Weta Workshop: Mulan was the biggest project since Lord of the Rings

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Famous effects and production house Weta Workshop has released some rather interesting behind the scenes content for the work it did in the live action remake of Disney’s Mulan.

The New Zealand company is best known for its involvement giving the unique look and feel to Middle-earth for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, but it has done much more besides.

The list of movies and projects it has been involved in is truly staggering, with Bloodshot, Jumanji: The Next Level, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Pacific Rim: Uprising to name just a few in the last couple of years.

For Mulan, much like many other projects, Weta Workshop created an immense amount of physical props.

“It was our duty to build armour and weapons for Disney’s Mulan, on mass. Here in Wellington, we crafted more than 4000 weapons and 300 suits of armour (!) making Mulan our most significant manufacturing job since adventures in Middle-earth,” reads a statement from the company.

In the video below you can see how the 17 manufacturing departments inside of Weta made this happen. Just about every manufacturing technique you can think of is present, from 3D printing to more traditional injection moulding and even more traditional hand-made items to mimic the ancient Chinese look of the movie.

Many of these props aren’t just made to look good, but last too with the faux weapons and armour subject to stress tests. When we saw Mulan (in theatres) we don’t recall seeing any bending swords or squishy armour which would have given away the fact that this is all fake, so as always we have to commend Weta Workshop for its work in both the look and functionality of what they make.

With the pandemic still ongoing and large scale movie productions looking more like a thing of the past, we really hope large-scale physical prop making like this doesn’t die off.

Clinton Matos

Clinton Matos

Clinton has been a programmer, engineering student, project manager, asset controller and even a farrier. Now he handles the maker side of htxt.africa.