New 'Mulan' trailer pays homage to the animated classic with musical easter egg

Tom Beasley
Contributor

A new trailer for Mulan has arrived online today, and it’s packed with nods to the memorable songs of the original film.

Disney’s live-action take on its 1998 animated movie has been directed by Niki Caro and is again based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, who disguised herself as a boy in order to take her elderly father’s place in battle.

The trailer features an instrumental version of 'Reflection', as well as dialogue that nods towards ‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You’ and ‘Honor to Us All’.

Disney is moving away from the musical template for this reimagining of the story and going back to the original legend, but it’s clear the presence of those songs will be felt.

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Liu Yifei takes on the title role, with Gong Li — once voted the most beautiful woman in China — taking on the main villain part, as the shape-shifting sorceress fighting alongside the leader of the Hun army.

Donnie Yen and Jet Li will also play key roles in the story, as Mulan’s mentor and the Emperor of China respectively.

Gong Li as the witch Xianniang in 'Mulan'. (Credit: Disney)

Gong Li said earlier this year that the film’s budget was more than $300m (£228m), making it one of the most expensive movies ever made.

Disney will not be too worried about the ballooning costs, though, as its live-action remakes have been enormous hits for the studio.

This year alone, Aladdin and The Lion King both crossed the billion-dollar mark at the global box office, while Dumbo made a tidy sum of $353m (£269m).

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Meanwhile, on Twitter, people are still very angry about the absence in this remake of Mushu — Mulan’s dragon companion, voiced in the animation by Eddie Murphy.

Caro shot Mulan last year in China and New Zealand, with ambitious visual effects work carried out shortly afterwards.

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But the film has not been without controversy, with star Yifei embroiled in a campaign to boycott the film after she voiced support for police over protesters in Hong Kong.

The actress was not present at the D23 Expo in August, at which fans were given a sneak peek at footage from the movie.

Mulan is due for release in the UK on 27 March 2020.