Disney World fan pleads for park to change Mulan's appearance in six-page open letter
A fan has pleaded with Disney in a six-page letter to revise Mulan’s costume design after seeing the Disney princess wearing an unrecognizable outfit at a Disney World park.
The letter, signed only by “A Disney Fan,” was shared on the subreddit r/WaltDisneyWorld by user u/tjkim9- last weekend.
In the letter, the fan, who identifies as an Asian American woman, expressed that Mulan's new costume design and looks “betray the character in many different aspects.”
“When I look at the new costume, if I were asked who this character was, I don’t know if I could immediately recognize her,” she wrote.
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Although the fan did not indicate which Disney park she was referring to, the pictures included in the letter — taken by Instagram user @seizingthemagic — show Mulan from the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
The fan then listed some of the discrepancies she noticed after comparing the park’s version of Mulan with the character from the 1998 animated film.
Although the actor’s makeup matches that of Mulan’s during her matchmaker visit in the movie, her hairstyle, which the fan described to be a tight updo with bangs, does not.
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The fan also focused on Mulan’s dress and noted that its color palette is not easily associated with the Disney character, unlike the other Disney princesses in the Walt Disney World parks, whose hairstyles and dresses remain true to the original designs.
The fan then explained that the color combination of Mulan’s matchmaker costume is inaccurate, pointing out that the dress from the movie is a darker shade of pink than the one used in the park costume.
“While the designers may have attempted to introduce a new dress for Mulan, it fails to easily identify her as the classic Mulan from the animated film,” the fan wrote.
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Upon further inspection, the fan noted that the Disney World Mulan costume is similar to that of the princess revamp in 2012, in which Mulan, along with other Disney princesses, underwent several design changes.
“But even this redesign of her outfit respects the original Mulan while embellishing her with a more glamorous look,” the fan wrote. “So the parks took part of that design but then lost the other aspects of it that make it Mulan.”
The final concern listed in the letter was the use of Mulan’s makeup from the matchmaking scene, which is symbolic of the character’s feelings of societal pressures.
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The fan noted that the scene in which Mulan wipes off her makeup while looking at her reflection is an iconic moment for the character, for she finally reveals “her true self.”
“To me, Mulan wearing the matchmaker makeup in the parks betrays the growth and development she goes through in the movie and diminishes her to only being a princess rather than the warrior she is as well," the fan declared.
At the end of her letter, the fan implored Disney to change Mulan’s costume in its parks, writing, “Have her looks reflect, respect, and honor who she was and who she continues to be. Please.”
Several comments under the Reddit post agreed with the Disney fan.
“I have to agree with you,” user u/Background_Set8321 commented. “The costume they have her in at the parks is the one she’s wearing when she meets with the matchmaker, something she hated and didn’t want to do really.”
“Okay, I fully admit that I opened this essay solely expecting to be entertained by a pedantic rant that would make me roll my eyes… But… I agree with this 100%,” user u/WoolaCalot wrote, explaining that Disney might have done a terrible job at “princessify-ing” Mulan.
“As someone who is only interested in a few of Disney films, I was excited to see Mulan in the parks, but I can totally see where you're coming from, I wouldn't have even noticed here [sic] in the current outfit,” user u/GauntletScars wrote.