Differences in the Animated Mulan and the Live-Action Mulan



The new version of “Mulan” came out on Sept. 4, 2020.

Grace Freed, Columnist

The animated movie “Mulan” was released in 1998 with a four star rating. In 2020, Chris Bender introduced the live-action version of “Mulan,” which was also awarded a four star rating. Now, what truly separates these two versions of the same movie? Let’s dive in and take a look!


Unlike the animated Mulan, the live-action version had no songs at all. Disney shows and movies are usually well known for their music, especially in Disney princess movies. However, Bender did not see this as a necessity in his version. No “Reflection,” “I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” and no “A Girl Worth Fighting For.”


Another very important difference between these movies was that in the live-action movie, there was no Mushu. Mushu was Mulan’s bearded dragon that followed her wherever she went, including when Mulan went to the training. Instead of Mushu in the live-action movie, we have the unnamed Phoenix. This outstandingly gorgeous bird soared above the sky, and although the bird had no name, she clearly took the place of Mushu. With Mushu gone, there was no waking up the Fa family ancestors with his signature pot and pan.


Mulan did not cut her hair. In the animated movie, Mulan needed to become a man to take the place of her father. In the animated version, Mulan cut her hair and threw it in a man bun to hide her identity. In the live-action movie, however, Mulan did not cut her hair, but still remained unnamed for the sake of the production.


Lastly, Mulan had a sister. In the animated version of the movie, Mulan had a little brother in the beginning of the movie. This time, it was a sister. Her sister was very courageous and always knew what trouble Mulan would end up getting herself into, especially when she skidded off the roof in the beginning scene.

These “Mulan” movie differences are hidden in plain sight throughout the film. Both versions are jaw dropping, but which do you prefer?