Mulan First Reactions: A Faithful, Empowering, Surprisingly Mature Adventure

Social media reactions say Disney's latest remake honors the original but carves its own path with spectacular action, stunning visuals, and enough to keep the adults in the room entertained.

by | March 10, 2020 | Comments

[8/4/20 Update: Walt Disney Pictures has scheduled Mulan for a North American premiere on Disney+ on September 4 at a price of $29.99 with a simultaneous limited theatrical release in select global markets. The fee will reportedly cover continuous access to the film as long as a Disney+ subscription is maintained.]

Let’s get down to business… Disney has produced a live-action reimagining of their 1998 animated feature Mulan, and the new version is more of a martial arts movie and not at all a musical. Also, Mulan’s sidekick Mushu is missing. The changes have had fans worried, but the first reactions from critics, via Monday’s Hollywood premiere, are mostly positive, and they address the differences with reassuring approval. Praise also goes out to the movie’s empowering story and action as well. Sounds like this remake will make a fan out of you.

Here’s what critics are saying about Mulan:

Is it a movie worth fighting for?

Wow. Just wow… I laughed, I cried, and I loved every second of it.
– Tessa Smith, Mama’s Geeky

Mulan is absolutely fantastic.
– Kirsten Acuna, Insider

Mulan is the best of the Disney live-action remakes since Cinderella.
– Angie Han, Mashable

I’m very surprised at how much I liked the live action Mulan. It’s so majestic.
– Peter Sciretta, Slashfilm

There’s a great film yearning to break out in Mulan, but it’s surprisingly bogged down by adapting the animation.
– Mansoor Mithaiwala, ScreenRant

Does it bring honor to the original?

Mulan leaves a lot behind, but offers much more in its absence. Plenty of 1998 throwbacks pepper a story full of incredible action, humor, and heart.
Alison Foreman, Mashable

Different enough with great action scenes, but with the heart of the original film.
Kirsten Acuna, Insider

Finds new notes in a story we already know while delivering gorgeous action, heart, and humor.
Angie Han, Mashable

There are lots of little moments that nods to the animated that’ll make the fans happy… a great re-telling of the animated and very fun.
Wendy Lee Szany, Collider

I love the animated Mulan and this movie did it proud.
Tessa Smith, Mama’s Geeky

Walt Disney Pictures

But what about the songs?

It doesn’t even matter that it’s not a musical. If you’re a fan of the animated, there are subtle nods to many of the songs.
Kirsten Acuna, Insider

I didn’t even miss the songs.
Angie Han, Mashable

Will young audiences feel empowered?

Mulan is about a warrior. And that warrior is a legend. Thank you, from all the female warriors that needed this kick-A movie… I’ll be proud to show my daughters this film!
Tania Lamb, Lola Lambchops

The film serves as a reminder to be true to yourself. Little girls are going to look up to Liu Yifei.
Kirsten Acuna, Insider

Talk about girl power. WOW.
Tessa Smith, Mama’s Geeky

And is there enough for adults to appreciate?

It aims for a level of sophistication and beauty you don’t expect.
Peter Sciretta, Slashfilm

A more mature Disney film.
Erik Davis, Fandango

The romantic chemistry gets STEAMY. Like chanting “kiss” in a silent theater steamy.
Alison Foreman, Mashable

Surprisingly sexy for a Disney movie. Case in point: the very loud “OH MY GOD” that was uttered in the theater when Yoson An took his shirt off.
Angie Han, Mashable

Walt Disney Pictures
(Photo by Walt Disney Pictures)

How about the action?

The action is thrilling.
Peter Sciretta, Slashfilm

The first great superhero movie of 2020? It sure feels like it. She soars over rooftops, flies across walls, shoots arrows, and is just a general badass.
Kirsten Acuna, Insider

And the visuals?

Mulan is not only visually stunning, it is absolutely magical.
Tessa Smith, Mama’s Geeky

Very beautiful and epic cinematography. It had more fantastical elements than I expected.
Wendy Lee Szany, Collider

How is the cast?

The cast of Mulan is fantastic in the film… Donnie Yen is GREAT.
Wendy Lee Szany, Collider

Jason Scott Lee is great, but everyone else seems afraid to offend.
Scott Mendelson, Forbes

Walt Disney Pictures

Are there any major problems?

The poor villains and inconsistent action quality results in a mediocre movie… It’s two movies in one and it needed to decide which direction to take.
Mansoor Mithaiwala, ScreenRant

It’s also respectful to a fault. It doesn’t truly cut loose until the climax… Lacks the gonzo energy of The Great Wall or Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.
Scott Mendelson, Forbes

Will wee want to see it multiple times?

Can’t wait to see this again.
Kirsten Acuna, Insider

I cannot wait to take my girls to see it.
Tessa Smith, Mama’s Geeky

Mulan opens on March 27.


Mulan (2020)

Adjusted Score: 85.492%
Critics Consensus: It could have told its classic story with greater depth, but the live-action Mulan is a visual marvel that serves as a stirring update to its animated predecessor.
Synopsis: When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to... [More]
Directed By: Niki Caro

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