Changing a Classic

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Emily Teismann

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Changing a Classic

The classic special edition cover for Disney's Mulan.

The classic special edition cover for Disney's Mulan.

Emily Teismann

The classic special edition cover for Disney's Mulan.

Emily Teismann

Emily Teismann

The classic special edition cover for Disney's Mulan.

Set to arrive in spring of 2020, Disney announced a remake of the popular classic, Mulan. However, there’s a catch. Niki Caro, director of Whale Rider, North Country and The Zookeeper’s Wife, will be making some changes to the timeless classic; Mushu, the funny red dragon voiced by Eddie Murphy in the original, will not be in the remake, the cricket will be voiced by Jun Y, the notorious villain Shan Yu will be replaced by a sorceress named Xian Lang played by actress Gong Li, and the fan favorite, handsome General Li Shang will be replaced by a soldier named Chen Honghui played by Yoson An. 

These changes have brought about a variety of responses in Disney fans. The majority is rather upset about the changes. Kinslee Keatts (‘22) is one of the rather upset fans, “I hate [the changes]! Mulan was perfect the way it was. It empowered women while respecting men [and had] lots of laughs from something that would otherwise be very serious and hard to watch. If you take out the main funny character then, no offense, but the movie will be a little duller.” 

Aside from those who are upset, there are those who remain optimistic. Amelia Truong (‘21) runs with this crowd. “I am really excited to see it because it looks a lot like the classic Chinese movies that my grandparents watch all the time. I also am a really big fan of the slight Chinese accents of the characters, and it feels more like one of those historical Asian dramas.” Truong said. 

On another note, protests have been occurring in Hong Kong over a controversial bill that would have allowed extradition from Hong Kong to China. Liu Yefei, Chinese actress who plays Mulan in the 2020 remake, publicly expressed her support for the police on a Chinese Twitter like social media platform called Weibo. “I support the Hong Kong police. You can all attack me now. What a shame for Hong Kong,” she said in her post. Due to this, fans have been calling to boycott Mulan. But time will tell what becomes of the remake and how it will be received when it hits theatres. Until then.