‘Mulan’ Live-Action Trailer: Did You Catch These 2 Disney Songs?

Disney’s live-action remakes of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King have been full musicals like their animated predecessors. 2020’s Mulan remake takes a different approach. It will not be a musical like the 1998 animated film, although there’s precedent for that too. Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella did not have songs, nor did Dumbo and The Jungle Book used them sparingly. 

Liu Yifei as Mulan
Liu Yifei as Mulan | Disney

Liu Yifei plays Mulan, the woman who poses as a boy to join the army. She is a historical figure and there have been many Chinese retellings of her story, but Disney is adapting their 1998 animated film. The new trailer released December 5 shows lots of epic action, and fans may have noticed two famous Disney songs in the trailer, although not the way they appeared in the 1998 Disney film. The film is out March 27, 2020.

This ‘Mulan’ song is in the trailer, but without words

The trailer establishes the crisis in the kingdom. Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee) raids the village demanding soldiers for the Emperor’s army, along with his witch (Gong Li) in tow. Mulan’s father only has daughters, prompting her to pose as a boy and join the army. 

Halfway through the trailer, fans get a glimpse at some of the intense action Niki Caro directed as Mulan goes into battle. The music you hear is familiar, but in a new context. The score for the movie appears to be “Reflection,” Mulan’s ballad in the animated film. Even without Lea Salonga singing the words, it’s a powerful tune and works just as well making the action scenes feel epic.

‘Mulan’ doesn’t need a song to make you a man

When Mulan goes to training, the commander says, “We’re going to make men out of every single one of you.” Mulan fans know the sentiment, if the quote is a little bit tweaked. “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” was another song from the animated Mulan.

Disney's Mulan
Mulan | Disney

Donny Osmond sang the song as the singing voice for Li Shang (BD Wong). It was a strong training montage song but the training montages in the new Mulan trailer stand on their own with archery and martial arts practice. Fun fact: Jackie Chan sang the Chinese version of “I’ll Make A Man Out of You.”

The new villains are scary 

Shan Yu definitely earned a place in the Disney villain pantheon along with Maleficent, Ursula, Jafar and Scar. The live-action Mulan created a new villain for Mulan to face. Jason Scott Lee played Bruce Lee in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Mowgli in a 1994 live-action The Jungle Book and a villain in Soldier but he’s never looked as scary as he does in this trailer.

Jason Scott Lee and Gong Li
Jason Scott Lee and Gong Li | Disney

Bori Khan can walk up the wall of a castle he’s storming, like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. His witch has some classic martial arts accoutrements too including a scarf she turns into a Flying Guillotine style weapon. This Mulan looks like martial arts classics come to life with a Hollywood production design (they built Ancient China!) and special effects.