10 Movie Remakes That Ditch Classic Elements

Brave? Or Just asking for trouble?

Mulan Mushu

Film remakes are a tricky thing to handle. Switch things up from the original, and folks complain it’s lost its charm. Make them too similar, and the audience will be wondering what the point of doing the same thing twice is. The past few years especially have seen an influx of franchise reboots and second chances for a whole host of film types.

Anything from cinema’s most iconic movies, to some more questionable films from days gone by are all options for a return to the silver screen. There’s the potential for updated visual effects, recasts and cameos, and inevitable twists on stories we already know (and maybe love) but there’s also the fear that something is going to go terribly wrong.

It’s about time we took a deep dive into some those times we saw old favourites shaken up for a new audience – for better or for worse.

10. There's No Mushu - Mulan (2020)

Mulan Mushu

Disney are all over the cash cow of live action remakes of their old animated classics. The latest in this long line will soon be Niki Caro’s rendition of Mulan. The 1998 animated film is surely one of Disney’s best: a gender-role smashing plot, the vocal talents of Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, and BD Wong, and of course a musical soundtrack that has appeared on many a motivational Spotify playlist.

So it seems there’s been a bit of an uproar about the new Mulan missing out the titular character’s guardian spirit, Mushu. The pocket-sized dragon, voiced by Murphy, provided much of the original’s comic relief, and he remains a staple of Disney merchandise.

To leave him out speaks volumes about the upcoming movie’s tone, then, because there’s no way they would omit him without very good reason. If we look at the bigger picture, we’d also notice that they’re doing away with the animation’s classic numbers, too. No Mushu? No getting down to business to defeat the Hun? It looks like we’ll be getting a decidedly more sombre experience with this live action version.

But, for anyone worried that Disney have neglected Mulan’s more spiritual tones, never fear – she’s still very much in touch with her ancestral guides. It’ll just be via a majestic phoenix rather than a smart-talking lizard thing.

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Doing my best until I reach Miranda Priestly levels of journalistic success.