Mulan is a 2020 American action drama film produced by Walt Disney Pictures. The film premiered on Disney+ on September 4 this year, and the delay ensued because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Mushu does not appear in this live-action Mulan film, and Director Niki Caro explains why this removal was brought ahead in this movie. Caro cited her desire for a more realistic interpretation of this fantastical tale, hence the removal was necessary.
Who is Mushu in Mulan franchise?
Mushu is the deuteragonist of Disney’s 36th full-length animated feature film Mulan. He is also the tritagonist of the 2005 sequel Mulan II.
Mushu is a scrawny, reddish-orange Chinese dragon with blue horns to help Mulan. He is a fast-talking, self-absorbed Chinese dragon. Mushu is also the self-appointed guardian of Fa Mulan. The character is created by Robert D. San Souci and was voiced by Eddie Murphy (in the original Mulan movie in 1998); and Mark Moseley (in Mulan II).
Is Mushu in Mulan 2020?
Mulan fans were quick to spot that Mushu did not make it to the live-action of Mulan remake streaming on Disney+. Director Caro revealed why she chose to leave out Mushu from the new remake.
“I think we can all appreciate that Mushu is irreplaceable,” Caro said in an interview before the release of the movie after the fans spotted the absence of Mushu from the movie trailer early this year. She further added, “You know, the animated classic stands on its own in that regard. In this movie, there is a creature representative – a spiritual representation of the ancestors, and most particularly of Mulan’s relationship with her father. But an update of Mushu? No.”
A phoenix appeared in the movie and fans were suspecting if it was a substitute of Mushu. This is what Caro had to say. “So, on the left and right hand of the emperor is a dragon. The dragon is representative of the masculine, and the phoenix is representative of the feminine. In a movie, in a story that so much explores gender fluidity, I thought that that was a really nice and appropriate way to go.”
Since Caro and Disney were committed to raising the action and drama in the live-action movie to a more realistic level, the presence of a talking dragon would have certainly clashed with the vision.