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Mulan II

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Mulan II
Mulan2DVD.jpg
This film doesn't bring honor to us all.
Genre: Animation
Comedy
Romance
Directed By: Darrell Rooney
Lynne Southerland
Produced By: Jennifer Blohm
Written By: Michael Lucker
Chris Parker
Roger S. H. Schulman
Starring: Mark Moseley
Ming-Na Wen
BD Wong
Lucy Liu
Harvey Fierstein
Sandra Oh
Gedde Watanabe
Lauren Tom
Jerry Tondo
Photography: Color
Distributed By: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 3, 2004 (premiere in Italy)
February 1, 2005 (United States)
Runtime: 79 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Prequel: Mulan
Sequel: Mulan III (canceled)
Mulan (2020) (by release date)
"Have you ever seen a sequel that destroyed so much of what you loved about the original movie, that even as a little kid, you vowed to erase it from your mind, and then over a decade later, your YouTube channel accidentally blows up because of how hard you roasted a remake of the original movie, so people are determined to remind you of the existence of that sequel until you roast it too? That's me. That's me with Mulan II."
Xiran Jay Zhao


Mulan II is a 2004/05 American direct-to-video Disney animated film directed by Darrell Rooney and Lynne Southerland and is a sequel to the 1998 film Mulan.

Plot

Mulan and Shang are about to get married, but Mushu fears he will lose his job when Mulan is accepted into Shang's family. Then the Emperor discovers that the Mongols (without mentioning a new Khan) are planning to attack, so he calls up Mulan, Shang, and their allies Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po to escort the three princesses Mei, Su, and Ting-Ting to the neighboring kingdom of Qui Gong so an alliance can be formed. But during their journey, Mushu attempts to break up Mulan and Shang while the princesses find love with the army buddies.

Why It's a Dishonor to Us All

  1. Like Belle's Magical World, it's overly silly and juvenile due to its constant use of light-hearted humor, though it's worth noting that Mulan (the original animated film), which is aimed at all ages, while mostly a serious film with a good sense of action and drama, at least got some lighthearted and comedic moments here and there, mostly from the comic relief characters Mushu and the Three Stooges-esque comic trio Yao, Ling and Chien-Po.
    • As the result, any serious scenes that happen by the film's climax, including the infamously heart-wrenching scene where Shang falls off the cliff and presumably dies, comes off as incredibly jarring and out-of-place in this film, since it heavily contradicts the incredibly lighthearted and comical tone the film has already established right from the start.
  2. This film has some of the largest amounts of character flanderization ever in a Disney direct-to-video sequel, to the point that not even Belle's Magical World, Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas, George of the Jungle 2 or The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea would have the characters this high amount of flanderization. Almost all of the characters from the original film overall, especially Mushu, have been reduced into selfish and immature jerks with barely any sense of logic or reasoning and are lacking the charm they had in the previous film. Just to name all the examples of this atrocious character butchering:
    • Mushu suffers the WORST flanderization and character derailment of all the characters, as he goes from being a likable comic relief as he is in the first film to a despicable, self-centered jerkass, so much to the point that he could very well be the film's metaphorical antagonist. Mushu had been working five centuries to keep his job, but it doesn't change the fact that he puts his happiness above Mulan's.
      • Mushu may have been self-centered in the original film, but not to this extent.
      • Although Mushu's new voice actor does a good job voicing Mushu and does a good impression of Eddie Murphy, it can come across as annoying most of the time, not to mention that it can come across as a racist stereotype. This is probably because Eddie Murphy was too busy on his other projects at the time.
    • Fa Mulan, while not as poorly-written as Mushu (and to some extent, her 2020 live-action counterpart), also suffers from character assassination here, as she comes off as incredibly whiny, selfish, immature, misguided, impulsive, and an irresponsible spoiled brat who outright hates the idea of arranged marriages, so much to the point that she even influences the Emperor's three daughters Mei, Su, and Ting-Ting to "follow their hearts" by not wanting to be in arranged marriages and plays matchmaker with the girls just to preach her own beliefs, ignoring the fact that China would be doomed if there is no alliance formed between the Middle Kingdom and Qui Gong, as well as their arranged marriages, is the only hope to unite both countries. She also constantly repeats her infamous line "My duty is to my heart" line throughout the film and executes it way too literally to the point that it completely betrays her original characterization in the original film. She barely has any character development whatsoever, unlike the first film.
