I'm an 11-year-old girl who wants to be an actress when I grow up. I loved the original Mulan [released in 1998]. For someone like me, I prefer the gutsy warrior type of Disney Princess over the blonde stereotypical sing-to-the-birds type.
So I was so excited for this live action version directed by Aotearoa's own Niki Caro (Whale Rider), only the fourth woman ever to direct a Disney film.
I was not disappointed.
Loyalty, Courage and Truth are three themes that run strongly through the film.
Let’s start with Loyalty. How true was this version to the original that I loved? Well, overall the storyline is the same but there are new characters who make it more interesting including the acclaimed Chinese actress Gong Li as a witch called The Enchantress - definitely my all time new favourite character with more to her than meets the eye.
I have to be honest and say I did miss the music from the original. I thought that maybe they could have used some of it subtly throughout the film.
Courage: How brave was the film? As brave as Mulan is. That’s VERY brave. It empowers the lead female characters and reminds us girls watching that if we truly believe we can do something, that nothing should get in the way - especially our gender.
Truth - was it believable? Did I like the acting? Yes and yes. In fact the only criticism I have is the story transitions were a bit jumpy. I felt like there could have been a smoother flow to it. I couldn't figure out what it was. Maybe the editing?
Overall I would highly recommend this to my friends - especially if they like their Disney Princesses with a bit of attitude.
Mulan is available to stream now on Disney+
WATCH: Kiwi director Niki Caro on 'finding Mulan':