The live-action Mulan trailer takes on a serious tone, but it still calls back to the animated film

Disney's MULANMulan (Yifei Liu)Photo: Film Frame© 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Disney's MULANMulan (Yifei Liu)Photo: Film Frame© 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Mulan’s first full-length trailer has arrived, and it looks like the live-action film will have a much more serious tone than the animated one — though there is a nod or two to the original.

The first full-length trailer for Disney’s live-action Mulan dropped this week, and fans knew from the teaser that this version of Mulan’s story would be more accurate to the original telling and less similar to the animated film. And the first glimpse of the movie does suggest that it will take a darker, more mature tone — one that doesn’t underplay the implications of war or the potential consequences of Mulan’s actions.

The trailer shows Mulan’s father being summoned to war because he was “blessed” with two daughters, and it shows Mulan’s decision to go in his place — especially after being told he likely won’t return home this time. All of these clips have a sense of dread about them, highlighting just how serious this summons to war truly is. And that only increases when Mulan’s told she’ll be shown no mercy if she’s found out. While the animated version did subtly address the sexism of women being banned from fighting, it looks like the remake will be far more upfront about it.

Watch the trailer for Disney’s live-action Mulan here:

In addition to the grim but relevant themes underlying the film, it looks like we’ll get plenty of action sequences. Indeed, we see some pretty intense glimpses of the army’s training and fighting in the trailer, along with an enemy and a female villain — or witch — who appears more intimidating than any antagonist we’ve seen in an animated Disney feature.

That said, the animated film isn’t entirely missing from Disney’s new take on this story. About midway through the trailer, an instrumental rendition of “Reflection” begins playing in the background, offering a nice nod to fans of the previous film and its soundtrack. And while we might not hear “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” sung in the upcoming release, there is one line that references the song. With the soldiers all lined up, their commander tells them he’ll “make men” out of every one of them. It’s a small moment, but it’s one classic Disney fans will appreciate.

Overall, it looks like this reboot will be a compelling and emotional one, packed with social commentary and action. We’re excited to see how it handles Mulan’s legacy when it hits theaters on March 27, 2020.

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What did you think of the live-action Mulan trailer? Does it make you excited to see the film?