Even though Mulan will receive an unprecedented premium VOD release on Disney+ in many parts of the world on September 4, Disney will be sending the movie to theaters in some international territories. In fact, Mulan has been officially approved for theatrical release in one of the biggest international markets in the world: China. Disney officially announced that Mulan will arrive in Chinese theaters sometime soon. But are audiences there excited about another American adaptation of this historical tale?
Disney announced the forthcoming Mulan theatrical release in China on the country’s popular social media site Weibo, which is essentially their version of Twitter. In a post on the site, they announced the movie’s imminent theatrical release in the style of the original ballad where Mulan’s story comes from. Variety has the translation:
“When the magnolia blossom opens, it lives up to its reputation and arrives as promised. [‘Mulan’’s] import is confirmed and it will soon burst into bloom in theaters; looking forward to meeting you!”
Clearly the language doesn’t translate perfectly to English, but the sentiment is there. It’s a flowery, cute way to announce Mulan getting released in Chinese theaters, but apparently not everyone is thrilled with the movie’s marketing so far. The poster below accompanied the announcement of Mulan‘s theatrical release, and it got lambasted by many moviegoers.
One disappointed fan wrote, “It looks like you messed up your Photoshop.” Another criticized it by saying, “At first I thought this was a poster put out by some cinema itself; only after searching did I figure out that this was actually issued by Disney itself.” Another added, “Unbelievable that in this day and age you could still see such an outdated font design coming from Disney.” The poster doesn’t look any worse than the usual glossy blockbuster marketing. So what’s the problem?
Apparently the biggest problem with this poster is the font choice for the Chinese text on the poster. It’s an older font that Chinese people commonly associate with “early 2000s communal notices put up in residential compounds to remind people to take out their trash.” So you can understand why audiences think it doesn’t look worthy of the story of Mulan. It’d be the equivalent of having a Star Wars poster use the Comic Sans font.
Even so, the anticipation is still high for Mulan, especially since many Chinese theaters are open and any new movies are being welcomed open arms. It’s just a shame that the United States can’t get their shit together so we can also get some new movies in theaters sooner than later. Theaters are slated to start reopening in the U.S. later this month, but we’ll see how that goes.
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