While obvious that Disney will never cross advertise films, the talk about one of the next live action remakes, Mulan, remained quiet and almost unheard of. How many knew this film releases March 27th of NEXT YEAR! At long last the Mulan teaser trailer has dropped. Take a look below:
A proper wife is to be quiet, composed, graceful, disciplined, and BAD-ASS! This teaser trailer looks phenomenal. Being a teaser only, it leaves us with tons of questions, but for a first look its amazing. The entire cast looks great. The outfits look very real and not as cartoony as other live action movies. The action looks very promising even though that too has questions.
The Mulan teaser trailer stars Yifei Liu as Mulan. The little we see of her shows us how perfectly she nails the role. In the one little scene, with no other background, she is told the match maker found her a match. While we do not know how perky and humorous she will play the role, she shows the pain of being condemned to a mere house wife even though that was Asian culture at the time. No words. Only her eyes conveyed the pain and emotion. While she says the words, she conveys her heart is not in it.
Many other cast members will appear that fans know even if they can’t quite put a name to them. I instantly recognize Mulan’s mother as Keiko O’Bien from Star Trek (among many other roles). Add in the unseen Donny Yen, Jet Li, Jason Scott Lee and others and the talent of the cast is there.
Mulan Trailer: Questions. Questions. Too Many Questions.
My biggest complaint with the Disney live action remakes have been the stellar casts being shoved in a box and forced to react as a cartoon drawing did instead of allowing them to shine as actors. Both Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin had shining moments, where the freedom allowed the stars brought out true magic, but then they were shoved back in the box and forced to act like their predecessors. The problem is Disney only sees Box Office numbers, and both films did amazing. Only Cinderella, Maleficent and Dumbo broke the molds and their box offices were far less than the movies that copied the cartoons.
Mulan provides the richest palette and opportunity to dump the cartoon, finally making an original reproduction. The teaser trailer makes it look like that’s what they intend to do. It maintains the core of the cartoon, but the actors and script writers will indeed make this movie their own.
But Should They Change That?
The trick is changing as much as you can without losing the heart of the original cartoon. Will this live action version maintain the humor and quirkiness of the cartoon, or go much more serious?
What about the music? We heard the familiar melodies in this teaser, but what about the songs? Rumor has it Mulan will indeed dump all the songs from the cartoon. While I thought Aladdin could have done better had it dropped a couple of songs, Mulan dropping all its songs I feel would be a mistake. “Reflection’, made popular by a young up and comer named Christina Aguilera needs to stay, and the song ‘Be A Man’ needs to stay in some form. Using it the same way as the cartoon might be tricky.
Also, rumors have said Mushu is out. This would seem to be a big mistake. This would be like taking Genie out of Aladdin. Mushu is the comedy and driving force behind the scenes in Mulan. While only rumor at this point, one can guess its truth by looking at the casting sheet. Jun Yu is cast as the voice of the cricket. The cricket never spoke in the cartoon, so it looks as if the cricket will be stepping into Mushu’s place.
The initial shots in this Mulan teaser trailer show some magnificent swordsmanship and fighting. It looks as if they won’t be messing around with this one. Despite being a kids movie the martial arts look like they will be top notch. One question I have, though, is what kind of fighting will they use?
Will they use a traditional, realistic fighting style like most movies today? Or will they throw back to older Japanese films where the fighting is done with wire-work? People of today may not understand or appreciate a wire-work fight, but it was how older Asian films were made. It is a style all its own and held as a sacred art amongst Asian Martial arts film makers. A quasi-modern version of this is the classic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It is hyper unrealistic, but the art to making the scenes, combined with traditional martial arts creates a form of film fighting that is very fantasy/folk tail driven.
Either way you look at it, this is a very promising trailer for the next live action remake do out this March.