Mulan remake on Disney Plus: Timely and moving, even without the songs

The 2020 live-action version of Disney's beloved tale about a legendary warrior takes on a more serious but pertinent

Curated via Twitter from CNET News’s twitter account….

Mulan’s fearlessness and devotion to family carry special meaning in today’s upended world. 231"}’ section="annotation">Disney’s live-action Mulan remake has faced several delays due to COVID-19, its long-awaited debut Friday on Disney Plus feels perfectly timed.

As in the beloved 1998 animated film, Mulan (Yifei Liu) struggles to strike a balance between embracing her abilities and honoring her family in China.

There is a powerful instrumental rendition of Reflection that plays alongside a moving montage of Mulan embracing her skills later on in the film, which feels like a sufficient nod to the beloved music of the animated version.

Mulan is told by her family to "learn your place," but that proves to be quite challenging when that place seemingly doesn’t exist.

While catchy tunes are a big part of the appeal of many Disney movies, their inclusion here would have felt forced, and Mulan’s compelling storyline is enough to carry the film.

It’s refreshing that Mulan is able to finally find her place and purpose while also exhibiting devotion to her family.

As she gets older, it’s not only Mulan who must face the struggle of hiding her abilities; her father also experiences the heartrending pain of having to overlook his daughter’s skills just because she’s a girl.

Mulan’s acts of love and devotion to her family are a touching reminder that we can tap our own skills and abilities to help others.

Like Mulan, Xianniang struggles to be accepted, and is therefore driven to serve Khan in exchange for his promise to provide "a place where your powers will not be vilified".

The key difference, of course, is that Mulan uses her guise to fight for good, while Xianniang defends evil, and we are introduced to the possibility of what Mulan could become if she were to let the bitterness of her exclusion take over her heart.

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