One crucial oversight and a single social media post may have changed everything for Disney’s upcoming Mulan — a live-action remake of their 1998 animation — set to hit screens in spring 2020.
As mainland Chinese are showing off their wealth more than ever — enjoying extravagant holidays, buying up international real estate, and sending their children abroad to flood top universities — the upcoming movie promised to be a good investment for Disney. The timing was perfect… but then there was Hong Kong.
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“I support the Hong Kong police. You can all beat me now. What a shame for Hong Kong,” mainland Chinese actress Liu Yifei (Crystal Liu), who plays the lead character Mulan in the new movie, said on China’s highly censored social media platform, Weibo.
Hong Kong’s police — who the Chinese Communist Party have secretly bolstered with over 2,000 of their own officers, according to Professor J. P. Cabestan — have faced heavy criticism for their inhumane violence against the protesters.
Despite enjoying the liberties and freedom of the U.S. as a naturalized citizen, Yifei shockingly pledges her loyalty toward the communist dictatorship and their atheist ideologies of struggle. She is a far cry from the historic Mulan — the legendary heroine that is beloved by people of all ages. Yifei’s open comment reveals an actress who is uprooted from the very traditions and morals that she is supposedly about to present to the world.
The real story of Mulan has been passed down generation after generation, making a long-lasting impression on people’s hearts. Her spirit of sacrifice especially resonates with Hongkongers. Criticism of Yufei that was initially sparked in Hong Kong has now exploded across social media under #boycottmulan.
The sad truth is that the current generation of mainland Chinese is living in a cultural vacuum — most of them have no idea about their own history, traditions, or real culture; nor are they clear about the basic human values upheld in democratic countries. The mainland’s education contains not an iota of China’s magnificent 5,000-year-old semi-divine culture, as Communist Party propaganda has disgracefully distorted history. Children who are brainwashed with atheist revolutionary ideas from a young age are reared into extremists who are led by money and insatiable desires. And unlike those hard-working students of the 80s, most of today’s Chinese youth are aiming for comfortable foreign citizenship at all costs.
Perhaps Disney can’t be blamed for naively picking an actress from mainland China to star in their traditional action movie, but it does make you question whether they’ve really put their hearts into bringing Mulan to life, or whether it’s predominantly about money.
Disney has taken a battering over the years for distorting historical figures beyond recognition. The real Mulan was a gentle and respectful daughter; a very feminine figure who was grateful for her parents’ love — who, on the flip side, became a loyal warrior and noble general; full of strength and determination. Disguised as a man, she courageously went to war in place of her elderly father. After 12 years in battle and gaining high merit, she declined any reward and retired to her hometown.
Picking an actress who actively represents the opposite of dignity and righteousness could turn out to be one of Disney’s biggest mistakes.
The Ballad of Mulan
Sigh after sigh,
Mulan is weaving in front of her door.
One cannot hear the sound of the loom,
But only the poor girl’s sighs.
Ask her who is in her heart,
Or who is on her mind.
No one is in her heart,
And no one is on her mind.
She saw the military drafts last night,
Khan is conscripting many soldiers.
A dozen draft lists,
Every one with her father’s name.
Father has no grown son,
Mulan has no elder brother.
She decided to acquire a horse and saddle,
And enlist in father’s place.
In the east market she bought a horse,
In the west market a saddle.
In the north market she bought a bridle,
And in the south market a long whip.
At dawn she bid farewell to her father and mother,
At dusk camped by the Yellow River’s bank.
She could not hear her parents calling for their daughter,
Only the waters of the river flowing.
At dawn she left the Yellow River,
At dusk she arrived at the Black Mountain.
She could not hear her parents calling for their daughter,
Only the wild horses of Mount Yan neighing.
Traveling ten thousand miles to meet the battle,
Passing mountains and ranges as though flying.
Bitter winds carry the sounds of the watchman’s bell,
Pallid light shine on their iron armor.
Generals died in a hundred battles,
The strongest soldiers returned after ten years.
They returned to meet the emperor,
The Son of Heaven sitting in the imperial palace.
He recorded their merits on twelve scrolls,
And bestowed hundreds of thousands of rewards.
The Khan asks Mulan what she desired,
Mulan had no use for a grand minister’s title.
She asked for a swift steed to take her a thousand miles,
And bring the daughter back to her home.
When Father and Mother heard of her arrival,
They supported each other to the city gates.
When Elder Sister heard of her arrival,
She adorned herself and waited by the door.
When Younger Brother heard of her arrival,
He whetted his knife to prepare the swine and sheep.
“Open my east chamber door, I sit on my west chamber couch.
I remove my wartime uniform, and dress in my old-time robes.”
Facing the window she fixed her cloud-soft hair,
In the mirror she put on yellow flowers.
At the gate she met her comrades,
They were all surprised.
Fighting together for twelve years,
They never knew Mulan was a girl.
Male hares like to kick and stomp,
Female hares have eyes misty and glazed.
But if the hares are running side-by-side,
Who can tell which is he or she?