As is true for many of you, we recently watched Disney’s newly released movie, Mulan, a live action version of the earlier animated film. I don’t have clear memories of the previous Mulan (1998), so I was able to enjoy this movie on its own merits without comparison.
If you’ve seen the first version, you know the story. Disney did a good job refreshing it and keeping it engaging. Likable story. Most of the characters created a level of empathy in me. The conflict and resolution were satisfying. It is predictable to some level. Mulan’s struggle, to be so gifted yet so restricted in her culture at the time, gave it a universal theme. The lead actress in this role, Yifei Liu, brought the character to life.
As with most Disney stories, we watch for some humor and some darkness. Battle scenes and war are never relaxing, never the first choice in a movie for me, but predicting that the good will probably prevail helped. It’s Disney, after all. Not American politics.
Some will want to know what age group this movie would be appropriate for, would appeal to. Those are two different questions. It will depend on the child and the parenting style. The fighting and death might be of concern for younger kids. It is a movie filled with angst with more mature themes of hiding who you really are and the destructive pain of feeling alone. Some children will connect with that on their own level. Some may be too young.
For a better review of what age groups to share it with and major themes to consider first, check out Common Sense Media for their in-depth review and comments.
Common Sense Media Movie Reviews: Mulan (2020)
You’ve probably heard that Mulan (2020) is available on Disney + (Disney Plus) for a fee of $29.99, on top of your fee for channel access. So one has to decide if that is worth it. This streaming movies for a fee on top of subscriptions is new to me, and part of some business models since the pandemic closed the theaters. It could be a win-win. Here in the Los Angeles area, we need the movie industry to survive. It is a major employer in our area and does provide a service, for better or worse. Perhaps this helps the industry create some sort of income.
People have shared that it is cheaper than going to the theater. Perhaps, if you pay regular ticket prices. We are seniors, so we do not. They also mention adding in the cost of popcorn and drinks. True, that boosts the cost of the evening. So in this case, spend $30 and then make your own popcorn, pour your own drinks, and use your own bathroom.
If you have a family of even three or four, you’ve at least broken even by then, and still enjoy the convenience of your own home. Each person will determine if it is worth $30 or not. The cost does go down the bigger the viewing group, so there’s that.
Here’s another great article about Chinese culture captured in the movie, Mulan. For those readers interested in gaining further understanding into other cultures, this is a good article.
Chinese Culture Reflected in Disney’s Mulan (2020)
Here’s a list of some of the information shared in the article that I found interesting:
- Based on a Chinese folk story created long ago
- Explanation of Mulan’s make-up in the matchmaker scene
- Understanding the Chinese characters on her father’s sword – loyal, brave, and true.
- The meaning of the phoenix in Chinese culture
- Definition of a “qualified wife” in feudal China
Have you watched the movie? What did you think?
How do you feel about the fee to view?
Did you know being a matchmaker was a serious occupation for women at the time of Mulan’s story? Would you like that as a career choice?
[Spoiler alert] Did you miss the 1998 character, Mushu?
Stay loyal, brave, and true, my friends!