When “Mulan” made its debut in 1998, the Disney film was praised for shattering traditional gender norms.
That's because Mulan was not a "typical" Disney princess: The strong-willed teen singlehandedly proved that girls are just strong as the boys when she took her ailing father's place in the Chinese military.
But nearly 20 years later, Disney is taking several steps backwards with its forthcoming live-action remake of "Mulan."
In a recent interview, the director of “Mulan” described the remake as a "girly martial arts extravaganza."
Director Niki Caro told Screen Crush that she couldn't give "any real detail" about the movie before they started filming, but she promised an "incredible, muscular piece of girly martial arts extravaganza in China."
Using just one word, the director reduced "Mulan" to yet another stereotypical chick flick.
While it's important to note that Mulan — a girl — does totally kick ass in the male-dominated sport of martial arts, Caro's inclusion of "girly" is an unnecessary descriptor. The word "girly" is condescending at best, and is often used as a way to minimize and dismiss girls and their interests.
Describing the film as "girly" takes away from the empowering, gender role-smashing message behind "Mulan."
Fans were not here for the movie's sexist description.
It doesn't help that Disney chose Caro, a white woman, to direct a film about traditional Chinese culture.
This fact combined with the "girly" comment leaves fans feeling frustrated and worried that the new "Mulan" film will be whitewashed and sexist.
Disney needs to step it up before the live-action remake releases next year.