She’s as swift as the coursing river, with all the force (and violence) of a great typhoon. Disney’s Mulan has become the first live-action remake to receive a PG-13 rating, making it the latest film in Disney’s rarest collection.
The Hollywood Reporter says the Motion Picture Association of America has given Mulan a PG-13 rating for “sequences of violence,” making Disney’s sixteenth live-action remake the first one to secure the rating. Until now, it’s mostly been a PG game—with the exception of the two 101 Dalmations films starring Glenn Close which were rated G, all of the live-action remakes have been rated PG. Usually for action scenes or moments of fantasy violence.
But Mulan is a step apart from the previous live-action remakes. Unlike Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, which were pure musical remakes of their originals (in some cases, shot for shot), Mulan is being touted as a new interpretation of their animated tale and the Chinese legend it’s based on. It’s a fantasy war flick that doesn’t feature any musical numbers, and some characters like Mushu and Captain Li Shang have been removed (the latter of which I am still rioting over).
With this rating, Mulan joins a rare group of Walt Disney films that have received the PG-13 rating, which was introduced in 1984. Starting in 2003 with Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Disney’s only had 10 movies in its direct repertoire be rated higher than PG—half of then coming from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. And they’ve still never made a PG-13 animated film. These don’t include movies produced through Touchstone, 20th Century Studios, or any of the Marvel or Star Wars films.
It’s no surprise Disney’s avoided the “13” part of the ranking, as it can be a risky venture for the studio. Sure, the Pirates movies have been smash hits and Saving Mr. Banks was a success, but every other one of Disney’s journeys into PG-13 territory have been failures. These include The Lone Ranger, John Carter, and the ill-fated attempt to turn Prince of Persia into the next Pirates-esque franchise. Mulan will be a gamble, but perhaps one that’ll work in their favor.
Directed by Niki Caro, Mulan arrives in theaters on March 27.
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