When Mulan was released all the way back in 1998, the most memorable comedic performance of the Disney animation came from Eddie Murphy as Mushu.
So when it was announced that Disney were indeed remaking it for a modern audience, fans of the original were devastated when they discovered the omission of the Chinese dragon, who acts as Mulan’s companion as she rises through the ranks of the army disguised as a man.
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But why is Mushu not in the Mulan remake?
Director Niki Caro recently provided the answer to USA Today, insisting, "We were very inspired by what Mushu brought to the animation, which was the humour and the levity, and the challenge was to bring that to Mulan’s real relationships with her fellow soldiers.”
“Mushu, beloved as that character is in the animation, was Mulan’s confidante, and part of bringing it into the live-action is to commit to the realism of her journey, and she had to make those relationships with her fellow soldiers. So there was certainly a lot to work with in that department."
Producer Jason Reed previously told Collider that there was another very big reason why Mushu was left out of the film, as he explained that Chinese audiences actually had quite a few negative feelings towards the character when the 1998 version was released.
“The dragon is a sign of respect and it’s a sign of strength and power, and that sort of using it as a silly sidekick didn’t play very well with the traditional Chinese audience.”
Mulan is now available to watch for UK viewers on Disney+, although it will cost subscribers an additional fee of £19.99. Reviewers appear to have been rather impressed by the film, too, as it currently has a score of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes.