Do you know why the phoenix sits at the right hand of the Emperor?
Heavy foreshadowing flows throughout the first trailer for Mulan, beginning with talk of the phoenix, as a woman, being the Emperor’s beautiful and strong protector. However, Hua Mulan (Liu Yifei) is tasked only with being beautiful and bringing honor to her family as she is painted and prepared for the matchmaker.
But life isn’t as simple as just being beautiful for Mulan. War is coming to the land in the form of Bori Khan (Jason Lee Scott) and his witch (Gong Li). As Commander Tung (Donnie Yen) explains to the Emporer (Jet Li), the pair are invading from the north and an edict is released that each family must provide one son to defend the country. Having only daughters, Mulan’s father (Tzi Ma) steps forward – and her mother (Rosalind Chao) tells the girls they must be strong because he will not come home from this war.
Loyal, Brave, and True
Underneath the montage of Mulan taking up the family sword and deciding to take her father’s place is an updated instrumental version of the classic animated film’s song “Reflection”. We get scenes of the new warriors arriving for training, a tribute to the beloved “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” scene, and a glimpse of the battle between China’s forces and Khan’s men beginning.
Mulan’s battle with her duplicity is evident throughout the trailer, but so is her determination. She fights for her country and for her family. She fights to bring honor to all.
Surprisingly, there appears to be another little tie-in to the animated film: the original movie’s big bad, Shan-Yu, had a falcon and this is the animal form of Khan’s witch. The witch and Mulan have their own fight sequences, which are beautifully choreographed. Mulan’s secret is no secret from the witch who offers a warning about her true identity being revealed; the men will show no mercy.
Another little surprise in the trailer is a phoenix flying across the sky when Mulan’s father seeks protection from the family ancestors. It seems Mushu has had an interesting makeover! The question is, though, will this phoenix be by Mulan’s side like the little dragon was, or will the phoenix arise only when needed?
Watch the trailer below and let us know if what you think. Does the live-action remake look worthy of your time? Do you think the film will properly blend together and honor the original ballad and the animated classic?
Mulan is based on the narrative poem “The Ballad of Mulan,” and is directed by Niki Caro with the script written by Lauren Hynek, Rick Jaffa, Elizabeth Martin, and Amanda Silver. Produced by Chris Bender, William Kong, Barrie M. Osborne, Jason Reed, and Jake Weiner. The film stars Liu Yifei, Yoson An, Donnie Yen, Jason Lee Scott, Ron Yuan, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Xana Tang, Chum Ehelepola and Gong Li with Jet Li.
When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father.
Mulan slips into theaters March 2020.