The coronavirus outbreak of 2020 has caused tons of changes in everyone’s lives. That definitely includes the movie industry. Film studios were forced to push back nearly all of their planned films starting in mid-March as theaters shut down worldwide. A few of those movies found their way to digital film stores and streaming services over the spring and summer. However, the vast majority are still heading to theaters eventually. Disney, though, is doing something slightly different. It is releasing one of its biggest movies, Mulan, on Disney Plus, but will still release it to movie theaters in certain countries.
What’s even more interesting is that, at least at first, subscribers for the streaming service will need to watch Mulan on Disney Plus for an additional fee. So what does this mean for those users? We break down what you need to know about watching Mulan on Disney Plus. You can sign up for the service now at the link below.
What is Mulan, anyway?
The 2020 version of Mulan is an adaptation of Disney’s 1998 animated film of the same name. Both movies are based on The Ballad of Mulan, from Chinese folklore. The 2020 version takes place in China nearly 2,000 years ago. The movie begins with the Emperor of China ordering that one male in a family must join the country’s army to fight off an enemy force. One family only has an old and frail patriarch, so his daughter, Hua Mulan, poses as a male and joins the Imperial Army to help fight off the invaders.
Liu Yifei plays the title role of Mulan, while well-known actors Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Jet Li, Gong Li, and others are in the film as well. Niki Caro directed the movie, which was shot in New Zealand and China with a reported budget of about $200 million. While the 1998 Mulan animated movie was also a musical, the 2020 version will be a traditional action-adventure movie. Instrumental versions of the original film’s songs will be in the remake. One of the songs, Reflection, will be in the movie’s end credits, as sung by Christina Aguilera.
The film was all set to be released to theaters on March 27, and it already had its world premiere event in China. However, the coronavirus outbreak caused movie theaters to shut down a couple of weeks before Mulan’s scheduled release. Disney rescheduled the film three times before finally settling on its Disney Plus release plans.
How will I sign up for Disney Plus Premier Access?
Subscribers to the service can sign up by accessing their account on the official Disney Plus website. In addition, it will be accessible via Apple’s platforms, including iOS and Apple TV. It will also be available via Google’s Android and Android TV platforms and Roku-based hardware devices.
Where will the movie be available on the service?
While Mulan will still be released in movie theaters in certain countries, particularly in China, it will be made available on Disney Plus for users in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and many western European countries.
How much will it cost to watch Mulan on Disney Plus?
If you haven’t already done so, you first need to sign up for Disney Plus, which costs $6.99-per-month, or $69.99-per-year. You can also get it bundled with ESPN Plus and Hulu for $12.99-per-month. While there are no more free trials for the service, there are still ways to get Disney Plus for free.
However, in order to watch Mulan, you will also need to sign up for what the service calls Premier Access. This will cost an additional $29.99 on top of your Disney Plus subscription. Once you pay for this one-time fee on or after September 4, you will be able to stream and watch the movie as many times as you want. It will be available as long as you have an active Disney Plus subscription. Think of it as paying for an express lane at the airport to avoid those long security lines.
In other countries, Mulan on Disney Plus will actually be a bit cheaper compared to the US price. Deadline reports that in Canada, Premier Access will cost $34.99 CAD or just over $29 US dollars. In the UK, it will be priced at £19.99, and again that’s about $26 US dollars. Disney Plus subscribers in European countries such as Spain, Austria, and Ireland will need to spend €21.99 to get Mulan. That’s also around $26 US dollars. Finally, Australian subscribers will need to spend $34.99 AUD to get Mulan on Disney Plus, and that’s about $25 US dollars.
Disney has announced that the movie will support UHD, HDR, and Dolby Audio when it released on the service.
When will the movie be free for Disney Plus subscribers?
Disney has confirmed that Mulan will be available for all Disney Plus subscribers for no additional cost starting December 4.
Is this the start of a trend that will see more major theatrical films appearing on Disney Plus?
Disney claims that this release of Mulan on Disney Plus is a “one-off” due to the current coronavirus situation. However, if this movie does end up making money with this method, it’s more than possible that Disney could release other big films from its upcoming theatrical schedule on the streaming service via a Premier Access business model.
Is it worth it to buy Mulan on Disney Plus at this price?
Ultimately, it’s up to the individual consumer to decide if paying $29.99 on top of the $6.99 subscription price is worth it for this movie. Keep in mind that price tag would likely pay for two tickets to an evening movie theater screening of the film in many parts of the US. Considering Disney Plus supports up to 10 different devices per account, and up to four concurrent streams, the Premier Access price would seem to be a bargain for a family of three or more. If it’s just one person who uses the account, it might be better for that person to wait until Mulan is available via the normal Disney Plus subscription.