The original ballad of Hua Mulan appeared during the 6th century although many believe it’s based on historical events a century earlier. Since then, the story has been retold as a poem and then expanded into a novel. Her story has inspired many stage, TV and movie adaptations including the popular Disney version which did not feature too well in China but is still one of my favourite Disney movies.
Chinese audiences felt they couldn’t relate to the character leaving her portrayal quite unrecognisable for viewers. For one thing, Mulan had a younger brother who was too young to take her father’s place but in the movie he’s portrayed as a dog. I didn’t grow up with the folk tale so for me, Ming Na Wen and Lea Salonga were two big drawcards for me.
Mulan: Rise of a Warrior is the live action version which won several awards including Best Actress for Wei Zhao. It’s amazing to think she was only 18 when she took the place of her ill and elderly father and fought in the army for 12 years. Throughout this time, she steadily climbed the ranks to general. As you’d expect, it’s a more graphic retelling of the story and quite sad in places so I won’t say any more than that.
I just love this piece from Sakimichan, especially her distinct Asian features and gorgeous colours.
Now for one of my favourite scenes from the Disney version.
While working on this post, I decided to watch Mulan: Legendary Warrior (an alternate name for the live adaptation) a second time and was not disappointed. However, I want to end the night on a lighter note so I’ll be following that up with the Disney version later tonight.