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Published On: Sat, Jul 27th, 2019

‘Mulan’ trailer divides fans over Mushu, historical inaccuracies

When the first trailer for Mulan made its way online, fans were quickly divided between derision and calling it “grand.” Check out that trailer below.

According to Deadline, the clip hit an astonishing 175 million views within the first 24 hours of being released. So in terms of popularity, Mulan is already in league with major hits like Avengers and The Lion King.

There are a lot of changes.

Stylecaster notes that biggest objection: the removal of Mushu.

“We’ll always have the original 1998 version, so while we understand why people are upset at Mushu’s absence, it shouldn’t be enough to turn you off of this project. Mushu, the dragon voiced by Eddie Murphy in the original film, was adored for his incredible comedic timing and perfect one-liners. Naturally, his absence from this teaser trailer was quickly noticed by diehard fans.”

One fan tweeted:

No Shang

No music

NO MUSHU

DISHONOR ON YOU, DISHONOR ON YOUR COW! https://twitter.com/DisneyStudios/status/1147898548156940288 

Another: “We ain’t getting Mushu in the Mulan remake? The disrespect. The dishonor.”

Believe it or not, some critics are taking aim at the historical accuracy.

The issues start at the beginning of the Mulan teaser trailer when we see two large, round, yellow homes. These communal buildings are called tulou, or Fujian Tulou, and they are unique to southeast China’s Fujian province, home of the Hakka ethnic group. According to CNN, the first tulou were built towards the end of the Song Dynasty (960 AD-1279 AD) and it seems they didn’t become widespread until starting in the 15th century.

So given that the Mulan story takes place in northern China around the 5th century, a tulou would not only not be present, but it would not even exist yet. It’s like putting a skyscraper in a movie about the Renaissance. This discrepancy did not go unnoticed on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, with one user commenting (via Variety):

Disney shouldn’t be so careless and just think that because tulou are beautiful, they can make Mulan live in one. She’s not Fujianese!

Animated Mulan star Ming-Na Wen tweeted her support: EPIC!!! Excited to see this . Love seeing my friends @rosalindchao & @tzima8 as her parents. looks amazing as the warrior! 👍👏😘 https://twitter.com/DisneysMulan/status/1147898346268348417 

Liu Yifei (The Forbidden Kingdom, Once Upon a Time) was cast as Hua Mulan, joined by Donnie Yen(Star Wars: Rogue One); Jason Scott Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny); Yoson An (The Meg); Utkarsh Ambudkar (Pitch Perfect); Ron Yuan(Marco Polo); Tzi Ma (Arrival); Rosalind Chao (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine); Cheng Pei-Pei (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon); Nelson Lee;  Chum Ehelepola; with Gong Li (Memoirs of a Geisha, Raise the Red Lantern) and Jet Li.

Directed by Niki Caro (Whale Rider, McFarland USA) from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (Jurassic World, In the Heart of the Sea) and Elizabeth Martin & Lauren Hynek, the film is based on the narrative poem “The Ballad of Mulan.”

The film will shoot on locations in New Zealand and China and will open in U.S. theaters on March 27, 2020.

Here’s Disney’s full synopsis for Mulan:

When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father.

Mulan features a celebrated international cast that includes: Yifei Liu as Mulan; Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan; Yoson An as Cheng Honghui; with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor. The film is directed by Niki Caro from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Elizabeth Martin & Lauren Hynek based on the narrative poem ‘The Ballad of Mulan.’

Disney adds live-action ‘Mulan’ plans, joins ‘BATB’ ‘Jungle Book’ ‘Dumbo’

Jamie Chung proud of Mulan, ‘Once Upon a Time’ role, as she’s set to star in ‘Believe’

 

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