The live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1998 animated film “Mulan” is premiering later this month. While interested fans are excited to see the new elements to this remake, particularly the more legend-accurate plot and the wirework Wuxia fight choreography, they are somewhat disappointed at the lack of musical numbers, with the familiar 1998 songs being converted into orchestrated background scoring. But the new “Mulan” does still have vocalized songs in its soundtrack. That includes the famous number “Reflection,” originally sung by the title character with voice provided by Lea Salonga. Apparently two vocal versions of “Reflection” are in the film, one sung by the lead herself.
USA Today reports that it looks like “Reflection” will retain its powerful lyrics when it comes to the live-action remake of Disney’s “Mulan” which comes to cinemas in North America on March 27. While the hit song from the 1998 animated original will not be performed in a musical number during the film proper, it will be heard thanks to a new recording by singer Christina Aguilera, who sang the pop version of “Reflection” (whereas Lea Salonga provided Mulan’s singing voice for the cinematic version). But Aguilera’s new version will also be accompanied in the soundtrack by a version from Mulan actress Liu Yifei herself.
Apparently, Yifei recorded “Reflection” in Mandarin accompanied by an orchestra, and her performance will be heard during the end credits of the film, actually following on Christina’s re-recorded version. The 32-year-old Chinese-American movie star was actually surprised at the soundtrack inclusion of her rendition, though director Nicki Caro commented that Liu sang beautifully and it was important for the production. It is ironic considering that Aguilera’s pop version of “Reflection” was a separate single from the film soundtrack, but was later included on home media versions of the “Mulan” movie.
In addition to giving her old song a new spin, Christina Aguilera did also record new material for the “Mulan” remake, namely the song “Loyal, Brave, True” which recalls the Chinese word-ideographs edged on the blade of Mulan’s (Liu Yifei) father’s (Tzi Ma) sword. She takes the sword during the film in order to take her aging father’s place in the Emperor’s (Jet Li) Army, which is mobilizing against barbarian invaders led by Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee) and his witch ally Xian Lang (Gong Li). While the NA premiere of March 27 holds, its release in China, where the original “Mulan” legend originates, was postponed on account of COVID-19.
Image from China Daily