I really want to unsubscribe from Disney+ temporarily. I say that because even at the low monthly cost, they have very little content that is in my demographic. With that being said, I was browsing the the other night when I stumbled upon the gem that is Mulan. For those of us who don’t know, I started to pick up Mandarin at the age of 16 and have been speaking it ever since. I love Chinese history, and I love this movie. I have watched this movie both in English and Mandarin Chinese.
Was I excited when they announced the new live action remake? Yea. Do I have high expectations? No.
The Mulan animated movie is one of the few films that I can say delivers a political message well. A message about gender equality today does not carry the same language it did twenty years ago. Movies are just that, movies. We have to remember that a movie is a movie first and a statement second. In order for a film to be extraordinary, it has to carry a good compelling story and leave something behind that will resonate with you.
The story of Mulan is simple, and yet it teaches life lessons without beating you over the head. For example, the song Reflection teaches acceptance. It taught me that sometimes people won’t see who you are on the inside, and that as long as you yourself know, that’s all that matters.
If you saw me walking down the street you would probably assume that I am Caucasian. It’s only when people see my mum that they see that I am actually half Hispanic. Anyways, race aside this message is simple and uncomplicated. I live it.
I don’t want to sound cliche (too late). But this movie is really about loving who you are and doing things that reflect that.
Mulan doesn’t start the movie with a goal to meet the Chinese emperor and find true love. She just wants to make her father proud of her.
And even though I do love this movie, I don’t like some of the small stylistic choices. For example, her real family name is Hua, and the movie changes it to Fa. Hua, in the way it is written, means flower. I love the metaphor of a flower growing and becoming something new, but nope they decided to change her name.
I want to do some research and find out more about why that is, but again this is a small detail most would overlook.
I hope everyone is surviving the pandemic! I cannot wait to make a rant about the live action movie, which I already know can only go one of two ways.