Where was Mulan filmed? Filming Locations Guide: The Mulan House

Where was Mulan filmed
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The live-action remake of the 1998 Disney film Mulan is one of the most expensive productions ever made. The story is based on the epic poem the Ballad of Mulan about the mythical Chinese female warrior.

The majority of Mulan was filmed in New Zealand, the Lord of the Landscapes. The powerful New Zealander filming industry was looking for a big project like this one after the failure of A wrinkle of time and Mortal Engines.

The movie was shot in 2018 for six months. The release of Mulan was postponed due to the coronavirus crisis, but also because starring actress Liu Yifei gave public support to police brutal crackdown in Hong Kong against pro-democracy demonstrations, triggering a movie boycott.

Mulan House
Mulan’s hometown is inspired by the spectacular donut-shaped Hakka walled villages of southern China. These are a series of round communal living houses disposed in clusters for defensive purposes. The town featured in the movie looks particularly like the Hekeng Tulou Cluster in Tianluokeng (Nanjing County, Fujian province); However, the interior courtyard was built in the studio in New Zealand.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
Image courtesy of EG Santos and Disney - Map


Mulan City
The Imperial City featured in Mulan was not inspired by the world-famous Forbidden City in Beijing; It's not a pure CGI creation either - Instead of that, Disney used a massive movie and TV set called Xiangyang Tangcheng. Located in the Hubei province, capital Wuhan, the complex is a large-scale reproduction of a period Tang Dynasty city with its palace. Opened in 2015, apart from hosting many Chinese film productions, the theme park is open to the general public as a tourist attraction. Image courtesy of Disney - Map


The Silk Road city
The desert landscapes of the Silk Road scenes in Northwest China were filmed in the Turpan region in the east of Xinjiang. The fort is a CGI'd version of Jiayuguan, the first pass at the west end of the Great Wall of China. The fortress was built during the early Ming dynasty, around the year 1372.
Image courtesy of Disney and Johannes Zielcke - Map


Mulan rainbow mountains
The dazzling rainbow Chinese mountains of Zhangye Danxia also make a cameo appearance in Mulan. This natural wonder is the closest thing to the bottles of colored sand beach, Earth-made version. The Zhangye National Geopark is located 40km going west from the city of Zhangye in Gansu. We have to say that we were one of the very first websites in the world to report about these fascinating colorful hills, in the now distant 2011.
Image courtesy of Disney and Lwtt93 - Map

Mulan Filming Locations in New Zealand

The shoot in Mount Cook
The production gathered an 800 to 900 crew in Mackenzie Country (Canterbury), South Island. Pictured, film director Niki Caro with actor Yoson An (Chen Honghui) filming a scene in the Tasman River Valley, with Mount Cook / Aoraki in the background. Image courtesy of Disney - Map


The Location in New Zealand
Local media reported that a large fortress set was built in the isolated Ahuriri Valley near the Birchwood Rd in North Otago. The filmmakers used the town of Omarama as a base for four weeks. Map


Mulan drehort
The Omarama Clay Cliffs (pictured) and the Poolburn area are also featured in the movie. The studio work was done at the Kumeu Film Studios in northwest Auckland, where the huge sets of Mulan were built. The casting company recruited hundreds of actors of Asian descent in the area to play as extras.
Image courtesy of Gary Danvers Collection - Map


The fight with the witch scene
According to Condé Nast Traveler, the scene where Mulan meets the powerful witch, Xian Lang, was filmed in a soundstage. However, this geothermal sulphuric landscape is inspired by Whakaari / White Island. Situated 30 miles offshore in New Zealand's North Island, this is the volcano that erupted on 9 December 2019 killing 21 people. Image courtesy of Disney - Map

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3 comments

  1. There are definitely scenes that are filmed in Dunhuang a fantastic UNESCO protected town in Gansu. And scenes depicting Jiayuguan the furthest westerly post of the Great Wall the fight scene does look identical and would explain the extensive repair works the site has had over last 3 years prior to filming

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    Replies
    1. Updated, thanks a lot! But which scene was filmed in Dunhuang?

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  2. Picture is of Mulan lol not the male character

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