Last night, Disney released a new teaser trailer for its upcoming live-action remake of the 1998 classic, Mulan. Due out in March, and starring Liu Yifei as the title character, the movie is big news.
While the clip doesn’t feature anything as shocking as Aladdin’s blue Will Smith, we have a couple of concerns. But there are also promises of greatness. Here are the five thoughts we had while watching it.
No Mushu, no Li Shang, none of the ancestors. Why aren’t the characters we love the most from the original movie in the trailer? Where are they? Will we see them? Why are you doing this to us?
At least it all looks gorgeous: the colours, the cinematography, the settings. The 1.29 minutes have us on the edge of our seats. It reflects the high production values of Chinese period dramas, such as the Monkey King trilogy, far more than the animated original - but this change is a welcome one.
The footage feels authentic. From the culturally accurate costumes, to the portrayal of Chinese traditions, this remake is a love letter to Chinese heritage that hadn’t been seen in Western cinema before.
The vibe is … serious. From what the teaser shows so far, there won’t be any fun moments where she lets her hair down (metaphorically, at least: she cut it off in the original, but the trailer shows her with flowing locks). There is no hint at the clumsiness that we know and love about the original Mulan.
There is a strong sense of female empowerment, as we hoped for. The trailer presents Mulan as a strong woman, with frames of her firing arrows and letting out war cries, which emphasise her determination to bring honour to her family. To put it simply, she’s still a badass.