Although the new remake of “Mulan” isn’t a musical like the original, one key music component from Disney’s animated version is back. Christina Aguilera has done her own remake of “Reflection,” which was her first single when she recorded it for the 1998 film. It’s joined on the forthcoming “Mulan” soundtrack (out March 25) by a newly written song, “Loyal Brave True,” which was released to digital services Friday.
News of the two fresh recordings was confirmed in an announcement Friday, although Aguilera had already let the “Reflection” cat out of the bag to attendees of at least one of her Las Vegas residency shows last week as she introduced her live rendition of the 22-year-old tune.
“Loyal Brave True” was written by Jamie Hartman, Harry Gregson-Williams, Rosi Golan and Billy Crabtree; Hartman produces. Gregson-Williams, who also wrote the new movie’s instrumental score, is the producer of “Reflection (2020).” The director of the new “Mulan,” Niki Caro, has directed music videos for both songs that Disney says will be out later in March. Gregson-Williams’ score is said to incorporates instrumental elements from both Aguilera tunes.
The original “Reflection” did not make any charts when it was released in 1998, but the popularity of the animated “Mulan” still put it — and Aguilera — on the map, so that she was a known quantity, especially to a demographic of young girls, when she broke through with her first radio smash, “Genie in a Bottle,” a year later, in the glory days of teen-pop.
“The film ‘Mulan’ and the song ‘Reflection’ coincided with getting me my first record deal,” Aguilera pointed out in a statement. “It’s amazing to come back to such an incredible movie that’s full of power and meaning, and that meaning holds the test of time: staying true to yourself, being who you are, and teaching how to be fearless. My new song, ‘Loyal Brave True,’ represents the fine balance between vulnerability and strength.”
Said Mitchell Leib, president of music and soundtracks for Walt Disney Studios, “Her original performance of ‘Reflection’ from the animated film when she was a then 16-year-old unknown holds its appropriate place in the history of music and was a launch pad for her unparalleled career that would follow. … I think these songs will touch today’s moviegoers in that powerful way we saw 22 years ago.”
Prior to making “Reflection” part of her Las Vegas residency, Aguilera had sung it last year at Disney’s D23 Expo 2019 Legends awards ceremony, where she accepted an award (see video below).
Aguilera’s original 1998 recording of “Reflection” (written, like the rest of the animated film’s song score, by David Zippel and Matthew Wilder):
Christina Aguilera talks “Mulan” at D23: