Disney's recent string of live-action adaptations of their beloved animated classics haven’t been getting much love from critics, but it looks like that is about to change. Early reviews of Niki Caro’s remake of Mulan reveal that it could be Disney’s best live-action adaptation yet. Praising the stunning cinematography, impressive fight choreography, and engaging performances, many reviewers are on board with Caro's vision.

From its PG-13 rating to its decision to exclude the 1998 original’s music numbers and feisty dragon sidekick, this new Mulan has attracted attention by differentiating itself from its source material. In fact, it draws just as much from the Chinese folk song “The Ballad of Mulan” as it does the first movie. This approach is proving to be much more affective than the shot-for-shot live-action films we saw last year with Aladdin and The Lion King. 

Along with its live-action violence Mulan establishes itself as a more “mature” Disney film by its treatment of romantic chemistry. Many critics pointed out the relationship between Mulan (Liu Yifei) and Chen Honghui (Yoson An). Chen Honghi is not Li-Shang, and since he’s played by a real person with real abs, things between the two are bound to get a bit more... steamy:

Here are a few more of the first reviews:

All of these reviews are a promising sign that Mulan breaks the mold of what we’re used to seeing in a Disney remake. While we might miss singing along to “I’ll Make A Man Out of You,” it’s very likely we’ll be getting an equally rewarding experience. Mulan hits theaters March 27.

Gallery — Every Disney Remake Ranked From Worst to Best:

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