Disney's 'Mulan' star Tzi Ma says fans will love his onscreen daughter YiFei's portrayal of the warrior princess
Tzi Ma, who plays Mulan's father and war veteran Hua Zhou, tells MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) that 'Mulan' is not "trying to copy an animated feature into a live-action feature" which he finds courageous
"I will bring honor to us all". 'Mulan' has always been about this very sentiment. She wants to protect her family — be it with obedience or through insubordination. When we hear the live-action Mulan say it in the trailer for the 2020 films, we know that the spirit of Disney's original animation will be protected by director Niki Caro.
However, if you are looking for a play by play retelling of the animated feature in the upcoming Disney film, you will be sadly mistaken. As Tzi Ma, who plays Mulan's father and war veteran Hua Zhou, tells MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), 'Mulan' is not "trying to copy an animated feature into a live-action feature" which he finds courageous.
"Disney has certainly done that with other films and had a lot of success. For Disney to resist conventional wisdom and follow more in the veins of 'The Legend of Mulan' will truly transform this film. I believe choosing Niki Caro as the director was wise and right on Disney part," he says.
Ma believes that while some fans will cheer for the changes, there may still be a few who will not understand them. "The animation was so successful and has a legion of fans. I just hope they will at least give it a chance," he reveals.
He adds how, if nothing else, OG fans will definitely fall in love with his on-screen daughter Liu YiFei's portrayal of Mulan. "I am most certain of [this]," he shares.
Much like Disney, he too feels a responsibility when it comes to the iconic movie and character. "He's the trigger that Mulan rises to such prominence in Chinese folklore, to take her father's place in battle. It encompasses so many virtues ingrained in us and for us to live up to, Ma says.
"More importantly, this legend empowers every little girl to have the chance to become that woman warrior in themselves if they so choose. That is a powerful message," he says adding, "That is the stuff dreams are made of. I feel like the chosen one and am grateful for this opportunity."
Disney's 'Mulan' also stars Donnie Yen as Commander Tung, Jason Scott Lee as Bori Khan, Yoson An as Chen Honghui, Gong Li as Xian Lang, and Jet Li as the wise, benevolent Emperor of China. The movie is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on March 27, 2020.