Mulan appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a positive presentation.
Overall definition looked good. Virtually no softness materialized, so the film appeared accurate and concise.
I noticed no jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes stayed absent. No print flaws cropped up either.
Mulan offered a fair amount of amber and teal, though it included enough prominent other tones to break free from the trap implied by those dominant colors. The disc made the hues look solid.
Blacks were dark and deep, and low-light shots showed good clarity and smoothness. I felt pleased with this fine image.
Given its moderate action orientation, the film’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 opened up pretty well. Though the film didn’t include as many slam-bang set pieces as a typical action flick, it brought out some good sequences. When the track needed to expand during battle elements and the like, it used the full spectrum well.
Elements were properly placed and moved about the setting in a convincing way. The surrounds contributed a nice sense of space and involvement. Music depicted positive stereo imaging and the entire presentation offered a good feeling of environment.
Audio quality fared well. Speech was accurate and distinctive, without notable edginess or other issues. Music sounded full-blooded and rich, as the score was rendered nicely.
Effects showed good range and definition. They demonstrated solid low-end and were impressive across the board. Ultimately, this was an appealing track.
Five featurettes appear here, and Updating a Classic runs 15 minutes, 16 seconds. It brings comments from director Niki Caro, director of photography Mandy Walker, production designer Grant Major, producer Jason T. Reed, executive producers Barrie M. Osborne and Bill Kong, hair, makeup and prosthetics designer Demise Kum, costume designer Bina Daigeler, stunt coordinator Benjamin Cooke, 1st AD Liz Tan, and actors Yifei Liu, Gong Li, Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Tzi Ma, and Jason Scott Lee.
“Classic” discusses the adaptation of the source and a few production areas. Mostly it offers praise and lacks much substance.
Mulan By Another Name goes for seven minutes, 20 seconds and offers notes from Caro, Liu, Lee, Cooke, Reed, Kum, Daigeler, Osbrone, Jet Li, strength and conditioning coach Bojan Mladenovic and horse master Wayne McCormack.
“Name” looks at casting and bringing the title character to life. Despite a few good insights, happy talk remains the dominant factor here.
With Being Bad, we get a six-minute, 40-second reel that includes remarks from Caro, Lee, Reed, Gong Li, Mladenovic, Daigeler, Kum. We get a view of the movie’s villains in this erratic, largely puffy piece.
Reflections of Mulan fills three minutes, 40 seconds with info from Caro, Liu, and composer Harry Gregson-Williams. “Reflections” covers the movie’s music. It becomes another superficial reel.
For the final featurette, we find The Original Mulan, a two-minute, 24-second piece that involves Caro and actor Ming-Na Wen. Wen played Mulan in the animated film, and this clip looks at her cameo in the 2020 version. We learn little of purpose.
Six Deleted Scenes occupy a total of seven minutes, 15 seconds. These offer minor bits, without much that seems interesting. A sequence with Mulan and Xianniang becomes the only mildly compelling snippet.
We can view the deleted scenes with or without commentary from Caro. She tells us a little about the sequences but only occasionally reveals why she cut them.
A few Music Videos appear, and we find four versions of “Reflection”. As done by Christina Aguilera, we can view a “Concept Video” or a “Lyric Video”.
“Concept” mixes bland lip-synch footage of Aquilera with movie clips, while “Lyric” simply shows on shot from the film overlaid with the words. Aguilera oversings the bombastic production and the videos bore.
Yifei Liu also does her take on “Reflection”, and we can hear her sing it in Mandarin or English. Both videos are identical in visual terms, as the mix recording studio footage with film clips. They’re dull videos, but at least Liu offers a much more understated version of the song compared to the big!!! Aguilera take.
Aguilera appears again to do “Loyal Brave True”. This song also gets the “Concept Video” and “Lyric Video” treatment, and each of those two can be viewed with English or Spanish vocals.
As with Liu’s videos, both the English and Spanish versions of these clops remain identical except for the language in use. Unsurprisingly, Aguilera oversings again, though not to the extreme of “Reflection”.
The “Concept Videos” just plop a lip-synching Aguilera in front of stylized visuals from the movie. “Lyric” simply plops the words on top of a repeating publicity clip of Mulan and her sword. Yawn.
22 years after the animated film found a decent audience, Disney remakes Mulan as a live-action affair. Unfortunately, the new edition lacks any of the spark or fun that turned the original into an enjoyable adventure. The Blu-ray boasts top-notch visuals as well as very good audio and a fluffy compilation of bonus materials. If Mulan took itself less seriously, it might work.