      • Mulan followed her heart in the original film by taking her father's place in the army despite China's societal restrictions of the time not allowing females from going into war, but, only because her father Fa Zhou was clearly shown to be critically injured and therefore is physically unfit to go to war, and therefore she took her father's place out of concern of his safety despite that it'd dishonor her family and tradition. But to this extent of rejecting the idea of arranged marriages at the cost of dooming China to the Mongols because of how she personally hates the idea of arranged marriages despite that arranged marriages back then were common as the only method of peacemakers in Ancient Chinese culture does make this out of character for her.
    • Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po, while still funny and likable comic relief sidekicks, at first come off as much bigger girl-crazy perverts than they were in the original film, with their obsession of getting "girls worth fighting for" being way too exaggerated as shown in their musical number "A Girl Worth Fighting For" which was repeated from the first film, apparently not learned from their misogynistic views of women from the first film. While the trio soon dropped their misogynistic, girl-crazy and perverted qualities once they meet the Emperor's three daughters Mei, Su, and Ting-Ting, like Fa Mulan, they also suffer from severe character derailment, as they do not take their task seriously unlike their boss Shang, and therefore ended up having romantic feelings for the Emperor's three daughters Mei, Su, and Ting-Ting, at the extent of ignoring the fact that China would be doomed to the Mongols if there is no alliance formed between the Middle Kingdom and Qui Gong as well as their arranged marriages is the only hope to unite both countries.
    • Li Shang, the only likable character of the film who takes his job very seriously, is treated as a huge wimpy Butt-Monkey who is often subject to various forms of torture from Mushu and is often portrayed in the wrong by Mulan and all the other characters for constantly sabotaging the romantic relationships between Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po and the Emperor's three daughters Mei, Su, and Ting-Ting and forcing the girls to be in arranged marriages which the girls themselves didn't want to be in, despite that he's actually in the right the whole time that the marriage is crucial in order for the alliance between the Middle Kingdom and Qui Gong to be established.
      • The film also treats Shang like a complete idiot who lacks proper judgement, as he fails to differentiate Mushu’s voice from Mulan’s in the shadow puppet scene despite the fact that Mushu blew his cover by accidentally slipping into his regular voice during his deception of Shang. Furthermore it shows that Shang is completely unable to differentiate a man’s voice from a woman’s and vice versa even though he should have learned to how to differentiate voices by then as he already dealt with Mulan’s ruse of being a man named Ping in the first film.
      • What's even worse is that after surviving from falling off a cliff, he gets reverse character development, finally admitting that Mulan, Yao, Ling and Chien-Po and and the Emperor's three daughters Mei, Su, and Ting-Ting are in the "right" all along despite the fact that they're actually all in the wrong for not wanting to go on with the arranged marriage as planned for the sake of uniting the Middle Kingdom and Qui Gong, hence making him just as irresponsible as them by the film's ending.
      • Contrary to his bravery in the first movie, Shang is beyond cowardly in one scene: he runs away from four small animal critters - a squirrel, a skunk, a porcupine, and a mouse. Really?
    • The Fa family ancestors seem to have a much bigger hatred towards Mushu compared to the first film, even going so far as to cruelly gloat in Mushu's face that the latter lost his job as guardian when Mulan agrees to marry Shang. Granted, that Mushu himself has been aggravating them since the ending from the first film, but still that's way too mean-spirited, even for them, since Mushu had played a vital role as guardian towards Mulan and her family in the past.
  3. The new characters introduced in this film aren't any better either;
    • The Emperor's three daughters Mei, Su, and Ting-Ting all have very flat characterizations, with one single character trait and nothing else; Mei is nothing more but just a hopeless romantic, while Su's only defining traits are being extremely bright, childish, cheerful, and having an obsession of food, especially cakes. Meanwhile, Ting-Ting is the closest to having a more fleshed-out characterization as she is portrayed as the mature, stern, responsible big sister who secretly has a carefree nature at heart, but that's still not enough.
      • To add salt to the wound, we barely get to know more of these three girls, such as how and what their actual lives and characterizations are before their respective planned arranged marriages, hence making them a waste of potential when as characters when viewers were first introduced to them.
