Despite its flaws, Disney’s 2020 rendition of “Mulan” is a masterpiece meant to spread love and a sense of empowerment to a whole new decade of people.
Unlike other recent live-action Disney princess movies adaptations “Mulan” is a work of its own, independent from the animation it was born from. The movie was directed by Niki Caro, who made several sacrifices in order for the story to align with the original Chinese legend, “The Ballad of Mulan.” These sacrifices include cutting out Mushu the spirit-dragon and Li Shang, Mulan’s love interest.
While these are beloved characters that are sentimental to many, this film is intended to be a much more historical look into Chinese history, family, honor, and female empowerment. “Mulan” does not need a cartoon dragon or a heterosexual romance to give her power. She is a great warrior and she finds that on her own.
Many were upset when they heard that you had to have a Disney Plus with Premier Access to watch the film. The Premier Access was a 30 dollar payment, which many believe is too much money to pay to watch a movie on your own couch. This is a cheap excuse considering it would likely cost more than that under normal circumstances to actually go to the theater to watch it.
Seeing new movies is an expensive pastime. At AMC, an adult ticket costs $13.69 (AMC). If you’re going as a family of four, your ticket price alone is the same amount as the Premier Access. If the film was in the theaters and you went as a date you would likely spend the 30 dollars with tickets, snacks, and gas money to get to the theater.
When you think about it this way, it’s easy to see why the movie costs 30 dollars to view. This is actually a deal for most families and is a small price to pay considering it was the most expensive film to ever be directed by a woman.
Others are upset that it isn’t shown in the theaters. It actually did open in theaters in early March before the COVID 19 shutdown. Releasing the film on Disney Plus is actually a great way to keep everyone safe as movie theaters slowly begin to reopen.
There is a movement to boycott the movie following controversy around the actress portraying Mulan, Liu Yifei. There is evidence that she has expressed polarizing views, specifically speaking out in support of Chinese police. If we truly based every form of entertainment based on the character of those who create it Hollywood itself would collapse.
Think of all the times Kanye has waved a Trump flag, talked down to women, and come across as a generally toxic and abusive individual. Yet millions still listen to his music. In fact, I think most people judge his music and the shoes he creates entirely separate from him as a person.
In the entertainment industry, there has always been a divide between the work put out and those who were involved in creating it. Don’t disregard the retelling of Chinese history, the progressive all-Chinese cast, or the work of female director Niki Caro simply because one individual in the process is controversial.