The popular Disney classic Mulan released in 1998 is still a very popular film today. The movie is about "Mulan" who goes to war for her sick father by posing as a man. In 2020 the original animated film was remade with a real-life film adaptation. However, many small and large changes caused astonishment among fans.

These are the differences with the Disney remake of Mulan

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mulan was released in 2020 on Disney+ and did not premiere in the cinemas as planned. The real film version of the cartoon hit from 1998 had some changes in store for fans of the classic Disney film.

Many will have wondered why none of the popular cartoon songs like "I'll Make a Man Out of You" or "Reflection" made it into the film. Only a few melodies or lines in dialogues are included.

The director Niki Caro (53) is of the opinion that musical songs would not fit the topic and that "Mulan" (Yifei Liu) probably would not have felt like singing during a war, as she explained to Digital Spy.

Many of the fans will have been sad about this change: Some important characters of the cartoon have been removed from the remake. Above all, the little red dragon "Mushu" was not adopted according to The Hollywood Reporter because the dragon is a culturally important figure in China and should not be portrayed as a small, clumsy figure.


"Li Shang", "Mulan's" superior and crush is also practically no longer there. In the real-life version, he is split into two people: "Commander Tung" (Donnie Yen), leader of the troops and "Mulan's" mentor, and "Chen Honghui" (Yoson An) as "Mulan's" swarm and equal recruits.

For this, many different characters were invented that did not even exist in the original cartoon. For example, "Hua Mulan", as it is correctly called, has a sister and a witch who represents a new villain is part of the party.

The Mulan remake looks more serious

The main aim of all the changes is to ensure that the film looks a bit more adult, more serious, and, above all, a little more realistic - even if Niki Caro gave "Mulan" a superpower in the remake that she doesn't have in the original cartoon version.

The fight scenes are also depicted more frequently and more extreme in the remake - which you often don't find with Disney.


Director Niki Caro has incorporated more historical and local backgrounds into the film in order to portray the whole story more realistically - even if popular elements had to give way. We still love the live-action remake of the film as well as the original version! Which one do you like better? 

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