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Everything you need to know about Disney’s ‘Mulan’ and how to watch it

Updated September 3, 2020 - 12:07 pm

Disney’s “Mulan” is finally here.

Originally set for a March 27 release, the movie bounced around the schedule this summer as the studio waited for theaters to reopen.

Seeing it, though, is no longer as simple as just buying a ticket when it debuts Friday, so here are answers to some of the many questions you probably have:

What’s this “Mulan” thing I keep hearing about?

It’s the story of a young woman who takes the place of her ailing father, joins the Imperial Army and masquerades as a man while becoming one of the greatest fighters in all of China.

This sounds familiar. Haven’t I seen that?

Quite possibly. It’s Disney’s live-action version of its 1998 animated tale, following in the tradition of its remake of “Aladdin.” And “The Lion King.” And “The Jungle Book.” Plus “Dumbo.” Also “Beauty and the Beast.” And “Cinderella.” Not to forget “Alice in Wonderland.” Or “101 Dalmatians.”

Why does Disney keep doing this?

Besides money? No idea.

So how is this “Mulan” different from the first one?

Well, for starters, there’s no wisecracking dragon voiced by Eddie Murphy.

Anything else?

Mulan’s colleague Yao is played by actor Chen Tang. In the original, he was voiced by Harvey Fierstein.

Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein portrayed a Chinese soldier?

It was a different time.

So no other changes?

Another character who doesn’t return is fan favorite Li Shang, who was voiced by BD Wong. Donny Osmond provided his singing voice.

Donny …

It was a very different time.

Moving on. So now that many movie theaters have reopened, this is being released in cinemas, right?

Yes and no. Well, mostly no.

Uh-oh.

“Mulan” is only being released theatrically in countries that don’t have access to the Disney+ streaming service or aren’t scheduled to get it. According to IMDb.com, in order to see it in a theater, you’d have to go to Belgium, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Thailand, Turkey or Ukraine. You’d also probably need a foreign passport because, as of this writing, only Croatia and Ukraine are accepting American visitors without a 14-day quarantine — if at all.

So how do I see it then?

You’ll need a Disney+ subscription.

How much is that?

The streaming service costs $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year.

That’s not so bad.

There’s also an additional one-time fee of $29.99 for something called “Premier Access” that will let you watch “Mulan.”

Is that just a rental or do I own it after that?

Somewhere in between. Once you pay the $29.99, you’ll be able to watch “Mulan” as often as you like — as long as you keep subscribing to Disney+. When you leave the service, so does your digital copy.

Are there ways to get around that $29.99 fee?

Plenty.

I meant legal ways.

You could always just wait until Dec. 4 when it becomes available to every Disney+ subscriber with no additional charges. You seem very interested in a movie you only just learned existed.

Don’t you judge me!

Sorry.

That’s OK. But back to Harvey Fierstein and Donny Osmond.

Stop it.

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

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