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Mulan: Iconic actor from original Disney cartoon returns for surprise cameo in live-action remake

Ming-Na Wen had to balance filming with her ‘Agents of SHIELD’ duties

Clémence Michallon
New York City
Monday 07 September 2020 22:52 BST
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The following contains spoilers for Mulan (2020).

Mulan fans might have recognised a familiar face – and voice – in the film’s new live-action version.

Actor Ming-Na Wen, who voices the titular character in the 1998 Disney animated movie, makes a short but noticeable appearance towards the end of the newly released film.

The new Mulan came out on 4 September as part of a special release on Disney+.

Towards the end of the movie, when Mulan, having revealed her gender and saved the emperor, is received at the palace as a guest of honour.

Ming-Na Wen attends the world premiere of 'Mulan' on 9 March 2020 in Hollywood (FREDERIC J BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

During the sequence, she’s introduced to the emperor by none other than Wen.

The actor told The New York Times that making sure she could shoot an appearance for Mulan, while at the same time conducting filming duties for the series Agents of SHIELD (in which she plays Agent Melinda May) was “kind of a logistical nightmare”.

She was originally supposed to play in a longer scene, but that would have required her to be away from the Agents of SHIELD set for a month, which wasn’t a possibility.

Wen and the team settled on the cameo instead.

“I thought that was very appropriate and just wonderful, a little Easter egg where I could pass the baton,” she told the newspaper. “And this time, they only needed me there for a week. So it all worked out!”

Wen’s appearance in the new film has been met with enthusiasm from fans on social media. 

Mulan is out on Disney+ now.

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