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“Mulan” is the latest classic Disney movie to get a live-action makeover and this week, fans of the original 1998 film will finally get to watch the remake.
The film will be released Friday, Sept. 4 on Disney Plus. However, if it feels like you’ve been hearing about the release of a new “Mulan” movie for years, you’re not wrong. The first news about the remake, directed by Niki Caro, started around 2016 when it was announced that the movie would premiere in November 2018. Then, the movie was pushed back to premiere in theaters in March 2020, but of course, due to the global pandemic, it was then pushed back to July 24, then Aug. 21, then Sept. 4.
However, to watch “Mulan” on the day of its debut, you will 1) have to be a Disney Plus subscriber and 2) pay a fee of $29.99 for the early access.
“We thought it was important to find alternative ways to bring this exceptional family-friendly film to them in a timely manner,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call, adding that the movie will be released simultaneously in theaters in areas where Disney Plus is not available (and where theaters are open).
Once paying for the movie, Disney Plus subscribers will be able to rewatch and download it for as long as they’re a subscriber. So, essentially, subscribers will be purchasing the movie, similar to when people used to buy DVDs before the age of streaming — remember that?
However, the new “Mulan” won’t be a total scene-by-scene remake of the Disney animation. The story of Hua Mulan, a Chinese warrior, actually comes from an ancient Chinese folktale called the “Ballad of Mulan” that was created during the Northern Wei Dynasty (years 386–534) and made popular during the Tang Dynasty (years 618–907). However, the 1998 Disney version added several Americanizations that Chinese audiences may find offensive, including Mushu the dragon.
Mushu will be left out in the 2020 version of the movie, because as producer Jason Reed told Bustle, “Using [a dragon] as a silly sidekick didn’t play very well with the traditional Chinese audience.” The movie will have a few other changes to reflect the ancient original while simultaneously making the movie more modern, including changes to the villain and love interest characters, hairstyles and songs — this version will not be a musical.
With that said, if you’re not already a subscriber, you’ll need to get Disney Plus to watch. Unfortunately, Disney Plus suspended its 7-day free trial ahead of its big release of “Hamilton: An American Musical,” so you’ll have to sign yourself up for a monthly or annual subscription. The monthly subscription costs $6.99 per month, while the annual costs $69.99 for the year.
Disney Plus also offers a bundle deal with Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99 per month for more movies and shows outside of the Disney umbrella, as well as live sporting events.
Either way, you must have a Disney Plus subscription to purchase “Mulan” for viewing on Friday. You can check out the trailer for the movie below and decide for yourself if it’s worth the extra fee (but we think it totally is).
If you enjoyed this story, you might like to read about why Lin-Manuel Miranda let Disney change parts of “Hamilton.”
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