When Disney first announced the live-action Mulan, fans of the animated film had plenty of questions about what would carry over. Now that Mulan has arrived on Disney+, fans are finally getting to see the differences and the ways the live-action film honored its animated predecessor while also creating its own unique film. And while some elements understandably didn't go from animation to live-action -- namely Mushu the dragon -- there was one scene that many were surprised to not make the cut: the scene in which Mulan cuts off her hair. Now, the voice of the original Mulan Ming-Na Wen is weighing in on the exclusion of that scene.
In a recent interview with the New York Times (via The Hollywood Reporter), Wen praised Yifei Liu's Mulan in the film, but also noted that she hoped fans would still have a place for the animated one as well -- including that hair-cutting scene.
"I'm sure [Liu] Yifei is going to get incredible accolades as the live-action Mulan, but I hope everyone will still have a little place in their hearts for the animated Mulan," Wen said. "I mean, at least she cut her hair!"
The scene in the 1998 animated feature was a powerful one that remains a favorite among fans and sees Mulan cutting off her hair as part of her decision to pretend to be a man in order to take her father's place in the imperial army. For many, the scene reads as Mulan shedding her femininity and became a major moment for the LGBTQ+ community. It's that resonance that Wen said blew her away.
"I was blown away when these beautiful young women and boys from the LGBTQ community would come up to me crying because Mulan was a representation for them, and they latched on to the images of her transforming herself into a boy," Wen said. "There was so much about the film that was an extra plus like that."
Of course, even without the hair-cutting scene, the live-action film wasn't without nods to the animated Mulan, including a surprise (and moving) cameo from Wen herself. Near the end of the film, Wen appears to present Liu's Mulan to the Emperor, a moment that for Wen felt like passing the torch.0comments
"I thought that was very appropriate and just wonderful, a little Easter egg where I could pass the baton," Wen said.
Disney's Mulan is now available to stream on Disney+ through its Premium Access tier.