Walt Disney Studios exclusively showcased clips from Mulan to the media in London.
The three footages shown focused on Mulan’s relationship with her father, her training in the male-dominated army and a battle sequence.
Following the presentation, an upbeat, insightful Q&A took place with director Niki Caro and was hosted by film critic and broadcaster Rhianna Dhillon.
The conversation covered extensive subjects including Caro’s inspiration/process as a filmmaker, her experience of choosing the main lead and whether certain animated characters will feature in the live-action version.
Sadly, an ‘upgraded version’ of Mushu (voiced by Eddie Murphy in the original film) will not be featured in this, though a phoenix character could play a significant part.
Going by the clips we saw, this 2020 adaptation seems to be earthier as well as maintaining the ‘magnum opus’ appeal of the movie’s premise.
Filme Shilmy also asked Niki on how challenging it was for her to rise beyond the humour in the animated classic for this seemingly intense version. She responds:
“Well, this footage doesn’t represent the humour and Liberty in the film. That’s such an important part of the animated classic which we needed to bring to this live-action version.
So we find it (the humour) in Mulan’s relationships with her fellow soldiers and sister in some of the situationally comedic moments where she’s a woman hiding in man’s world.”
Starring Yifei Liu as Mulan, this film, like its 1998 original animated counterpart, also chronicles the story of a young Chinese woman who disguises herself as a man to fight in the army in her father’s place.
The remake additionally stars Donnie Yen as Commander Tung, Jet Li as The Emperor and Jason Scott Lee as Bori Khan.
The trailer opens with Mulan being told:
“Your job is to bring honour to the family” as she’s being dressed in elaborate clothing and makeup.
When word arrives about northern invaders led by Bori Khan (who fights alongside a witch), Mulan’s father steps forward to fight, saying, “I am blessed with two daughters. I will fight.”
We see Mulan in tears until she takes it upon herself to take his place.
She practices using the sword, saying “Loyal, brave and true. It is my duty to protect my family.”
The following montages exhibit her going into battle disguised as a man and fighting the witch, who tells her “When they find out who you are, they will show you no mercy.”
Mulan releases across UK Cinemas on 27th March 2020.