The Re-imagination of Disney's Mulan
By Esteban Cepero
Anticipation is increasingly building as Disney fans await the release of the live-action Mulan remake that has been longed for since the A-list cast was announced. The film was directed by Niki Caro, the New Zealander director with past works such as: Whale Rider, The Zookeeper's Wife, McFarland, USA, and North Country and this has added a whole new level to the re-imagination of Disney's Mulan. Criticism has been consistently growing in regard to how this film was produced. From the actors to the costumes and the storyline to the tone, this film is a complete depiction of the original Mulan story from centuries ago. As much as Disney fans loved the 1998 classic with favorites such as Mushu and Li Shang, a brand new direction is being taken with the overall feel of the storyline.
The plot of Mulan follows the story of how the heroine Hua Mulan secretly takes on the duty of her ill father in serving in the army to fend off northern invaders in China. Mulan disguises herself as a man going by the name of 'Ping'. A lot of thought was placed into a quality cast with the music being composed by Harry Gregson-Williams, a major Hollywood icon, being a highly-demanded composer for blockbusters.
Fun fact: Hua Mulan may have been a real living person and her story was told through the Ballad of Mulan which was written by an anonymous poet. Disney's first animated musical film was based on the very ballad but with a more light-hearted adaptation with laughable characters and an unforgettable soundtrack. When people began to notice that the new Mulan film isn't featuring any of the famous songs or a musical soundtrack, skepticism began to build, complemented with a bit of backlash. As much as we could miss the comic relief moments and catchy songs, Mulan's reboot also means it's more difficult to predict the turnout of the story and there's nothing better than surprises to keep you on the edge of your seat.
The costume designer for Mulan is German native Bina Daigeler who is known for her work in the 2009 film Broken Embraces. She won the German film award for best costume design and was also nominated for the Goya award for best costume design. Now, Bina takes on what is going to be one of the biggest films of the year. So with that in mind, let's analyze the amazing costume designs that will be on the big screen, and available at WonderCostumes.com!
The New Antagonist Costumes
Disney introduces the casting of Jason Scott Lee and Gong Li as the brand new main villains, Bori Khan and the witch, Xian Lang. Together, they both replace Shan Yu from the animated depiction. Bori Khan is portrayed as a warrior leader who fights to avenge his father's death. He carries with him the same conqueror demeanor of Shan Yu with Bori Khan's costume being designed with a much darker aesthetic. Shan Yu is a frightening villain with yellow eyes and a huge build, he was quite possibly the most intimidating animated Disney character. Bori Khan's costume design matches that same feeling and his status as such a warrior will prove to be epic on the battlefield.
Bori Khan is accompanied by the witch Xian Lang, whose abilities were shown in all of the trailers, even her power of transforming into a Hawk. Xian Lang's costume design is a clear representation of those talents. Xian Lang's costume features an elegant gold crown that has an outline of a Hawk skull joined by a shadowy dress that displays a feather scheme. The most eye-catching characteristic of Xian Lang's costume would be her Hawk hand, showing the basis of her capabilities.
Hua Mulan's Costume
Liu Yifei is the selected actress to star as Mulan, she was a perfect cast with a background comprised of martial arts films and roles in American films. She was in The Forbidden Kingdom, working with both Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Jet Li will also be in the film starring as the emperor of China. Mulan's costume design is both unique and historical as it is influenced by ancient Chinese armor. Mulan's costume is meant to be accurate to how Chinese soldiers in this ancient time period dressed. Though the power of Mulan's costume comes from the character herself, it's a woman in a man's armor. Mulan's costume design delivers an impactful message that will soon be followed by her heroic fight against the forces of evil. Mulan's red, hero armor dress will be a popular costume this year and WonderCostumes.com will be carrying the costume in time for the movie premiere and Halloween.
Disney has been masterful in the vagueness of the movie's trailers; they show what we can expect but hide so much. The perfect strategy for the unpredictability of the film and the excitement to see certain characters on-screen. Disney decided not to cut the three famous soldiers, Yao, Ling, and Chien Po but they didn't make any appearances. Still, we'll definitely still see them beside Mulan in battle, another aspect of the film that we can all look forward to. Mulan's costume and the costumes of the antagonists give us a perfect idea of the intensity that we're about to witness from this film. On that note, make sure to check out Mulan when released in theaters on March 27, 2020! And make sure to pay a visit to WonderCostumes.com for your costume needs!