Disney Throwbacks: Mulan

How Disney has changed “Mulan”

Comparing the changes Disney made to the 2020

Disney Inc.

Comparing the changes Disney made to the 2020 “Mulan” movie.

Caleb Simmons, Reporter

For the past few years, Disney has been taking of the original films that remaking them into new live actions versions. In these new live remakes, there are many plot points that stay the same and just as many that are changed. The film that has strayed farthest from the original is “Mulan.” The two films are 22 years apart, the animated version being made in 1998 and the newest one being released in September 2020.

In the 2020 “Mulan”  there are changes such as they brought ch’i into the story. Ch’i is believed to be a vital force that flows through all living beings. Ch’i is an essential part of Chinese medicine and of the Chinese martial arts. In the movie, Hua Mulan has an unusual amount of ch’i for a girl, and all girls are taught from a young age that they are not supposed to use their ch’i. Mulan however was not, her father did not want to cause his daughter sadness by telling her not to use her ch’i. When China is attacked, Mulan’s father is drafted because he does not have a son. However, while everyone is asleep, Mulan makes herself look like a boy, and takes her father’s armor, sword and horse and goes to join the army disguised as her father’s son. When her father finds her hair clip he goes to the temple of their ancestors and begs forgiveness and asks that they protect Mulan. They send the phoenix, (a symbol of protection in China), to guide and protect her. The phoenix never talks or interacts with her.

In the 1998 animated film, Mulan is taught from a young age that girls are not allowed to fight, (they do not say anything about ch’i), but when her father is drafted she disguises herself as a boy and steals her father’s horse, sword and armor and goes to join the army as her father’s son. When her father finds her hair clip and goes to the temple of their ancestors to beg that they send Mulan to help to guide her and keep her safe. They send Mushu, a tiny dragon, and the lucky cricket, to travel with her. Mulan finds Mushu and the cricket and they travel with her throughout the movie and they form a friendship. Mushu is always causing trouble at the beginning because he is trying to help her. The lucky cricket only ever really interacts with Mushu, he never says anything, but he shows what he is trying to say through motions.

In the 2020 live-action, Mulan meets Li Shang, Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po when she gets to the military camp. They do not get along with her at first but eventually, they become a good group of friends. In this movie, there are no songs, only background music. Although they do reference a few songs.

In the animated movie, she also arrives at the camp to meet Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po as well as Captain Li Shang. As in the new movie, they do not get along at first but they eventually become a close group of friends. In this film, they have many songs including, “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You”, “A Girl Worth Fighting For”, “Honor To Us All”, and more.