      • Like Mulan, Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po, all three of them come off as extremely selfish and irresponsible by the film's climax due to taking Mulan's "duty to your heart" message way too literally by deciding not to be in the arranged marriage just because they have romantic feelings for Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po, ignoring the fact that China would be doomed by the Mongols if there is no alliance formed between the Middle Kingdom and Qui Gong, as well as the fact that their arranged marriages is the only hope to unite both countries.
      • Since their personalities aren't that fleshed out either, they also come off as incredibly naïve and stupid with barely any idea of how the Chinese society works, which is clearly evident during their musical number "Like Other Girls". Despite all three of them claiming in that song that peasant girls having more behavior freedom than them, if one remembers the first movie, Mulan herself was actually just as oppressed by society as them, as Ancient Chinese peasant girls her age at the time were expected to be nothing more than the perfect brides as evident in the song number "Honor To Us All" from the first film, while only the younger little girls seen in the background in that same scene are the ones who had more behavior freedom like as mentioned in their song, hence highlighting their lack of knowledge of the outside world in this film.
        • Speaking of naïve and stupid, the very fact that all three of them took Mulan's "duty to your heart" message way too literally at face value without even knowing what she really meant and failing to realizing how selfish and irresponsible Mulan's actions actually are (as pointed out by Shang later on by the film's climax) throughout most of the film just highlights further how naïve and stupid they really are.
    • Lord Qin, the emperor of Qui Gong who is supposed to be the film's main antagonist, is a rather lame and watered-down antagonist, especially in comparison to Shan Yu and the Huns from the first film and doesn't even come off as remotely evil unlike them, he's basically just an incidental complication for the main protagonists who insist on the arrange marriages of the Emperor's three daughters Mei, Su, and Ting-Ting (and later Mulan) to his son Prince Jeeki for the sake of having the Golden Dragon of Unity arrange an alliance between Qui Gong and the Middle Kingdom. The only reason why he comes off as an antagonist to the main protagonists is that most the protagonists themselves (with the exception of Shang, at least until near the ending) refuse the idea of arranged marriages in favor of marrying for love, despite that it was the only way to unite both Qui Gong and the Middle Kingdom.
    • Prince Jeeki, Lord Qin's son who is supposed to be the film's supporting antagonist, is a useless and bland character who barely does anything important to the main plot, with his only character trait being his obsession with his Chinese fingertrap game and nothing else, hence making him more of a plot device than a character.
  4. On that topic with the characters, in a vein similar to that of A Troll in Central Park, The Emoji Movie, Peter Rabbit (2018) and Little Princess School, almost all the characters of this film suffer from rather poor representation, even by Disney direct-to-video sequel standards. Lord Qin is depicted as the antagonist, even though all he intended to do was to unite the Middle Kingdom and Qui Gong with a military alliance through an arranged marriage between the Emperor's three daughters Mei, Su and Ting-Ting and his son Prince Jeeki despite how unhappy the film's protagonists are; similarly, Fa Mulan is depicted as the main protagonist, despite her being the one largely responsible for sabotaging the entire arranged marriage between the Emperor's three daughters Mei, Su and Ting-Ting and Prince Jeeki throughout the entire film by following her "duty to her heart" way too literally and even influencing the Emperor's three daughters Mei, Su, and Ting-Ting to do the same just because she herself hates the idea of arranged marriages (as pointed out by Shang later on by the film's climax), to the point where she almost caused China to be doomed to the Mongols' invasion by the film's ending because there is no alliance formed between the Middle Kingdom and Qui Gong (see WIADTUS #11 and #14). Basically, the sequel tries to force its audience to sympathize with the main protagonist and to root against the villain, without giving them the usual proper characterization as a reason to do this, unlike the first film.
  5. Hypocrisy: The film preaches the message that forcing people to marry is a bad thing, especially when parents force their kids to get married. However the film states that the arranged marriage is being done to save China but that plot point is completely dropped in order to preach the "forced marriage is bad" morals. The film ultimately sends mixed messages about forced marriage.
    • Even worse is that Disney contradicted the moral they were trying to preach later on by releasing Brave through Pixar Animation Studios but that film straightforwardly preached that forcing your kids to marry is good.
