Part of Disney ongoing project of modernizing their animated classics, comes Mulan otherwise known as the one-of-the-trio-of-princess-to-prove-disney-is-not-racist (we are not counting Moana here, she’s too new). This is slated to be release sometime in March 2020, right after the Lion King which is set to premier in theaters next weekend. We did however, got a treat last Sunday with the first trailer for this movie dropping. It scored an impressive 174 million views in the first 24 hours with 52 million of it coming from…. guess which country. This 24 hours view numbers beat out every other adaptation except for Lion King.[expander_maker id=”1″ more=”Read more” less=”Read less”] I got to say, for me this is Disney most ambitious project yet. To stay aunthetic, Disney is has studied up on modern chinese films and have added all the tropes into this movie from: “actress who can’t really act” (sorry Liu Yifei, you weren’t really spectacular even in the old days), “HONOR YOUR FAMILY”, or “auspicious” a let’s be honest purely chinese word. I couldn’t find any white people in the whole trailer but I did see some whiteface!
I do like that touch though, espcially the casting for the main female lead in Liu Yifei. The fact that Disney actually casted an “Asian-born Asian actress” and not some popular asians (but american born) like Randall Park or Constance Wu is a nice touch. Now for those of you who don’t know Liu Yifei, she was like one of the top dog actress in China back in like 2000s-2005s. Her fame is down a whole bunch now because she decided to disappear from the acting industry for a decade to pursue a music career, signing with Sony Music Entertainment and releasing a few singles. Also what I really like about this trailer is the dual nature of feminity. The voiceover woman (I think it’s Gong Li I’m not sure) is describing typical “good female”/”good wife” soft features like graceful, compose, and discpline. Yet Mulan is using those same features to chop up some Huns, it’s an interesting flip.
Now the biggest problem I am scared off is I don’t know if Liu Yifei can last an entire drama speaking english. From the very few lines of the trailer I can see she is kind of struggling a bit in english, and even then some words are not really clear. At least the people around her seem to have a good handle on speaking english. Also I am deathly afraid of this film being PC from the various fighting scenes that was on display. I would like to take a moment to address Vox interpretation of the theme, NO IT WASN’T THAT WOMEN WERE FORCED TO BE HOMEMAKERS AND THAT MULAN WAS BREAKING WITH THE TRADITION. Let me phrase it more clearly, in traditional Asia the only way for a girl to be fillial to her parents is to marry into a good family and be a good wife to her husband. In fact one of the pillars of “fillial piety”/being respectful towards your parents in confucianism is in fact to make descendants. This holds for boys too but boys have other ways of achieving “fillial piety” like bringing how “Top Scholar” award or being a high government official and bringing home money for the family. Girls on the other hand, had only one method and one method only to fulfill their responsibilities, make kids. The main moral message from Mulan is her filial piety (being a good child to her parents) the home-maker thing just happen to follow along with that theme.
The legend shows this moral message by doing it through a badass heroine, who fulfill her duties by fighting for her homeland and being an outstanding soldier. I can understand why westerners and Vox say that the theme is “girls can do it too” but no… the main theme has always been filial piety. What I saw from the trailer is too much fighting, oh look it’s Mulan leading an army, oh look Mulan fighting a bunch of men. Congratulations, this is not suppose to be a film about women being equal to or better than men it’s literally just a long winded way to tell a story how children should be good to their parents who have sacrifice so much for them. I get that this adaptation is based on the animated movie which is by Disney and Disney can technically do whatever they want. Or maybe, the mistranslation of Eastern and Western scope will be evident in the film. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE you ALREADY TOOK AWAY THE LITTLE BLUE DRAGON, DON’T PUT IN THE WRONG THEME OF THE TALE AS WELL.
Espcially a tale that basically influence ahem ALL (not joking) C-dramas up to date. Here is REAL LIFE TRANSCRIPT of popular CDrama directors getting inspiration when watching Mulan animated movie.
CDrama Director: Man how stupid can these men be, how can you NOT NOTICE that Mulan is a woman. I mean just because she tie her hair up doesn’t make her a man
CDrama Director: I mean women have so many distinct features like their chest that’s way bigger than men
CDrama Director: But wait we are talking about Asian Women….
CDrama Director: But like their face, it’s usually softer features you know
CDrama Director: But BTS…….
CDrama Director: So asian women are just different from men because they usually have longer hair
Cdrama Director: So if they were to tie their hair up…
CDrama Director: Then they would look exactly like men…..
CDrama Director: FUCKING BINGO I HIT THE JACKPOT TROPE!
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