Discrepancies between critical and audience scores on review aggregators is nothing new, especially in the case of more controversial titles like Netflix’s Cuties that finds itself being actively review bombed following widespread backlash, but for the most part, Disney’s live-action remakes have tended to generate the same kind of response from both sides of the divide.
The majority of these reinventions simply opt to tell the exact same story again using virtually the same plot, characters and musical numbers as their animated predecessors, and as a result, a lot of fans enjoy the new versions just as much because they pretty much deliver a carbon copy of a movie that they already love.
However, Niki Caro’s Mulan has taken huge liberties in order to differentiate itself from the 1998 original by removing any songs and getting rid of beloved fast-talking sidekick Mushu, and as such, some fans aren’t finding themselves quite as enamoured with the remake as anticipated. Instead, many have been left bitterly disappointed by the wholesale changes that saw the 2020 version turn out completely differently from what they were expecting going in.
In fact, Mulan is now the lowest-rated Disney live-action remake ever on IMDb, where it holds a weak 5.4 rating from over 37,000 votes. Rotten Tomatoes tells a similar story, where the $200 million epic’s 75% score from critics is much higher than the 51% that audiences gave it.
Of course, this might be down to the continued campaign to boycott the movie in the wake of ties to a region of China linked with human rights violations. After all, downvoting it on as many platforms as possible is one of the very few ways to affect the reputation of a blockbuster that’s already been released and looks set to rake in huge profits for the studio. But whatever the case may be, you can’t imagine Disney is too happy about it.