SINGER Moira dela Torre has been chosen by Disney Philippines to sing the country’s version of the Mulan anthem, “Reflection,” for the reimagined version of Mulan screening on March 25.
“I became very emotional [when I was told I was going to sing ‘Reflection’] because ‘Reflection’ is very special to me. It’s the first-ever song I performed in public, and also the first full song that I learned on my own. It basically launched my love for music,” Ms. Dela Torre said during a launch party on March 3 at the Shangri-La at the Fort in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
The ballad, which represents Fa Mulan’s yearning to be her own woman, on her own terms, was written by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel for the Disney animated film, Mulan. The song’s movie version was sung by Lea Salonga while another version was recorded by Christina Aguilera.
The story is based off of the Chinese folk tale, “Ballad of Mulan” by Guo Maoqing in the 6th century, which tells of the titular character fighting off northern invaders despite being a woman at a time when women were not allowed to serve the army.
While the new Mulan film will not be a musical, the film’s producer Jason Reed noted in an interview with Collider.com in February that “there are a number of songs that are iconic for the movie and tell a great version of the story and they are very helpful to us in how we’re putting the movie together.”
“We made the decision that we wanted to keep the world — even though it’s a fantasy — more grounded, more realistic so those emotions really played and the threat is very real. So we are using music in a slightly different way,” he added.
The song was Ms. Salonga’s second Disney princess song after singing Aladdin’s (1992) “A Whole New World.” The local version of “A Whole New World” for the Aladdin live-action remake in 2019 was sung by Darren Espanto and Morrisette Amon.
“It’s funny how it speaks about self-doubt and questioning who you see in the mirror every day. That’s basically me, but every time I feel that happening now, I feel braver. This song came back at a perfect time in my life, and I could only happy and grateful,” she added.
Her rendition of “Reflection” and its accompanying music video will launch on March 20. Ms. Dela Torre said that the video felt like a homecoming because “the video was shot in an auditorium and my first music video was also shot in an auditorium.” Her debut single was “Love Me Instead” from 2004.
Mulan is set to hit Philippine screens on March 25. Liu Yifei plays Mulan while Jet Li plays the Emperor of China. Other cast members include Jason Scott Lee, Donnie Yen, and Gong Li. The film is directed by Niki Caro. — Zsarlene B. Chua