Mulan still has the magic.

Nathaniel Crow reviews Disney’s live-action movie Mulan “2020”

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Nathenial Crow reviews Disney Plus’s live-action Mulan (2020) movie and said it’s uniquely entertaining.

Nathenial Crow, Arts & Entertainment Editor

This December, Disney gave its Disney Plus subscribers two Mulan movies for free.  The live-action version was supposed to be released to theaters last March, but thanks to COVID, it was only available to watch at home.  

Mulan is the story of a young Chinese woman whose parents want her to marry, but she is more interested in practicing martial arts.  To preserve her father’s honor, Mulan takes his place as a soldier preparing for battle and excels at it.  In the cartoon version, she falls in love with the commander. However, in the live-action version, she has a crush on a fellow soldier.

It’s easy to get lost in the live-action version because of the quality of the acting.  Mulan is played by Yifei Liu in the live action, and the person she falls in love with is played by Yoson An.  While this was the first time I’ve seen Liu in a movie, she has been acting for 18 years.  An has been acting for nearly a decade too.  The two leads’ acting skills really drew me in, in a way an animated story could not.  I thought their facial expressions, tone of voice made the story more telling.  It was natural and easy to follow. 

The live version of Mulan is more exciting to watch.  With an animation, you’re limited to imagine the story.  However, with this version, you get to actually see it.  The stunts in the movie were really cool. They probably had to use student doubles and wires to do the fighting moves, but it made Mulan seem incredible.  There were also special effects, but they were invisible to the plot.

Mulan live action and the 1998 animated version are both available for free streaming on Disney Plus with a subscription.  The new Mulan can be rented on most steaming channels for about $20.  You don’t need to be familiar with the animated version to enjoy the live one. Mulan (2020) holds its own. It was good entertainment, especially while in quarantine. However, I caution viewing it with smaller children.  The animation was made for kids and rated G.  Live-action Mulan is rated PG-13 and has much more violence. I recommend watching it.