"From the outset Mulan is beautiful with sweeping landscapes that are breathtaking"
Based on the Chinese folk story "The Ballad of Mulan" and Directed by Niki Caro, Mulan was the last Press screening that I attended back in March just as the Pandemic hit and it is the latest Disney classic to get the live action treatment, following in the footsteps of Aladdin, Dumbo and Cinderella. It was originally slated to be released in March, but due to the Global Pandemic, it has been released straight to Disney+ and it frankly doesn't disappoint. From the outset Mulan is beautiful with sweeping landscapes that are breathtaking.
Its plot is similar to the 1998 animated classic, where we meet Mulan (Yifei Liu) a young and headstrong Chinese maiden, who disguises herself as a male warrior to serve in the Imperial Army in order to save her ailing father (Tzi Ma) from having to enlist when the country is threatened by the invading forces of Böri Khan (Jason Scott Lee).
Niki Caro and her creative team expertly bring the story of Mulan to the big screen in this live action adaptation, it has sparse uses of comedy, which differs greatly to its animated counterpart and it isn't a Musical, it has undertones of the songs, that you can see and hear in the trailer, but no one breaks out into song like in the animated classic. The messaging of honour, loyalty and family is ever present in the film much like its animated counterpart.
Yifei Liu is wonderful as the titular heroine, she embodies the character flawlessly, bringing her to life as we haven't seen her before. Similarly, Donnie Yen brings gravitas to the role of Commander Tung and Jet Li is great as the Emperor for the limited screentime he gets.
Jason Scott Lee revels in his role as the villainous Böri Khan. He leads his ferocious Rouran warriors alongside Xian Lang (Li Gong), a powerful shapeshifting witch on their conquest of China to avenge his father.
As I mentioned previously, the landscapes are breathtaking making this adaptation of this tale more epic than what came before, with some amazing scenic set pieces, most notably the battle in the snow and the training sequences.
Mulan is a triumph from start to finish, putting this live action adaptation in the must watch category alongside the likes of Cinderella, it does enough to stay fresh, with an impressive lead performance from Liu whilst building on the story that we all know.