Disney’s upcoming film Mulan creators recently decided to scrape the character of Mushu from its adaptation in order to curate a more “realistic” storyline.
Voiced by Eddie Murphy, the pint-sized dragon, many grew to love, will be erased from the film itself, as revealed by multiple sources also citing the reason behind the move.
Director Niki Caro spoke to Us Weekly about the change and admitted that Mushu was more of an inspirational character in the franchise and with the team wanting to depict a more realistic version of events, there did not seem any necessity to give him screen space.
The director began by saying, “We were very inspired by what Mushu brought to the animation. Which was the humor and the levity, and the challenge was to bring that to Mulan’s real relationships with her fellow soldiers.”
“Mushu, beloved as that character is in the animation, was Mulan’s confidante and part of bringing it into live action is to commit to the realism of her journey and she had to make those relationships with her fellow soldiers.” He did however add, “there was certainly a lot to work within that department.”
Scrapping Mushu is not exactly front-page news either, Caro himself had hinted at the decision back in January as he said, “I think we can all appreciate that Mushu is irreplaceable. You know, the animated classic stands on its own in that regard. In this movie, there is a creature representative—a spiritual representation of the ancestors, and most particularly of Mulan’s relationship with her father…But an update of Mushu? No.”
Another reason why this change took place is that everyone was not happy with the depiction of Mushu.
As professor named Stanley Rosen previously spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the impact of Mushu on the franchise. Reportedly while “Mushu was very popular in the U.S., but the Chinese hated it. This kind of miniature dragon trivialized their culture.”