The upcoming live-action Mulan is set to be released at the end of March and Bustle has an exclusive look at the titular character in all her warrior glory. The remake of the 1998 Disney film will veer away from the original in that it will pay tribute to the original legend of Hua Mulan and will not include characters like Li Shang or Mushu. While it's not the exact story you may have grown up with, in these exclusive cinemagraphs to Bustle, it is clear that the most important themes of the legend remain the same.
In these cinemagraphs — which were shot on the set of the film and later animated to create live images — fans of the story can see Mulan in iconic and familiar moments from the 1998 version of the film, including the lead heroine defiantly holding her sword which is reminiscent of the original film’s cover image. The images were captured by Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, who actually invented the cinemagraph. They have been using the technique to animate their fashion and news photographs since 2011, and have worked with top brands such as Chanel, Armani, and Google.
Another difference from the 2020 film and the 1998 animated movie is that this year’s version will not include musical numbers. Before worrying about the absence of “Reflection,” check out the cinemagraph below. While there might not be a familiar musical moment, it is clear that the movie will “honor” the music found in the original film in a very “significant” way, per director Niki Caro.
Caro has previously explained the reasoning behind not including musical numbers, stating it truly came down to a matter of realism. “... We don't tend to break into song when we go to war,” Caro told outlets earlier this year, as reported by Digital Spy. “Not that I'm saying anything against the animation. The songs are brilliant, and if I could squeeze them in there, I would have...”
While the film will not necessarily be a shot-for-shot remake of the original — which is kind of the point — these cinemagraphs clearly pay homage to the story audiences loved growing up. By including more of the story from the original legend, “The Ballad of Mulan,” it will also hopefully introduce an entirely new generation to the powerful story and iconic character.
Mulan hits theaters on March 27, 2020.