    • Character hypocrisy for many reasons:
      • At the very start of the film, Fa Zhou claims that gambling is a bad idea because nobody wins from it, which he refers to as "like playing mah-jongg with blank tiles", but yet he gambles with Grandmother Fa anyway when his wife Fa Li isn't looking.
      • At first, it may seem as if that Mushu is supportive towards Mulan, such as him hysterically crying tears of joy upon finding out Mulan is getting married to Shang, and shortly after getting the boot from the Fa family ancestors he still remained firm to put Mulan's happiness above his, even telling Cri-Kee so in the face. But soon however he quickly changes his mind and decides to break Mulan and Shang up, hence heavily contradicting what he said to Cri-Kee earlier, and making his positive reaction he previously displayed towards Mulan earlier seem rather insincere.
      • Just as the film's protagonists are about to head out on their big mission to escort the Emperor's three daughters to the princes of Qui Gong, Ling tells off Yao for having romantic feelings for Princess Mei that night because it's against the Emperor's orders, but yet he himself ends up having romantic feelings for Princess Ting-Ting much later in the film, hence heavily contradicting what he told of Yao earlier in the film. More hypocritically, this is coming from Ling, the practical jokester of the trio!
        • Similarly, throughout the entire film Princess Ting-Ting tells off Princess Mei for deliberately going against the mission for the sake of wanting to marry for love at the extent of dooming China in the process, but once the girls bonded with Yao, Ling and Chien-Po at a nearby village on that night, Ting-Ting eventually changes her mind and starts developing romantic feelings for Ling when the latter loves the former's pig snort-like laugh which the former is embarrassed of, hence heavily contradicting what Ting-Ting have been telling of Mei throughout the first half of the film.
      • When Mulan gets into an argument with Shang by the film's climax due to the latter calling the former out on how she never take her duty to her country and tradition seriously, Mulan claims that she does take her duty to her country and tradition seriously, when her actions throughout the entire film proved otherwise just like what Shang said.
        • Similarly, Mulan replies in response to Shang telling her off for her actions with this infamous quote "You're a brilliant warrior, Shang. You're brave, you're loyal, but you don't trust your heart. Sometimes I wonder if you even have one", despite that Mulan, on the contrary, is clearly the one whom "doesn't even have (a heart)" towards China and it's people when her irresponsible actions will inadvertently doom China in the process, hence highlighting her hypocrisy even further.
  6. Unfunny and weak attempts at humor with many mean spirited and/or stereotypically sexist moments, despite being more lighthearted and comedic in tone than the original film (as mentioned before in WIADTUS #1), such as the scenes where both Mulan and Shang bicker over stupid things like their respective views on directions when stopping by to camp for the night, including the usage of the infamous sexist stereotype jokes on how "women can't read maps" and "men don't ask for directions" from Shang and Mulan respectively.
    • Speaking of unfunny humor, the entire scene of Mushu's many botched attempts at breaking up Mulan and Shang at the campsite which involves Shang on the receiving ends of the slapstick gags overall feels like something out of a rejected Looney Tunes cartoon.
  7. Some laughable lines due to the poor writing, like Mulan's "Duty to my heart" line. In fact, the "Duty to my heart" line is mentioned throughout the film for at least fifty times. WE KID YOU NOT.
    • Speaking of laughable dialogue, at times the film lacks subtlety and constantly talks down to its audience as if they're idiots where nearly every single line of dialogue so heavy-handed that they've been often spelled out and parsed down.
  8. The plot is nowhere near as exciting as the first movie.
    • Being a sequel to perhaps one of Disney's most action-packed and female-empowering films of all time, complete with the highest body count of any Disney Princess movie ever, you'd think that the tone would carry over to the sequel...it did not. Instead, it went for a more lighthearted-romance movie which gives the characters without love interests from the original film a love interest for no discernible reason, similar in vein to The Hunchback of Notre Dame II. To add salt to the wound, the film and Fa Mulan herself is nowhere near as female-empowering as in the first movie.
    • There are only two action scenes, and only one of them has a fight scene.
    • There is really no danger or main physical antagonist in the plot of the movie, aside from Mushu due to worrying he'll lose his job if Mulan gets married, and those bandits in the fight scene as the only closest thing of antagonists.
