Over the past few years, Disney has been adapting/remaking their classic animated films into live-action features. In the US, these films — Lion King, Aladdin, Dumbo and Beauty and the Beast — have all been classified as PG. However, director Niki Caro’s Mulan, said to be a grittier, more grounded reimagining of the 1998 animated film has officially received a PG-13 rating due to “sequences of violence.”
In all honesty, this will probably not make a difference here in Malaysia. In Malaysia, all the Disney live-action remakes have all landed the P13 rating as opposed to the U (Universal/Umum — suitable for all ages) rating received by the likes of The Secret Life of Pets and Toy Story 4.
However, the PG-13 rating Mulan received in the US does inform us that the Niki Caro film starring Liu YiFei as the titular character would be a more mature film (as promised) than the other Disney live-action remakes we’ve seen thus far. By now, you probably already know that the upcoming Mulan will not be a musical like its animated counterpart, nor will it have comedic animal supporting characters like Mushu and the cricket.
While some fans of the original are unhappy about these changes, I personally am ecstatic. I’ve always maintained that remakes should offer something different than the original beyond a skin upgrade, otherwise what’s the point? While I found some enjoyment in The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, these movies simply did not need to exist, box office aside. They’re all replicas of the originals that failed to capture the magic of the originals.
Official synopsis of Mulan:
When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father.
Mulan will be released in Malaysian cinemas on 26 March 2020.