The live-action remake of Mulan premiered on Disney+ On Sep. 4. While Disney attempted to make a more accurate telling of the story, fans were disappointed with every aspect that went into the making of this film.
Parts of the movie were filmed in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, (XUAR) China, a southern region in the country where over 1mil Uyghur Muslims are currently being detained in concentration camps. Disney had even thanked the Turpan Public Safety Bureau that’s involved with the camps, in the Mulan end credits.
#BoycottMulan has been all over the media, people are refusing to support the movie, and Disney as a whole.
A letter has been sent to the CEO of Disney, Bob Chapek, by 19 bipartisan members of Congress to question Disney involvement with this region as reported by Axious news on Sep 12.
Key aspects of the letter are highlighted in this article including: “that Disney explains its cooperation with XUAR authorities, including what contractual agreements were made, Disney executives’ awareness of the political complexities of the region, what local labor was used and what Disney policies exist on prohibiting relationships with human rights abusers.”
Disney has yet to make any public statement.
Liu Yfiel 33 is a Chinese born-American actress who stars as the new Mulan. Liu has been under fire as she has been very public of her support for the Hong Kong police that has been on the scene as protests that began Aug. 2019.
Liu stated in her online post, “I support Hong Kong’s police, you can beat me up now. What a shame for Hong Kong.”
BBC News explained the extraction bill that started the protest, “the proposed changes would have allowed for the Hong Kong government to consider requests from any country for the extradition of criminal suspects, even countries with which it doesn’t have an extradition treaty and including mainland China, Taiwan, and Macau.”
Liu’s statement left many upset and initially caused one of the first reasons why people wanted to boycott the 2020 Mulan.
Everyone who worked to create the movie was white. Fans quickly realized that there weren’t any Chinese people telling a Chinese story.
Disney has proven to be able to tell authentic stories focused on cultures. Pixar Studios (owned by Disney) received massive praise for its creation of the film Coco. The movie centered around Mexican culture and family values. While the film was directed by a white male, Lee Unkrich, he knew he couldn’t tell this story authentically without true representation.
Unkrich thus brought along co-director Adrian Molina, a man of Mexican descent. The creators of Coco spent countless hours in Mexico, working with artists and musicians, to learn every aspect they could to achieve one of Pixar’s most celebrated films.
Mulan costs $29.99 to stream on Disney+. Although the film remains unlocked as long as you are a subscriber to the app, it will be available for free on Dec. 4. Many fans were upset with the pricing considering that they already have to pay to be a member and didn’t believe the film was worth the money.
Paola Hernandez, a student at UC Berkeley and Disney superfan, was initially excited for the film when the first trailer was released. She was emotional and, “felt a little teary-eyed,” as Hernandez put it. The original Mulan is in Hernandez’s top five favorite Disney movies.
Songs featured in the original include “Reflection” and “I’ll make a man out of you” which has over 124 mil views on Youtube. These are seen as Disney songs classics.
The 2020 Mulan had no singing but did quote the lyrics throughout the movie. This left Hernandez unimpressed, “It felt cheesy. Why even use the line if they’re not gonna sing it?” Hernandez felt that all the aspects she enjoyed as a child were taken out of the movie.
Hernandez does not recommend, and would rather stick to re-watching the original.