"Mulan" — a Chinese fairy tale in a Hollywood way

Mulan is one of the most anticipated premieres of 2020. Due to the coronavirus, the release of the disney remake was postponed several times. Finally, it is released in cinemas in Russia (in countries where Disney + operates, the premiere was held online). Medusa film critic Anton Dolin explains why this film will suit everyone who has warm feelings for the 1998 animated film of the same name, and will disappoint fans of Asian cinema, despite the presence of Jet Li and Donnie yen in the film.


Once upon a time, whether in the fifth or seventh century ad, there lived a beautiful and clever Hua Mulan in faraway China. She was born a girl, but since childhood she dreamed of fighting, because she was naturally gifted with qi energy. When the Empire was attacked by an army of nomads, the Emperor called for mobilization — from each family on a combat-ready man. Mulan's father was a veteran whose old wounds never healed, so she changed into her father's armor, changed her name, and went to fight in his place. It was a dangerous gamble, but Mulan coped, and even more than that: she saved the country, earned honors from the ruler, and earned a public position.

Not so long ago, the international Corporation Walt Disney decided to make a cartoon about Mulan. It was necessary to conquer new markets — especially in Asia — and look for new princesses, unlike the fed-up snow White, Cinderella and the little Mermaid. "Mulan"was released in 1998, and the world learned about the militant girl outside of China (where the first picture about the national heroine was shot back in 1939). The audience especially loved the red dragon Mushu, who saved Mulan in difficult situations. A few years later, a sequel was released — as always, less successful than the original.

More recently, the same Corporation decided to shoot a full-length game version of "Mulan", adding it to the line of the latest remakes of animated classics: "The jungle book", "Dumbo", "Aladdin", "the lion King". The film went through a lot of difficulties: the producers changed the Director, postponed the premiere date many times, and the coronavirus came inopportunely. Now, at last, the epic has come to an end. "Mulan" is released on screens all over the world — somewhere only on Disney+ streaming, and where it is not available (for example, in Russia), in movie theaters.

The 2020 Mulan is exactly what you might expect. And then everything depends on expectations. If you hate Hollywood and the way it adapts unique cultural codes to its standard, you will be offended. If you are waiting for a high-quality show, you will be satisfied. If you are afraid to see how the tracks of a corporate tank will pass through your favorite cartoon of your childhood, then your fears are in vain. This is more like another disney version of an old legend than a remake of an animated musical.

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