Mulan: early reactions praise a "thrilling" Disney remake

Is Disney's live-action remake of Mulan about to bring honour to the studio? It would appear so, judging from the initial social media reactions that have emerged in the wake of the Los Angeles premiere.

Liu Yifei stars as the title character, a young woman who takes her father's place in the Chinese army to help battle evil witch Xian Lang (Gong Li) and her forces. The movie derives inspiration from both the 1998 Disney animated hit, and the folkloric 6th-century poem 'The Ballad of Mulan'. Although several aspects of the animated movie have been removed (notably, the songs, the character of Mushu and the character of Li Shang), the live-action film amps up the action sequences and fantastical aspects.

It's directed by Whale Rider filmmaker Niki Caro and co-stars a who's who of martial arts talent, including Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee and Jet Li. Original 'Reflection' singer Christina Aguilera has recorded a new version of the song, plus a brand new anthem called 'Loyal Brave True'. And early responses have praised the movie's scope (it's been shot on a huge budget of $230 million) and spirit.

Mashable's Angie J. Han lauds the movie as the best Disney reboot since 2015's Cinderella.

Film critic Michael Lee says the movie strikes an excellent balance between the old and the new.

Fandango editor Erik Davis compliments Caro for striking out in a more "mature" direction.

Fellow Mashable writer Alison Foreman says that despite the absence of Li Shang, there's plenty of romantic intrigue in the movie, not to mention enough nods to the original to keep nostalgics happy.

The Movie Couple's Wendy Lee Szany describes the movie as a beautiful-looking and engaging experience, while also pointing out the references to the 1998 movie.

And Insider journalist Kirsten Acuna says the new movie honours the musical heritage of the songs, originally written by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel.

Mulan is scheduled to open on the 24th of July. Tweet us @Cineworld if you'll be first in line to see it.