'Mulan' Praised as 'Vibrant' and 'Absolutely Fantastic' in First Reactions to Live-Action Epic

Disney's live-action remake of Mulan hits theaters on March 27

Photo: Film Frame/© 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

The first reactions to Disney’s live-action Mulan are in!

Though the highly-anticipated movie doesn’t hit theaters until later this month, critics shared their first reactions to the film after its world premiere in Los Angeles on Monday night. The new Mulan was hailed as “vibrant” and “exciting,” though some noted that it “leaves a lot behind” from the original 1998 animated film.

“#Mulan is absolutely fantastic,” Kirsten Acuna of Insider tweeted. “Different enough with great action scenes, but with the heart of the original film. It doesn’t even matter that it’s not a musical. If you’re a fan of the animated, there are subtle nods to many of the songs. Can’t wait to see this again.”

Fandango’s Erik Davis added: “#Mulan is exciting, vibrant, emotional, and different from the animated version. It’s definitely its own thing, which I dug — a more mature Disney film, featuring stunning production design & fight choreography.”

Angie J. Han of Mashable wrote that Mulan is “the best” Disney live-action remake since 2015’s Cinderella — placing it above films including last year’s Aladdin and The Lion King remakes.

“#Mulan is the best of the Disney live-action remakes since Cinderella — I didn’t even miss the songs,” she tweeted. “Finds new notes in a story we already know while delivering gorgeous action, heart, and humor.”

Han also added that the film was “surprisingly sexy for a Disney movie.”

Mashable‘s Alison Foreman echoed those comments, writing that the “romantic chemistry gets STEAMY.”

“Disney’s Mulan remake leaves a lot behind, but offers much more in its absence,” she wrote. “Plenty of 1998 throwbacks pepper a story full of incredible action, humor, and heart.”

“The cast of Mulan is fantastic in the film,” Wendy Lee Szany tweeted. “There are lots of little moments that nods to the animated that’ll make the fans happy. Very beautiful & epic cinematography. It had more fantastical elements than I expected. Overall, a great re-telling of the animated and very fun.”

“Wow! @DisneysMulan was everything I hoped it would be and more!” Katie Wilson wrote. “They were able to bring new elements to life while maintaining the classic nostalgia we all know & love. Wow. Just incredible!”

The live-action Mulan is based on the animated film as well as the traditional Chinese folklore tale of the female warrior Hua Mulan.

The movie will follow Mulan, the oldest daughter of a warrior who disguises herself as a man and steps in to take the place of her ailing father after the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve to defend the country from Northern invaders.

Actress Liu Yifei plays the titular heroine. Yifei was cast after a year-long global casting search and has been previously seen in The Forbidden Kingdom and Once Upon a Time, among other films.

She is joined by cast members including Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, and Yoson An.

Mulan hits theaters on March 27.

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