Disney’s live-action Mulan hit Disney+ Premier Access this weekend. The film proved to be only loosely related to the 1998 animated feature, dropping the music and humor to prove itself a more serious action flick.

But did you catch the major cameo near the end of the film?

(Minor spoilers ahead!)

Ming-Na Wen in Mulan
Jasin Boland/© 2020 Disney

When Mulan is presented to the Emperor after saving his life, she’s led into the throne room by an “esteemed guest.”

That guest? None other than Ming-Na Wen, the voice of Mulan in the original film!

“I like being esteemed,” Wen joked to Entertainment Weekly. (“Esteemed Guest” is how Wen appears listed in the film’s credits.)

Wen said director Niki Caro and producer Jason Reed came up with the idea to include her in the film.

“[They] came up with this brilliant idea of this cameo where the animated Mulan is passing the torch to the new Mulan.  I thought it was the exact special Easter egg for all our fans,” said Wen.

Even though Wen knew she wanted to cameo in the new Mulan, it almost didn’t happen. She had difficulty sorting out the filming schedule for Mulan – shooting in New Zealand – while her series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D filmed in Los Angeles. Luckily, Wen managed to get the time to make her Mulan cameo.

“It was incredibly surreal and so much fun to see this animation that I’ve been a part of for over two decades come to life,” Wen said. “With the throne room and all the characters, it was really magical.”

Wen Wasn’t Sure About The Live-Action Adaptation At First

Mulan 1998

While Wen loves how her cameo turned out, she admits to not being sold on the concept of the live-action film when it was announced.

“When they first told me that there wasn’t going to be Mushu, there wasn’t going to be any music and singing, I was just like, ‘What? That’s a huge part, what are they doing?,'” she said. “But then when I found out that it was because they wanted to really take the true folklore and transform it into something that has greater gravitas, [I loved it]. I love the passing of the torch.”

Wen stands by both films, saying they appeal to audiences for different reasons.

“People who want to hear the music can go back to the animated film. People who want this more mature interpretation, this epic film is the experience for them. They both have their own identity,” Wen said.

Wen’s Disney Legacy

Ming-Na Wen in The Mandalorian
Ming-Na Wen in The Mandalorian

Since 1998, Wen has remained deeply involved in Disney productions. After voicing Mulan, she went on to do voice work for the TV series Phineas and Ferb. She also appeared in seven seasons of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

And of course, she recently jumped into the Star Wars fandom. Wen played a bounty hunter in a single episode of The Mandalorian. Ming-Na Wen reportedly is making a comeback in the second season of the Star Wars show.

Mulan is available now on Disney+ for Premier Access members. The film releases to general subscribers in December. So, what do you think of Mulan?

Source: Entertainment Weekly