budget to be helmed by a female filmmaker, so there’s a lot to celebrate here.

Read more: Lion King remake is half an hour longer than the original

But despite all that, for some, there's something important missing from the original animated movie, released back in 1998. Yes, there’s no sign of Mushu, Mulan’s talking dragon sidekick, voiced by Eddie Murphy.

Even Clerks director Kevin Smith has got involved, comparing the double act of Mulan and Mushu to Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket.

OK, it feels more like a sobre, moving version of the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, but still, it seems that for some, without an incongruously American cartoon dragon sidekick voiced by Eddie Murphy, it won't measure up.

The movie, it seems, will also not be taking the musical route either, which has upset some Disney fans, but some - quite rightly - are seeing this as something different. And who knows, maybe even better.

In 2017 Caro described the film as “a big, girly martial arts epic” adding that “It will be extremely muscular and thrilling and entertaining and moving.”

On the musical front though, it seems like Mulan will follow in the footsteps of Disney’s remakes of Cinderella and Alice In Wonderland, and be more dramatic than song-driven, with Caro saying there are no songs “much to the horror” of her children.

As ever, then, you can't please all the people all of the time... also starring Yoson An, Gong Li and Jason Scott, the movie is set to land on 27 March, 2020. Check out the first poster below.

They'll make a man out of her. (Disney)