My first reaction to this trailer was one word. BAD. That was my gut.
After watching it a few more times, I have softened my stance a little bit. However, I am still not too optimistic about this one.
I respect the fact that this Mulan tale is going to be grounded in more of the Hua Mulan legend. Simplified, it’s about a women’s warrior disguising as a man taking her aged father’s place in the army when she then fought for a dozen years and was selfless in her possible merits and rewards. The 1998 Mulan took this text but added in Disney flare with elevated plot points, amusing side characters and a more optimistic tone.
This Mulan is rooted in the grounded text, ignoring the sound track and the side characters of Mushu and Li Shang. The worry is that this differentiation will drive away the majority of the audience looking to relive the magic of the animated tale that they know.
The structure of this tale is outlined in the trailer in a very structured way. Tried and true like any standard movie teaser. Set the tone of the movie in the opening portion, shine light of the character with a voiceover in the middle, and then have a rousing conclusion with dazzling visuals.
The premiere trailer shines a strong light on the look and color schemes that’ll be shown. There is no denying that the set pieces will be large in the scale and the foe won’t be that of one titular evil Hun. The worry is that with the more hardened tone, can a Disney movie convey the necessary hardships with adequacy? Or will it be like a 42 where the true evilness wasn’t properly conveyed so the impact wasn’t strong enough.
Will Mulan be like Dumbo and disappoint? Will it be like Aladdin and merely meet expectations? Will Mulan soar like The Jungle Book or Beauty And The Beast?
Only time will tell. A disappointing trailer doesn’t mean a disappointing movie. Still plenty of time for minds to be switched.