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

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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.

00:05

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. 

00:11

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.

00:22

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?

[Pause]

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

00:30

“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.

00:50 

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.

01:02

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

01:15

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

01:20 

“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.