The reactions are in for Disney's big-budget remake of Mulan, following its premiere in Hollywood last night.
Director Niki Caro has adapted the beloved Chinese folk tale, based on The Ballad of Mulan, a young girl who disguises herself as a man to take her father's place in the army.
Disney made a hit animated movie of the tale in 1998, and this live-action remake comes in the wake of reboots of classics like The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Dumbo.
But this latest, starring Liu Yifei in the lead role, appears to be a smash, according to the critics who saw it last night.
#Mulan is the best of the Disney live-action remakes since Cinderella — I didn’t even miss the songs. Finds new notes in a story we already know while delivering gorgeous action, heart, and humor. Liu Yifei is 🌟💥🔥— Angie J. Han (@ajhan) March 10, 2020
I’ve seen MULAN twice now and I must say it is grrrreat. Easily Disney’s best live action reboot. I think it’s also Disney’s first battle epic? It is beautiful & absorbing & rich & empowering. The cast is excellent and Niki Caro’s direction is just breathtaking.— Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) March 10, 2020
Wow! @DisneysMulan was everything I hoped it would be and more! They were able to bring new elements to life while maintaining the classic nostalgia we all know & love. Wow. Just incredible! 😭 Thanks @DolbyCinema for inviting me. #Mulan pic.twitter.com/BwPVV1m1LP— Katie Wilson (@thekatiewilson) March 10, 2020
#Mulan is exciting, vibrant, emotional, and different from the animated version. It's definitely its own thing, which I dug - a more mature Disney film, featuring stunning production design & fight choreography. Director Niki Caro & star Liu Yifei are the big stand-outs, imo pic.twitter.com/p6IEQUDNBu— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) March 10, 2020
I’m very surprised at how much I liked the live action #Mulan movie. It’s so majestic, the action is thrilling, it aims for a level of sophistication and beauty you don’t expect.— Peter Sciretta (@PeterSciretta) March 10, 2020
(I was never a huge fan of the animated film, I think I’ve only seen it once. So no attachments)
Disney’s Mulan remake 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 (@alfaforeman) March 10, 2020
Oh, and the romantic chemistry gets STEAMY. Like chanting “kiss” in a silent theater steamy.#Mulan2020 #mulan pic.twitter.com/soILc7OdTm
#Mulan is one of the best live-action adaptation of a Disney animated classic. It honors the 1998 film and the ballad by modernizing themes of female empowerment and iconic scenes, while also standing out w/ great cinematography & battle sequences are reminiscent of Wuxia epics. pic.twitter.com/2DUjzX1M1h— Michael Lee (@IamMichaelJLee) March 10, 2020
Some did pick up on issues with pacing, however, also suffering comparisons to the original movie.
Mulan makes bold choices in adapting the ballad over the animation and everything with #Mulan herself is terrific. It’s the rest of it that doesn’t fit. It’s 2 movies in 1 and it needed to decide which direction to take; not take both.— Mansoor Mithaiwala (@MansoorAYM) March 10, 2020
But in the main, it’s a hit.
The movie also stars Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Ron Yuan, Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao, Cheng Pei-Pei, Nelson Lee, Chum Ehelepola, Gong Li and Jet Li, and is set for release on 27 March.
However, Disney is said to be concerned over how the outbreak of coronavirus will affect the movie's box office fortunes.
China, its key marketplace, has shuttered its cinemas since the spread of the disease, causing several movies – from 1917 to Sonic The Hedgehog – to axe their premieres.
Government authorities determine when movies are released in China, not the studios, with the release of Mulan still be decided.