• The Outside Story

Why You Should (and Should Not) Watch Mulan for $29.99

Written by Jonathan | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

With the recent news that Mulan is going to be available on demand, I've heard a lot of people say that the price tag of $30 is ridiculous and that they would never pay this much for a movie. This is probably you. If not, then you might be debating if you should do it. But if you're like me, you agree that although this is a hefty price, you would pay $30 for this movie. Let's talk about it.

A shot from the live action Mulan (played by Liu Yifei).

There are a plethora of reasons as to why you shouldn't pay this much. Here are some of the ones I can think of: (1) Disney is a really rich company that already has billions of dollars, they could give Mulan to us for free if they wanted to, they just don't want to; (2) Disney is trying to rip us off by making us subscribe to Disney+ AND pay a premium; (3) other film companies also did video on demand for brand new movies and they were not as much as this; and (4) movie tickets aren't even this much, why would they make us pay $30 to watch it on the small screen.

Instead of going through each of the above reasons and "debunking" them, I want to talk about why I am going to buy Mulan for $30 on top of my Disney+ subscription and maybe that will convince you to do it too (or not). If you wanna fight about the reasons listed above, here are a couple of resources that you should check out:

Understanding how Disney makes money

Disney's Q3 FY20 Report

Before we dive into my reasons, let's get some of the details out of the way. Mulan will be available for purchase on September 4th, 2020. If you're not already, you need to be a subscriber on Disney+ which comes at a cost of $6.99/month or you can save a bit of money and go for the $69.99/year plan. When the date comes, you will be able to unlock Mulan for the price of $29.99. Unlocking Mulan will give you access to watch it whenever and however many times you want, as long as you are a subscriber to Disney+. Basically, you get it earlier on the platform, before it becomes a part of your subscription.

Now that that's out of the way, why in the world would I pay $30 for early access to Mulan?

A single of grain of rice can tip the scale, one (wo)man may be the difference between victory and defeat.

Mulan is iconic for me. If you think animated films featuring people of color are few and far between, imagine what it was like in 1998 when Mulan first released. As an Asian American kid growing up in the United States, Mulan was one of those films that felt like home. Quick caveat - I'm not Chinese and I'm not claiming to be. But when I watched Mulan, some of the things I saw were just so familiar to me: seeing Mulan eat rice on the screen, the scene with the ancestors talking to each other, martial arts, etc. It was these subtle things that added to that sense of home.

Raya and the Last Dragon, one of Disney's new stories featuring a Southeast Asian lead.

I want Disney to continue making films that feature Asian and Asian American stories. Mulan is only one of the many stories that Asian folks have to tell. Whether we like it or not, the success of Mulan determines the future of storytelling at Disney and at other filmmaking studios. If Mulan tanks, it could very much send the message that people are not interested in Asian or Asian American stories, which is not at all true.

For some of us, Disney is a lifestyle. What I mean is that some folks grew up on Disney and Disney is much more than just a brand or a company. Disney tells amazing stories and Mulan is one of those stories. I watched Disney Channel Original Movies as a high schooler and loved the sentimental, cheesy, plots because they made me feel good about myself. On days where I felt like the world was telling me I was nothing special, Disney stories told me otherwise and made me believe that I could do something and be someone.

I also absolutely love Disneyland and if it weren't for the expensive ticket in, I'd be there more often. When I lived in California as a young adult, I made a trip there every couple of years and if I lived in the Los Angeles area, you had best believe that I'd own an annual pass.

I also plan on watching and sharing the Mulan experience with friends. I have two roommates who I'd love to watch this movie with, a group of friends in the Midwest who I took a trip to Disneyland with last November, and a bunch of Seattle friends who I know would love to see it. There are so many ways to stream your screen and have a watch party nowadays, your options are endless! But in case you need a couple of ideas, Kosmi and Discord are two of the best options, in my opinion.

For these reasons, my friends, I think $30 is nothing. If you're still not convinced then you can wait and eventually, it'll be available on Disney+ for the subscription price. But whatever you do, PLEASE for the love of God, DO NOT bootleg this film. The only reason you should pirate a film is if you absolutely can not get it anywhere. Other than that, you SHOULD ALWAYS support films because hundreds and hundreds of people put their lives and hard work into a film - NOT JUST the people you see on the screen. *rant over* *oh yeah, blog over too*