#PopVultures Podcast: What's wrong with Mulan 2020?

The legend of Hua Mulan as portrayed by (from left) Disney's animated musical in 1998, Liu Yifei in the 2020 live-action remake and Vicki Zhao in the 2009 China film.
The legend of Hua Mulan as portrayed by (from left) Disney's animated musical in 1998, Liu Yifei in the 2020 live-action remake and Vicki Zhao in the 2009 China film.PHOTOS: WALT DISNEY PICTURES, STARLIGHT INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

#PopVultures Ep 33: What's wrong with Mulan 2020?

34:37 mins

Synopsis: The Straits Times examines the ins and outs of pop culture in the Asian entertainment and Hollywood industries.

This week the #PopVultures review Mulan, spoilers and all! Jan Lee and Sam Jo give their unfiltered thoughts on the recent Disney live-action adaptation of Mulan, focusing on what they liked and hated about the film.

Where is the music? What is 'qi'? Do the Chinese characters of Loyal, Brave and True look like a bad tattoo someone might get? What did Gong Li, Donnie Yen and Jet Li even do in this movie? What about the history of Mulan? What are the origins of this legendary Chinese warrior woman?

Then they dive deeper into the reasons behind Mulan's dismal showing at the Chinese box office and discuss why female lead's Liu Yifei's support for the Hong Kong police and the film's on-location shoots in Xinjiang led to a strong #BoycottMulan movement and why Hollywood's attempts at Asian representation have fallen short.

Finally, they end off with some recommendations for alternative Mulan content. Tune in to hear Jan (trash) talk Mulan and Sam Jo doing his best to channel Christina Aguilera/Lea Salonga through some singing.

Produced by: Jan Lee (janlee@sph.com.sg) & Yeo Sam Jo (yeosamjo@sph.com.sg)

Edited by: Muhammad Firmann

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