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Mulan brings the serious sword skills in Disney’s final Super Bowl trailer

By Benjamin Bullard

Of all the live-action remakes we've gotten from its library of animated classics, Disney’s Mulan looks to be taking the most marked departure yet from its upbeat musical roots. During Super Bowl LIV, Disney dropped the final trailer for its upcoming epic, and the movie appears to be swapping slapstick comic relief for a serious dose of magic, mysticism, and drama.

As with the previous trailer shown back in December, we’re still without Mushu the dragon (voiced by Eddie Murphy in the original) and grandmother's lucky cricket. But there’s no shortage of thrills and that sense of sweeping grandeur that Disney does so well. 

Take a peek below:

That magical phoenix has more than just one trick up its sleeve, as you can tell. There’s more than a hint of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and other combat-focused epics set in ancient China, with heart-pulsing rooftop chases, dizzying battle sequences, and — as with the original — that overall sense that Mulan’s individual story is meant to swell into something far bigger.

So far, the trailers aren’t teasing the kind of break-out-in-song musical numbers for Mulan that Disney’s string of remakes has kept intact, so we’ll have to wait and see how the full movie approaches some of the original’s iconic set pieces, like composer Matthew Wilder and lyricist David Zippel’s “Honor to Us All.”

Directed by Niki Caro and starring Yifei Liu as Mulan; Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Tzi Ma as Zhou; Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan; Yoson An as Honghui; Ron Yuan as Sergeant Qiang; Gong Li as Xianniang; and Jet Li as the Emperor, Mulan sweeps into theaters for real on March 27.

For our guide to this year's geekiest Super Bowl ads, click here.