The first trailer for Disney’s live-action remake of “Mulan” hit last weekend to major viewership numbers and plenty of social reaction from around the world, especially China. On that country’s major social media platform Weibo, hashtags like #HuaMulan and #MulanTrailer have been viewed 1.5 billion times and 1.2 billion times respectively.
In the States, the trailer has also undergone some criticism with much of it centered on the lack of Eddie Murphy’s mini-dragon character Mushu who serves as young Mulan’s sidekick in the 1998 animated feature. In China, however, the complaints have been more about perceived historical inaccuracies.
The original 6th-century legend of Mulan tells the story of a girl born in Northern China during the Northern Wei dynasty. The film’s trailer however starts off showing Mulan’s home – round and yellow Fujian Tulou buildings which are actually unique to southeast China’s Fujian province and the first of their kind weren’t actually built until near the end of the Song Dynasty (which ended in 1279AD) and weren’t popular until a good two centuries later.
In other words, the film seems to be playing loose with history, culture and geography for aesthetic reasons. A popular viral video criticizing the trailer says: “This film is just trying to ingratiate itself to Western audiences. It’s like they thought, oh, this element is really Chinese, it’s very Oriental, so I’m going to shove it into the film to make everyone feel this is a very ‘Chinese’ film.”
China is the second biggest market for Hollywood films, and with its all-Asian cast the studio is keen on it being a hit over there. At the same time, there was also plenty of excitement for the film in China following the trailer while the film’s star Crystal Liu Yifei was praised.
“Mulan” opens in cinemas on March 27th 2020.
Source: Cinema Blend