Many of this year’s big-budget films have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Disney’s live-action Mulan has now been pushed back a whopping three times. Disney initially planned on a theatrical release in March, and now, over five months later, Mulan is finally available to stream on Disney+. There's a slight catch, though: subscribers will have to shell out an additional fee to add the film to their Disney+ library. But hey, you’ll just have to rewatch the movie multiple times to really get your money’s worth.
If the extra payment makes you wary, don’t cancel your Disney+ subscription just yet. Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in Disney’s 3Q earnings call that this is not necessarily a new premiere model, but rather a “one-off” release plan — which makes sense since, by and large, people aren’t headed to movie theaters right now. He also added that, from a business standpoint, “not only does it get us revenue from our original transaction of PVOD, but it’s a fairly large stimulus to sign up for Disney+.” Disney+ isn’t available worldwide, though, and the movie will still have a limited theatrical release in countries without the streaming service.
If any Disney movie is well worth the price tag, it might be this one. Mulan, which tells the story of a young woman (Liu Yifei) who dresses up as a man and steps into battle on behalf of her sick father, is Disney’s first live-action film to feature an all-Asian and American-Asian cast. The movie is also already earning rave reviews for its stunning cinematography and thrilling fight scenes.
All of this said, the release plan is still pretty convoluted. Here’s how to stream the film, how much it costs, and when you can watch Mulan for free.
How much does it cost to rent Mulan on Disney+?
Mulan is now available to stream on Disney+ under the streaming service’s “Premier Access” deal, for which you’ll have to pay an additional $29.99 to support Mulan during its opening week. Disney+ users will be able to purchase the movie using their payment information on file, and then watch it like they would any other Disney movie. If, for example, you usually watch Disney+ through an app on your iPhone or Apple TV, you can also enjoy the film there through an in-app purchase.
How long does the Mulan rental stay on my account?
Once you spring for the movie, it’s in your account forever. However, you only have a limited amount of time to purchase Mulan: On November 2, the film will be removed from Disney+’s “Premier Access” catalog, unless you’ve already paid for it. Once you own Mulan, you can watch it on your iPhone or Apple TV, and also download it for offline viewing.
When will Mulan be free on Disney+?
On December 4, Mulan will be added to Disney+’s regular catalog and all users will be able to stream it for no additional cost. There’s no word yet on when or whether you’ll be able to rent it elsewhere.
Will Mulan also come out in theaters?
If your country has Disney+, the short answer is no. Right now, the streaming service is available in 14 countries including the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Australia, and Disney+ also has plans to extend to several other countries in Europe and Latin America later this fall. But if Disney+ isn’t headed to your country — and if your local movie theater is open — you might be able to watch Mulan on the big screen. Disney CEO Bob Chapek previously said that Mulan will have a theatrical release in certain countries “where currently we have no announced launch plans for Disney Plus and where theaters are open,” per CNET.
According to IMDb, Mulan will have its cinematic release in six countries on September 4, and then six more next week. It was also released a day early in Croatian theaters.