Mulan: Disney aims to win over China with second take on the legend
This week Disney released a teaser trailer for the live-action remake of its 1998 classic, a story based on a legendary female warrior who disguises herself as a man to fight in place of her ailing father in China's imperial army.To get more chinese news site, you can visit shine news official website.
It joins a string of Disney hits from the 90s being revived for the 21st Century, including Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin.
The animated Mulan flopped in its birthplace when it was released more than two decades ago, but this time Disney is pulling out all stops to win China over with its version of their heroine.
Let's get down to business
When the Disney original first aired, China was not a major market for Disney. Twenty years on, China is the second-biggest movie market in the world.
Around 70% of Hollywood studios' revenue are now generated overseas, compared with around 30% two decades ago. And Chinese audiences today are able to add millions to box office takings.
"Chinese takings can make or break a movie," said writer and cultural analyst Xueting Christine Ni.And Disney knows this - which is why its spending $300m (£240m) on the film, according to one of its stars, Gong Li.
"Disney is aggressively targeting China," Stanley Rosen, a professor in political science from the University of Southern California, told the BBC.
Recent Disney offerings, like Toy Story 4, failed to see Chinese box office success. In contrast, Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios, which split from Disney in 2016, had a huge hit among Chinese audiences with its Kung Fu Panda instalment.
For that film, says Prof Rosen, "they spent a lot of time in China, investing efforts in researching pandas and talking to experts".
"Chinese audiences are clearly more sophisticated now so if Disney wants to win them back, they have to nail the cultural aspects of Mulan.""[The Disney original] was trying so hard to be Chinese, but in a stereotypical way - there's lanterns, fireworks.. they even stuck a panda in there. The humour, the pacing the relationships, are either wholly American, or what America imagines China would be like," Ms Ni told the BBC.
In one scene for example, the emperor is seen bowing to Mulan. It would be unthinkable for the emperor, who was seen as a god-like figure in China at the time, to bow to anyone.Disney banished early fears of "whitewashing" - there were wholly unfounded rumours she was to be played by Jennifer Lawrence - by casting Chinese American actress Liu Yifei in the lead role.
It then upped the show's star power by featuring martial arts legend Jet Li as the Chinese emperor and A-list superstar Gong Li as a villainous sorceress - huge names in China who have also made it big in Western cinema.