By Abi Brown & Claire Crittendon – Arts Editor & Co-Editor-in-Chief
Disney’s 2020 live-action version of Mulan features Mulan’s harrowing journey of hiding her identity to fight in the war, rather than having the army draft her sick father. In this new version, Disney swapped the fun songs and Mushu the dragon from the 1998 original for a more dramatic and life-like movie. They used an all Asian cast, with more accurate cultural context.
While these changes seem enticing, they come at too steep a price. The live action version of Mulan is currently only streaming as an add-on premier access for Disney+. One must pay for a Disney+ membership, and
then spend even more for premier access.
Hiding the film behind multiple pay walls is stifling what had the potential to be a wonder bout of nostalgia and family-friendly fun.
There was a bit of a buzz around this decision to only share the film on Disney+ versus releasing it in theatres. From Disney’s standpoint, this is a smart marketing tactic. Mulan has engaged audiences young and old for over 20 years now. Disney+ launched in November 2019, and by the end of December 2019, had about 26.5 million paying subscribers according to Gamespot.com. Given the immediate success of Disney+, it makes sense to keep it an incentive for Disney+ members.
Releasing a live-action movie such as Mulan potentially brings new customers to the Disney franchise. By giving access to Disney movies only on Disney+, fans all over the globe are willing to sign up for accounts and premier access.
On the other hand, you have people like me who love Disney, but aren’t willing to pay the subscription fee every month, and the additional cost for premier access. Because of this, not as many people are going to be able to view the movie. I am fortunate enough to have my roommate’s account to stream Disney+ movies, but not everyone will be.