Disney dropped its second trailer for the live action remake of Mulan. It focuses heavily on the opening scenes of the movie, and it sets up the story for those that may not know it. As I watched the trailer for a second and third time, I cannot help but wonder, is this the remake we have been waiting for? Here is the New Mulan Trailer:
Let’s set Mulan aside for a minute. This is a positively beautiful trailer from beginning to end. It sets up the story, shows some of the late movie action, and includes a couple of elements new to the story. The new Mulan trailer paces itself wonderfully and really sets a high bar for the movie to come.
New Mulan Trailer Adds Some Wrinkles
Leaks early on said Mushu would not be in this version of the film. Now, between leaked photos and this new trailer, a Mushu something will be in the film. Instead of a dragon, a Phoenix appears to be the new mythical creature. Not only does the trailer reference it early, but we see it several times.
Another new wrinkle comes in the form of a Sorceress with the ability to transform both fully and partially in to a Hawk. In the original movie, Khan used a pet hawk through out the movie until Mushu flame broils him. Apparently, this hawk transforms into a witch of some sort that may tempt Mulan’s loyalty. One also has to wonder if there will not be a showdown between the Sorceress and the Phoenix in the end.
New Mulan Trailer Shows Honor to Original
This trailer also shows a nice balance between copying the original and being something new. Many of the lines were either ver batim or extremely close to the cartoon version. At the same time I get a strong sense this movie will follow its own path once it gets rolling.
Dialogue aside, the trailer hints at keeping key moments. To me the strongest of these revolve around the hair comb. We see it placed in Mulan’s hair right after her father asks if she can bring honor to the family. We then see her father picking it up after Mulan took his armor to replace him. Above all, this movie needs to nail the relationship between Mulan and her father. That was the driving heart of the original.
Music Looks Promising Yet Different
Another tidbit leaked early on stated this version would not contain musical numbers like previous Disney movies. Too often the live action movies do not support all of the musical numbers that fit into the cartoon versions, yet some songs are a must keep as they are signatures of the movie. For Mulan songs like “Reflection” and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” are key songs to the feel of the movie, but they will not be sung here.
However, the new Mulan trailer reveals a powerful score to the tune of “Reflection”. The songs we know and love may not be performed, but that does not mean they will be absent from the movie all together.
New Mulan Trailer Begs the Question: Is This the One?
The problem I have had with most of the big live action remakes is that they go too far out of their way to copy, ver batim, the cartoon version. Stellar casts are lined up, but then they are shoved in a box by reciting lines done before. While box office numbers look good for many of the biggest named movies, they lack the magic of their predecessors. The only good comes from the one or two scenes that are new and the actors are allowed to insert their mark into the role.
Mulan so far looks to be a beautiful balance between copying the original and making something new. There are key scenes and dialogue that look like they will be carried over, yet so much looks new and freshly done. I cannot wait to see if this version can live up to the original.
Mulan hits theaters March 27, 2020.