After months of waiting, Disney's new live-action remake of "Mulan" was released over the weekend. For years, I have been a passionate defender of the Disney animated classic "Mulan." I think this movie has such a wonderful message that isn't the usual Disney trope. Instead of the leading lady looking for love, our heroine is riding courageously into battle to protect her father and to bring honor to her family. She's also an independent, free-spirit who doesn't want to live by the status quo. The message of this movie resonated with a young Lisa and Eddie Murphy playing the funny sidekick? I was in. But when I heard there was going to be a live-action remake of my favorite Disney film I was hesitant about supporting it. I've been greatly disappointed in the past by Disney's live-action remakes. The same songs with far fewer laughs and some even look shot-for-shot like the same movie. If this happened with Mulan, I would be upset. But thankfully, that didn't happen at all with the new "Mulan."

The new live-action "Mulan" kept faithful to the original message of the first movie showcasing a strong, independent female lead finding her way in a masculine world. You still see Mulan as a woman who just wants to protect her father's life and not be forced into marriage because it's what is expected of her. Another element I really enjoyed from the new version of the movie was the addition of a younger sister character and the female villain. These characters added an extra element of female empowerment to the story and the overall character of Mulan benefitted from them. This movie was never about simply falling in love and getting the traditional "happily ever after" ending. Mulan cares about being a good big sister and shows another strong independent woman she can be herself and be accepted by her community.

Another big difference between the new Mulan and the animated version is the separation of her love interest and her commanding officer. Instead of falling for her supervisor, Mulan develops feelings for a fellow soldier of the same rank. I liked the way that the film approached this difference, showing that a man wasn't intimated by a woman who is more powerful than him. Instead, he finds himself standing up for her and defending her to their commanding officers and fellow soldiers. Rather than running to her rescue, Mulan's love interest helps her so she can achieve her goal.

As you can tell by my detailed breakdown, I had pretty high expectations for this movie and was worried the remake wouldn't live up to my hopes and dreams. Thankfully, Disney exceeded my expectations with their live-action "Mulan." The acting was great, the fight sequences were artfully executed, and the costumes and set designs were bold and beautiful. Every detail was well thought out in the film. I highly recommend splurging and purchasing this movie before it's released in December.

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