It’s taken some time, but Disney’s Mulan finally arrived in some form or other for our enjoyment. For those who have the streaming service Disney+, the option to purchase the movie through its Premier Access began September 4th, 2020.
Disney’s Mulan on Disney+
Ever since it began streaming in November 2019, our family has truly enjoyed access to Disney+. If you’re not a subscriber, I encourage you to check it out. We have enjoyed numerous documentaries, movies, old shows and more at our leisure. However, now the streaming service is offering a new product ~ Premier Access. I’ll confess, it took a few days for us to consider whether using this feature to purchase Disney’s Mulan was going to be worth the price. I mean, as the rumor goes, the movie will be available for all Disney+ subscribers for free in December 2020. Why not wait the few months?
Ultimately, however, it was too tempting a scenario and we caved. The movie hadn’t been streaming for more than a few days before we ended up making the purchase via Premier Access!
Disney’s Mulan: The Story
“Mulan” tells the story of a spirited young woman who willingly stands strong in the face of tradition. At a time when her country and home are being threatened by Northern Invaders, the Emperor issues a decree that calls one man per family to take his place to train and serve in the Imperial Army. As Hua Mulan’s family consists only of daughters, of which she is the eldest, her ailing father, an honored warrior in his own time, bears the sole burden of preparing to go to war himself. Unwilling to accept that as an option, Hua Mulan takes it upon herself to slip out in the night and masquerade as a man in order to fight in her father’s place. As the story goes, her determination and tenacity take her on an epic adventure that names her as one of China’s greatest warriors in history.
Interesting Fact I didn’t know ~ Did you?
Call me clueless, call me naïve. I had absolutely no idea that this story was an actual part of China’s legendary history. It is one of China’s most popular folktales and is actually taught as a part of the curriculum in Chinese schools today.
Check out this interesting Time article about the character’s origin: The Controversial Origins of the Story Behind Mulan
What did I think of Disney’s Mulan?
This film had been on my radar for sooooo long ~ and it’s Disney! I had already been captivated by the imagery on the trailers and I am always fascinated to see how Disney translates what was once an animated classic into a live action adventure. Not to mention, I heard the music would be stunning.
Well, I promised to always be honest and candid…(whomp, whomp)
I mean, it’s not like there aren’t a few good things to point out about the movie. It’s just impossible for to me to say it lived up to the 6+ month hype. To be honest, I felt that the script fell short, there were too many holes in the story-line, and the acting simply left me…unimpressed.
Specifically, I believe they should have taken the time to better define qi and the abilities that come along with channeling it. I don’t even know that much about it, never mind the majority of young viewers who will have very little knowledge of Chinese culture. They will have no source from which to draw a connection or relationship. Granted, it’s a great learning opportunity for those currently homeschooling, but I honestly think the screenwriters missed a moment here to teach a little more cultural reference.
Another “meh” for me pertains to the time Mulan spent training and serving in the Chinese Army. I think there was so much opportunity missed with regard to the depth of experience that could have been shared here. What we saw was so basic, so superficial that it seemed more unrealistic in retrospect. Now, granted, the poem from which the original story derives says she was gone 12 years and, yes, they covered a few issues in the movie, such as bathing and getting dressed. However, they didn’t even really do that well. It would have been a little more fascinating to see them address a few more of the intimate, realistic details that would have presented themselves. I know…it’s a Disney movie…but I’m just sayin’…
One more gripe – sorry.
It felt like there was a ginormous hole left in the training scenes without at least the melody of I’ll Make a Man Out of You being played in the background supporting the scene.
Oh….wait. Nope – one more gripe….the CGI. It could have been soooo much better (whine, whine, sniff, sniff).
Okay – let’s think positive now…
What DID I like in Disney’s Mulan?
Well, I very much enjoyed listening to Christina Aguilera singing the famed “Reflections” again. The updated version is just as spectacular and gorgeous as the original and I think her voice in and of itself is stunning.
I liked where they may have ultimately wanted the movie to go, even if they didn’t get there well or very effectively. I like that it focused on a female hero and that it celebrated differences of varying degrees (skill, strength, abilities). The fact that it placed a tremendous focus on family and honor was encouraging and positive. It gave the viewer something to smile about and admire.
For another perspective on the movie, check out my friend Tessa’s review! She was at the actual premiere back in March 2020!
So was it worth the purchase?
You’re going to call me crazy after everything you just read, but yes (she says letting out a sigh at the end). I actually was okay with spending the money to watch the movie with my family in our own living room. Of course, as one who reviews movies on a somewhat regular basis, I have to be honest with what I liked and didn’t like and this one happened to have a lot of things I didn’t appreciate.
The fact of the matter is that I would have gone mad waiting until December to see this, so it was worth it to at least satisfy the curiosity that was festering. If you’re not desperately eager to see it, however, I would then recommend waiting until it’s available on Disney+ for free (are you a subcriber??). On a funny note, my sons were quite frank about how much they feel Hubby and I wasted the $30. It’s all good. A review in December would not have been worth much anyway. Right?
What you should know…
There are some pretty intense battles and action scenes throughout the movie. Death does occur and there is no remorse for the cruel acts that are committed. As far as nudity is concerned, there are no questionable scenes. However, there is more skin and the inference of nudity seen in this Disney movie than we typically expect. As for romance, nothing truly to worry about here. The guys do talk about what they like in women while in at training camp, but the conversation doesn’t go far.
Would I recommend this for littles? I’d say stick to the animated version ~ this one is PG-13 for the violence and some of the darker themes. But…that’s just one mom’s opinion. I don’t have littles anymore.
Tell Me Your Thoughts
Have you seen the live action version of Disney’s Mulan yet? If so, what did you think? If not, how and when will you be watching Disney’s Mulan now that it’s available?
Whether you are waiting or have already watched it five times today alone or even if you’re just a fan of the animated version, I have some fun Mulan-inspired activity pages for you and your littles to enjoy!
All you have to do to access the packet is
⬇ click on the button below! ⬇
Oh – and no, there is no talking dragon….but there is a phoenix that looks more like a kite.
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