'Mulan' trailer gets mixed reactions

Olivia Lewis
Weibo page for the new Disney live action version is viewed over 1.1 billion times with many questioning the movie's historical and cultural authenticity.
Olivia Lewis

Feedback to the first trailer of live action film “Mulan” has been mixed.

Disney Studios' 1998 animated version received critical acclaim for its portrayal of the Chinese legend.

The live action trailer opens on Mulan, played by Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei, riding horseback across an open field. Scenes of Mulan applying makeup and dressing for a matchmaker are interspersed between shots of her physical training, culminating in several epic battle sequences.

The “Mulan” trailer page on Weibo has been viewed over 1.1 billion times, and there has been an explosion of reaction both in China and abroad.

Many Chinese viewers have questioned the film’s historical and cultural authenticity. Some were quick to point out that Mulan’s family home in the trailer resembles a Fujian roundhouse despite she is widely thought to be hailing from northern Hebei Province. 

Others have criticized the matchmaker shots, claiming that the female actors’ heavy makeup makes them resemble Japanese geisha more than Chinese women.  

Notably absent from the trailer are any of Disney’s catchy songs or Mulan’s dragon-companion character, Mushu. This sparked outcry and Weibo hashtags such as “There is no Mushu in Mulan.”  

The filmmakers had previously announced that the live action version would omit both popular elements from the original, although there are rumors that Mushu may make an appearance as a dragon or a phoenix.

However, many viewers have praised the trailer’s ending battlefield shots and expressed excitement about an all-Asian cast film on international screens.

“The first real Asian princess in Disney’s history, let the whole world focus its attention on this,” said one Weibo user.

The film is set for a March 27, 2020, release and also stars Donnie Yen, Jet Li and Gong Li.

'Mulan' trailer gets mixed reactions

 Many viewers criticize that the heavy makeup makes actresses resemble Japanese geisha.

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