The official trailer for Mulan, the next animated Disney film to go through the live-action remake machine, was released this morning. It’s giving us a ton of clues about what we can expect when the movie hits theaters next spring.
The basics of the story look the same. Northern invaders come to a long-ago version of China, so the emperor calls on every family to send one son to join an army to protect the empire. Mulan is one of two daughters in a family without sons, and after he father falls ill she dresses up as a man and volunteers, hiding her true identity all the while.
Beyond that, this movie looks like a big departure from the animated version, which was released in 1998. Instead of a fun, music-filled ride with a talking dragon for comedic relief, the remade Mulan is an action movie. It looks a lot darker, but kid-friendly enough to fit in with the Disney brand.
At its heart, this thing looks like an action-adventure movie. It’s supposed to feel big.
There are a ton of wide shots featuring mountainous vistas and massive sets. Flaming cannonballs, slow-motion arrow ducking, and epic battle scenes look integral to the film, and we’re also pretty psyched for the swordfight between Mulan and the face-painted witch aiding the invaders.
An orchestral, brass-and-drum-driven version of “Reflection” plays during the trailer, replacing the delicate Christina Aguilera version from the animated Mulan. It’s as good a symbol as any of how the filmmakers are trying to preserve what people liked about the original film while creating something new.
Mulan is coming to theaters on March 27 and, we can only imagine, to Disney+ at some point after that.