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“Mulan” (2020) was one of Disney’s most anticipated films in years. It’s a live-action remake of an animated classic, and its high-flying action sequences promised big thrills. But the movie’s big Hollywood premiere got derailed. Like so many other things, from sports leagues to school schedules, the “Mulan” theatrical debut was messed up by the Covid-19 pandemic. Disney’s solution was to premiere “Mulan” exclusively on Disney Plus.

That doesn’t mean, however, that “Mulan” was added to Disney Plus’ library automatically. Disney did something a little unusual, and made viewers pay to have “Mulan” added to their Disney Plus library through what it calls Premier Access. Once fans paid the one-time fee of $29.99, “Mulan” would appear alongside all the other movies in the Disney Plus library and be viewable for as long as they have a Disney Plus subscription. (If you don't have a subscription, you'll lose access.) Eventually, Disney added “Mulan” to the regular Disney Plus library and stopped charging the extra fee.

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‘Mulan’ Release Date: When Did ‘Mulan’ Come Out?

The 2020 version of “Mulan” was released on Disney Plus’ Premier Access on September 4, 2020. As of December 4, you need only a regular Disney Plus subscription to watch it, which means you no longer have to pay almost $30 on top of your regular monthly subscription fee just to watch “Mulan.”

Do I Have to Have Disney Plus to Watch?

You needed a Disney Plus subscription to watch “Mulan” when it first came out, but it’s more widely available now. You can buy a digital version on streaming sites such as Amazon, but if you want to rent a physical copy you’ll need to go to Redbox or a local video store — if such a thing still exists in your town.

You can’t rent a streaming copy of “Mulan.” You can only buy a physical or digital copy, rent a physical copy, or stream it on Disney Plus. It’s not available on services such as Netflix or Hulu. Don’t wait for “Mulan” to come to Netflix, because there is zero indication that Disney will ever bring it there since Disney Plus exists. It may not be convenient for some viewers, but it’s incredibly convenient for Disney executives.

How to Pay for, Access, and Watch ‘Mulan’ on Disney Plus

Since you don’t have to worry about finding the Premier Access tier anymore, you can just go to Disney Plus and search for “Mulan.” Make sure you’re getting the version you want, though, since the original animated version from 1998 is also on Disney Plus.

Do You Get to Keep ‘Mulan’ Forever If You Buy It on Disney Plus?

Were you a “Mulan” early adopter who paid the $29.99 price to get it when it was released? Unfortunately, you don’t still own your own copy of “Mulan.” You get access to it only for as long as you have Disney Plus. When your Disney Plus subscription ends, so does your ability to watch “Mulan.”

If you find the Disney Plus “Mulan” deal a little confusing, don't sweat it: It felt a little weird when Disney announced it, and it still does! In streaming, we’re used to seeing the same sorts of deals over and over again. Paying a subscription fee and getting unlimited streaming from a library (like with Netflix) makes sense to us. So does paying a one-time fee to rent or buy a movie, like with FandangoNow or Vudu. But the “Mulan” release on Disney Plus was a little bit of both. It was pretty similar to buying it — as long as you continue to subscribe to Disney Plus.

We may not love the Premier Access pricing model, but Disney Plus seems more than fine with it. They’ve done it with movies besides “Mulan,” and they’ll do it again May 28 with “Cruella” and again on July 9 with the long-awaited release of “Black Widow.” The latter movie is part of Marvel’s Phase 4, while the former is part of Disney’s “Let’s Remake All the Animated Classics and Watch Our Accountants’ Eyes Get Big” initiative. Based on our experience with “Mulan,” it seems likely that patient viewers will be able to enjoy these movies as part of their regular Disney Plus subscription in a few months — but, at first, only those willing to pay the Premier Access price will get to see them.

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