After many postponements of its theater premiere due to the coronavirus pandemic, Disney's highly anticipated Mulan, a live action update of the media giant's 1998 animated classic, hit Disney's streaming platform over the weekend.
The film is based on the Chinese Ballad of Mulan. Set during the Northern Wei Dynasty, it tells of a young woman who disguised herself as a man to take her aging father's position in the army.
The film promises to be a more realistic interpretation of Chinese history and culture than its animated predecessor, which took the form of musical comedy and included comic relief elements such as a speaking dragon representative of the family ancestors.
Rebecca Fannin, founder of Silicon Dragon Ventures, said the movie appeared to be tailor-made for Chinese audiences, with "a Chinese heroine fighting for her country".
"There have been some issues over Hollywood studios shaping content too much to appeal to China, in fact," she said.
Despite its critical acclaim, the original Disney animated movie, which drew $304 million worldwide at the box office, did not resonate well with Chinese audiences, many of whom dismissed it as too westernized.
However, the most recent rendition, was crafted targeting the Chinese market, which has evolved to become the world's second-biggest movie market in recent years. The film places much greater emphasis on traditional Chinese values, such as duty to family.