Yep. Despite Eddie Murphy’s character in the 1998 original animation providing most of the film’s comic relief, the little red dragon won’t be making a comeback. There will be an alternative character, though — a phoenix.
“I think we can all appreciate that Mushu is irreplaceable,” Caro explained during a recent press conference. “You know, the animated classic stands on its own in that regard. In this movie, there is a creature representative – a spiritual representation of the ancestors, and most particularly of Mulan’s relationship with her father.”
She added, “But an update of Mushu? No.”
Instead, the phoenix will apparently serve as a metaphor for gender fluidity, rather than a comic sidekick. Referencing the trailer, Caro said, “So, on the left and right hand of the emperor is a dragon. The dragon is representative of the masculine, and the phoenix is representative of the feminine.”
Mulan is due to arrive in theatres on March 27.