Mulan producer explains why characters won’t be breaking into song
The recent string of live-action Disney remakes have incorporated just about every element of their animated counterparts, including having the characters break into the familiar tunes we have come to love. In the case of the upcoming live-action take on MULAN, it was decided to not go down this route and now producer Jason Reed is elaborating on why that decision was made.
Speaking with “Collider”, Reed said the choice was made to keep the story of MULAN more grounded:
“It will not be traditional ‘break into musical’ [songs]. They’re not going to stop their workouts to do a big musical number to camera. However, there are a number of songs that are iconic for the movie and tell a great version of the story and they are very helpful to us in how we’re putting the movie together. It gets a little easier in animation to keep the tension and the reality in place and still have people break into song and sing to camera. We made the decision that we wanted to keep the world—even though it’s a fantasy—more grounded, more realistic so those emotions really played and the threat is very real. So we are using music in a slightly different way.”
While “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” is hands down one of my favorite Disney songs, I can understand why this choice was made. ALADDIN or BEAUTY AND THE BEAST are a bit more whimsical so burtsting into a random tune doens’t seem as jarring. The story of MULAN is grounded in a bit more reality and while the live-action film does have a fantasy component, it seems to exist in a world that begs for it to be taken a bit more seriously. The songs work better for some of these films in the animated realm. I didn’t dislike the live-action adaptation of THE LION KING but it was a little strange to watch “photo realistic” animals breaking into song.
The spirit of the songs still appear to be an important part of MULAN. In one of the trailers, they incorporated the instrumental version of “Reflection” so I can see them incorporating other familiar musical stingers within the score. Christina Aguilera, who performed “Reflection” for the original animated film’s soundtrack, also confirmed she recorded new material for the live-action film.
Do YOU think it was wise to omit the songs or would YOU want to hear some of your favorites? MULAN hits screens on March 27, 2020.