When the first Mulan trailer hit the internet a while back, the reaction was a bit mixed. Some were excited to see something different from Disney’s criminally underappreciated animated venture, a version possibly more in line with the original Mulan tale. Others were disappointed to see something so different and bemoaned the lack of Captain Sheng and Mushu. I fell somewhere in the middle. I’m interested in something different, but I can’t pretend I don’t want another version of some of the amazing songs in the animated movie.
With this second trailer, Disney hit a balance. It’s recognizable to those who love the first Disney version but still clearly it’s own thing.
Most of the trailer focuses on the buildup to Mulan taking her father’s place in the army, and much of it looks familiar. We see her being groomed and dressed, the army showing up looking for recruits, her clearly physically struggling father committing to join, and Mulan creating her disguise to take his place. The new captain even says he’ll make men out of the new recruits. We may not get down to business to defeat the Huns, but that’s close enough for me. There are no Huns, and the new main villain has a “witch” at his side. I wonder if they will make this new villain the main villain. Perhaps that’s just my assumption, based on years of media consumption, that the evil witch ends up being the main villain.
This version of Mulan still looks far more outwardly dramatic and serious. It’s every bit as gorgeous as the first trailer was. The music sounds amazing. Look, if nothing else, I’m glad to see a Disney live-action remake that actually wants to try something new with the story. We’ve already seen what happens when they try to make them too similar to the original animated classics.
Mulan hits theaters in March 2020.