Now that the dust has had time to settle, is Mulan (opens in new tab) Premier Access worth it? A fair amount of money rides on the answer; you need to get a Disney Plus (opens in new tab) subscription before paying a one-off fee to see the live-action remake, after all. That's quite a bill.
Should you bother, then? Personally speaking, I'd say the offer is worthwhile - but only if two or more of you want to see the film.
Bringing the cinema home
Yes, the double-tap payment of a membership and Mulan Premier Access is expensive (what is Premier Access (opens in new tab)? Our explainer has the details). But it's notably cheaper than many theatres if you aren't watching alone. Let's say you have a Disney Plus sign-up (opens in new tab) already; the one-off Mulan Premier Access fee of $29.99 (opens in new tab) / £19.99 (opens in new tab) / AU$34.99 (opens in new tab) / CA$34.99 (opens in new tab) is less than it'd cost for a family of four - or even a couple, in some cases - to go to a mainstream US Cinemark or UK Odeon.
Alright, so you're not getting the same experience as visiting a theatre. Watching from your living room can't match the big screen with its one-two punch of true 4K and advanced surround sound. That's part of what you're paying for with your ticket. What's more, the atmosphere of watching something alongside a live audience (while armed with ludicrously overpriced snacks) is unique. Just think of the reaction to Captain America picking up Thor's hammer during Avengers: Endgame (opens in new tab).
However, this isn't a fair comparison. Considering everything that's going on right now, none of the above is strictly possible. Not like before, anyway. Cinemas opening for new releases such as Tenet (opens in new tab) and New Mutants (opens in new tab) doesn't feel like something we should get used to, at least in the short-term. The audience numbers just don't seem to support it.
The best of a bad situation
As such, Mulan Premier Access is making the best of a bad situation. We can't see it any other way, so I'd rather watch it on my TV than wait for goodness knows how long. The alternative is biding our time for an unknown number of months to see the film safely, as has become the case for Black Widow (opens in new tab).
It's a fun experience in and of itself, too. Being able to gather for a socially-distanced viewing party over someone's house - perhaps they have a good setup thanks to one of the best gaming TVs (opens in new tab) - is memorable in its own way. We did that with family and friends just after Mulan Premier Access launched. Having gathered a buffet of snacks, drinks, and popcorn, we drew the curtains and settled in to watch the film together. The quality of the movie didn't matter in the end; we were clawing back a sense of normality, and that counts for a whole lot more (plus, we didn't have to worry about missing anything during toilet breaks - magic).
If you're thinking of doing the same, others throwing in a fair share of the cost won't hurt either. In our case, it made the whole thing a fraction of the price compared to a cinema outing. It'd be a bit pricey if you were only buying for yourself - particularly if you don't already have one of the Disney Plus bundles (opens in new tab) - but with a handful of friends or family? The value shoots up.
Because of this, I'd say Mulan Premier Access is worth it if you can get a few others involved. And I'm not just talking about value in terms of money. The experience of bringing the cinema home to watch a movie that's not available anywhere else is memorable, and one I won't forget any time soon.
If you want to watch Mulan (opens in new tab) via Premier Access, be quick; the movie disappears from the service as of November 2 2020. After that, you'll have to wait until it goes free for Disney Plus subscribers in a couple of months (opens in new tab).