Mulan director Niki Caro has broken my heart. Don’t get me wrong, she’s an amazing director, and I’m thrilled Disney is hiring more women like her to head their films. But she’s now saying the live-action Mulan most likely won’t have singing, which means no “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.” No, Mulan, NO.
In an interview with Moviefone, Caro confirmed that, as of now, there won’t be any songs in the upcoming remake. This matches what Disney did with 2015's Cinderella, since that barely had any singing, but it breaks “tradition” with the live-action Beauty and the Beast, which is a full-scale musical. Sources told Vulture that things could change in the future, but most signs point to little-to-no songs in the movie.
“Yes, from what I understand, no songs right now, much to the horror of my children,” Caro said.
Let me just say, as a rational adult, I completely understand why Disney wouldn’t want songs in the Mulan remake, and as a whole I think it’s a smart idea. They don’t want Mulan to be like Beauty and the Beast, a silly musical romp with magical clocks swinging on chandeliers. Caro wants “a big, girly martial arts epic,” with Sean Bailey (president of Motion Picture Production at Walt Disney Studios) wanting to add a touch of Ridley Scott-style production. Singing would take away from that.
None of that applies to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”
“I’ll Make a Man Out of You” is the most kick-ass song Disney ever produced in one of its musicals. Seriously, have you heard anything more perfect? I’m sure you’ll say you have, and you’ll let me know exactly what those preferred songs are, but I don’t care. “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” is pure action-adventure poetry. It’s Rocky and Enter the Dragon and Gymkata all rolled up in a yoga mat, making you feel like you’re working out even when you’re not. Plus, IT’S DONNY FUCKING OSMOND!
“Lets get down to business...”
I’m sure Mulan would be better off for not having musical numbers— hell, I’m of the mind that they should get rid of Mushu entirely and replace him with that chicken-chasing dog. But “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” transcends time and space. It’s the song to end all songs, the montage to end all montages, and the baddest mother-fucking Disney number on the planet.
“...make a man...”
“...out of YOUUUUUUUUUUU!” (and look he totally did!)