New Adventures of Mulan

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In our household, we’ve been looking forward to watching the new Disney movie, Mulan, and saving up to pay Disney’s US$30 premium ticket, and the plan is to watch it this coming weekend. Of course, many people know the story of Mulan from the original Disney cartoon version in 1998 which enjoyed box office success worldwide but didn’t particularly appeal to Chinese audiences who dismissed it as too ‘westernised’ (eg the comic character of Mushu dragon played by Eddie Murphy) and culturally insensitive. Much has changed since 1998!

According to China Daily “the most recent rendition was crafted targeting the Chinese market, which has evolved to become the world’s second-biggest movie market in recent years. The film places much greater emphasis on traditional Chinese values, such as duty to family. The film promises to be a more realistic interpretation of Chinese history and culture
than its animated predecessor, which took the form of musical comedy and included comic relief elements”.

This is going to be interesting. Apart from the movie itself (which I imagine will be terrific – can’t wait!) the reaction from Chinese and Western audiences will offer some fascinating insights into current geo-politics and the role of entertainment in shifting cultural insights and attitudes.


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