While the 1998 film was referenced in the new movie, it wasn't followed as closely as some may assume. "We weren't really illustrating the original because that exists in its own right," she said. "There were key frames and images in the animation that informed some of the characters, but the makeup approach is not so much derivative, but more of a nod in the direction of the heightened color palette and the brightness that you get with the animation."
To pay homage to the original film, director Niki Caro included a small detail that will make fans happy — if they catch it.
"We had Ming-Na Wen, who was the original voice of Mulan in the animation part one and two, do a cameo in our film," said Kum. "When you see the imperial scene where Mulan is being presented to the emperor, you see this beautiful woman come out and what is really quite lovely is it's almost like the voice of Mulan handing over the mantle to the new Mulan."