Viral Hokkien parody of Mulan by Singaporean comedy-rap duo taken down over copyright issues

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook

Disney’s newest live-action remake of a beloved classic has proven to be quite contentious, but one thing that some folks in Singapore enjoyed without issue was a parodic dubbing of Hokkien over a scene in Mulan. 

Unfortunately, the viral clip was deemed dishonourable. The video, which had garnered over 11,000 views and hundreds of shares on Facebook, was subjected to a takedown notice over copyright infringement. 

Posted on Sunday (Sept 13) by Singaporean comedy-rap duo Yung Parents, the short excerpt from Mulan — a scene in which her elderly father is seen struggling to accept the conscription — featured the characters’ dialogue playfully dubbed over in Hokkien. 

Though typically a rap outfit that spits bars about local everyday things like cai png, Yung Parents have also been putting out memes on social media. Andre Brinstan Frois, one half of the group, told AsiaOne that the idea came about after realising how comical the live-action movie’s interpretation of the ancient source text was. 

“I saw that in the new Mulan film, the Mulan character (who is legendarily of Northern Wei descent) was placed in a tulou (traditional Fujian rural dwelling). I found that comical 'cause living in a tulou means Mulan speaks Hakka or perhaps one of the 90 other Fujian dialects. And that would also mean she rode at least 2,000km north to the Mongolian war front,” he said. 

Disney Enterprises, however, did not see the humour in the Hokkien voiceovers. Yung Parents received a Matching Content Notice today (Sept 16) from Facebook and the video is no longer available to watch.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook

“Your video matches one minute and 14 seconds of video owned by Disney Enterprises, Inc.” the notice read, with the indication that the content takedown applies worldwide. 

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook

Prior to the removal, Frois said that the parody clip had been very well received. 

“The warm reception re-emphasised to me that Singaporeans want something to call ours. Most Singaporeans are westernised and mostly unsure of what Singaporean culture is, so I'm really happy to be able to shine the spotlight on these little nuggets of identity — stuff that we can celebrate, y'know?” he said to AsiaOne. 

He added, however, that Disney has every right to take the video down. Nonetheless, a modified version of the original clip was shared on his personal Facebook page. 

Disney took down my dubbed Mulan video so I edited it and here is the re-up

Posted by Andre Brinstan Frois on Tuesday, 15 September 2020

“Maybe I should dub Dune in Malay next?” pondered Frois. 

AsiaOne has reached out to Disney for clarification.

ilyas@asiaone.com