The live-action ‘Mulan’ teaser is here, and we weren’t ready

The live-action ‘Mulan’ teaser is here, and we weren’t ready

This warrior princess doesn’t need talking dragons and ‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You’ to kick ass.

Screenshots via Walt Disney Studios


Should I get my hopes up? Most of Disney’s efforts to (*cough* make more money out of their copyright catalogue *cough cough*) breathe new life into their animated classics have been disappointing and bafflingly lackluster. My expectations are especially high for Mulan, because it’s the first movie I ever saw in theaters and I almost named my first dog after her — and because cultural sensitivity, historical accuracy, and representation are important.


Right off the bat, the locations and scenery are so beautiful and vibrant. You can tell right away that they’ve decided to go with a different visual and cinematic direction compared to recent releases. It feels more slice-of-life and rooted in reality, and that’s refreshing. 


Mulan’s mom is the lady from the restaurant which served the body-swapping fortune cookies to Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan in Freaky Friday! Somehow I feel even more at home seeing her again.


They’re really bringing the emotion with these faint strains of Reflection as Mulan’s parents talk of seeking better for their family. I know there won’t be any songs in this adaptation, but they’ve got to have a new version of this on the soundtrack, right?


Wait. Who can do the pop version of Reflection the way Zayn completely owned A Whole New World? Let me do a quick search for current artists of Chinese descent. Let’s see, Auli’i Cravalho, Janel Parrish… whoa, Frankie Cosmos is part-Chinese? [Monique voice] I would like to see it. (And by it, I mean Frankie Cosmos singing, “When will my reflection show who I am inside?”) 


On that note, can we get Harry Shum Jr. or Kris Wu to sing True to Your Heart


“I will bring honor to us all.” Goosebumps. That’s not just Hua Mulan talking, it’s also actress Liu Yifei ⁠— whose delivery of this line has left all of us doubtless that she’s perfectly cast.


I’m actually about to cry. They’re really cutting back and forth across scenes of Mulan learning how to become a good wife and risking her life on the battlefield, looking equally graceful and fierce doing both. The duality.


This overhead shot is incredible! This movie is going to be beautiful.


These stunts are no joke. I want to be her when I grow up.


“It is my duty to fight.” She has literally only said two lines but I am ready to take a sword (or arrow, I’m not picky, she’s good at both) to the heart for her.

Final thoughts: 

Sure, this movie doesn’t have Mushu or Li Shang, and it’s not a musical, but if anything, this just means that it can focus more on Mulan’s innate worth as a warrior and person ⁠— in saving her country, all she ever really needs is herself. This trailer told me all I needed to know about this movie: that it’s a live-action update that deserved to be made, and it’s a retelling of Mulan’s story that will do her and her people’s history justice. (Fingers crossed.)

Watch the full teaser here.