“While preparing for their wedding, Shang and Mulan are suddenly sent off on a secret mission. Mushu starts to meddle, and a surprise attack by Mongolians doesn’t help either.”– Anonymous, IMDB.
Mulan II is a 2004 American direct-to-video Disney animated film directed by Darrell Rooney and Lynne Southerland and is a sequel to the 1998 animated film Mulan (originally released in theaters). The majority of the original cast returns to voice their characters from the original film, with the exception of Eddie Murphy (Mushu). According to Scott Gwin of CinemaBlend, “Mulan II is a direct-to-DVD disgrace that takes everything excellent about its predecessor film, rips it to shreds, and uses it for rat cage lining.” Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, gave the film a rating of 0% based on reviews from 5 critics, with an average score of 3.9/10. In early 2002, it was reported that Disney was working on Mulan III. Raymond Singer and Eugenia Bostwick-Singer, writers of the first film, submitted two stories to Disney. Like this film, the second sequel would have been released direct-to-video, but it was canceled before the release of Mulan II.
Some thoughts from me (Potential spoilers below)…
As previously discussed, Disney sequels tend to be the best of the worst, at least when it comes to movies that grace this blog. To be honest, I think the reviewer in the blurb above is exaggerating quite a bit. Mulan II doesn’t really have any meat on it’s bones, but you can toss that bone to the dog and it’ll have a good time.
Again, I am not musically inclined, but I think it’s safe to say that the songs in Mulan II are pretty blase. That said, what I tend to notice about the songs is how they come across as stand alone music videos. The songs in the original film felt organically integrated into the movie, while in Mulan II they’re choreographed in way that just feels phony. I actually kinda wonder if it’s deliberate, as I can recall seeing the songs in Mulan II used as filler between shows on the Disney channel, where they were treated as actual music videos.
The conflict in this plot can be seen coming from a mile away, but here’s your spoiler warning should you want to go into it blind. Mulan is tasked with transporting the three daughters of the emperor to their arranged wedding. Accompanying Mulan are her three eligible bachelor friends from the first movie… one thing leads to another, and suddenly you have three couples and a big problem of ‘what are we gonna do about this whole arranged marriage thing’.
I sorta wish that Mulan II was received better because I would have liked to see what they would’ve come up with for Mulan III, especially knowing that the original writers were involved. I wonder where on the scale of Mulan to Mulan II it would’ve fallen. Alas, I suppose it’s a mystery for the ages.
Feel free to add this one to your line up for a Bad Princess Night! Bonus points if someone in attendance is a big fan of the original film.