Disney's live-action remakes have been incredibly successful for the studio and after some early missteps, one of Disney's most popular Princesses, Mulan, is now getting her turn to shine. While there's a lot that we don't know about how the new film will follow in the footsteps or diverge from the original, it seems that one, somewhat unlikely character, will return, as Mushu, Mulan's tiny dragon sidekick will reportedly be part of the new film.
In the original Disney animated movie, Mushu is a spirit guardian of Mulan's family who attempts to aid the young heroine as a way to get back in the good graces of his fellow spirits. Since Mushu is, in fact, a tiny dragon, there was some question about whether or not such a character would appear in the new Mulan. Some of Disney's previous remakes have attempted to be a bit more true-to-life and thus some of the animal sidekicks, like the mice in Cinderella, were just actual mice, rather than anthropomorphized characters. Of course, it's always possible that Mushu could just be an actual lizard, and not a talking dragon. While The DisInsider claims Mushu will appear, the report doesn't explain how, so it's possible the character could appear in a non-traditional way. He could be a character that accompanies Mulan through the entire story or just one who appears as a sort of easter egg reference to the original.
In addition to Mushu apparently appearing, it's also being reported that music from the original animated film will appear in the remake as well. It stops short of calling the new film a musical, in the vein of Beauty and the Beast, so the more likely scenario is that a couple of key songs might appear, similarly to what was done with the remake of The Jungle Book.
While Disney purists will probably be very happy with the news that Mushu will be part of the film, one wonders if the remake is planning to veer too close to the original movie. While Beauty and the Beast, the Disney remake that most closely resembled its predecessor, certainly made a ton of money at the box office, it suffered from a lack of creativity which some of the other remakes had. Mulan is a character rightly commended for being one of the Disney Princesses most in charge of her own destiny. The character can still be improved on, however, but only if the story of the movie lets her do so.
Mulan is filming now with an eye toward a release date in March of 2020. Before we get there, however, we'll see Disney remakes for Dumbo, Aladdin, and The Lion King. all scheduled for 2019.