    • Executive meddling: The original concept of this film by the original film's co-director Barry Cook was a one-page draft that featured Mulan and Shang about to be married when the Emperor sends them on a mission up North. The finale would have featured Mulan and her allies, which included her ghost ancestors, taking on the deceased Shan-Yu and his ghost army,[1] which the film itself could have easily been about. But no, because of executive meddling on the part of DisneyToon Studios, this concept is however not used and the studio went on a completely different direction for this film, hence this film is the result we get.
  9. While the animation quality of this film is great for Disney direct-to-video standards and looks very close to that to the original film, it is still inferior to that of the original film due to several glaring errors in the animation style;
  10. The song "A Girl Worth Fighting For" is repeated from the first movie, while the new ones are not as good (except for "Lesson Number One").
  11. The film completely abandons the main premise, which is that the Mongols will invade China if the princesses don't get married to the princes of Qui Gong, towards the end of the movie as it supposedly and accidentally dooms China by three days by the Emperor himself, without even acknowledging it.
    • Regarding its main premise, the film's plot overall tries to juggle way too many subplots all at once;
      • Mushu trying to keep his job upon finding out that he'd lose his job when Mulan marries Shang.
      • The threat of the Mongols invading China, hence Mulan and Shang are drafted back into the army to carry out the mission.
      • The romance between Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po and the Emperor's three daughters Mei, Su, and Ting-Ting, despite societal resistance between royalty and non-royalty and the girls' obligation to the arranged marriages which they didn't want to be in.
      • The massive differences in point of view between Mulan and Shang are the conflict to their romantic relationship.
        • On the topic of the film has way too many subplots, this film is a large waste of potential. The film could've used either one or two of these subplots and executed it well as a feature-length film, but no, it instead decided to cram in all four of these subplots at once as one feature-length film altogether, resulting into a huge mess of a plot thanks to a botched execution.
  12. False advertising: In certain countries, the title of the film is Mulan II: The Final War, even though there is no "final war" in the film at all.
  13. Shang's fake-out death is a blatant rip-off of the exact same scene from Cliffhanger.
    • Speaking which, the entire scene where one of the bandits cut the rope bridge which leaves Mulan and Shang hanging for their lives is a blatant rip-off of the exact same scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
  14. The fact that the Mongols will invade China if the arranged marriage doesn't go through is treated more like an afterthought and not a big deal.
    • The ending of the film where both Mulan and the Emperor's daughters successfully get to marry their respective love interests for love is supposed to be a happy, uplifting ending, but instead it is actually a rather horrifying ending if you think about it for this reason above, since by the end of the film there was no alliance formed between the Middle Kingdom and Qui Gong whatsoever (let alone any visible indication of the alliance between the two countries in the film), meaning that China would be doomed under the Mongols' invasion after the events of this film.
    • Worse still, neither Mulan, Shang, and the rest of the protagonists receive any sort of repercussions for their irresponsible behavior of entirely cancelling the arranged marriage between the Middle Kingdom and Qui Gong for the sake of marrying for love despite the fact that said arranged marriage is crucial for the alliance between the two countries, and they instead get everything they've ever wanted which is to marry for love, at the extent of dooming China to the Mongols' invasion. Hence making them all Karma Houdinis. Our protagonists, everyone!
  15. The film teaches a bad lesson about arranged marriage by suggesting that arranged marriages are always wrong, even when it is used for a good reason for forming alliances between warring countries, as well as teaching kids to "Ignore all the rules and tradition and abandon all sort of responsibility and do whatever it takes to make yourself happy at the cost of dooming your own country or society in the process", which consequently would teach kids into becoming extremely selfish and rebellious spoiled brats in the worst possible way.
  16. Historical inaccuracies: While historical accuracy is rarely, if, ever, taken into consideration in Disney animated films in general, especially Pocahontas and the original Mulan film, however this film has way too many historically inaccuracies, mainly for the sake of plot contrivance, to the point that it utterly disrespects Chinese culture by poorly representing it:
    • Anachronism: Despite the film taking place a month after the first movie, somehow the Huns in this film quickly become the Mongolian Empire all within just a month, despite being eight-nine centuries apart in real life as the first film loosely takes place in the final years of the Han-Xiongnu War.
    • In Ancient Chinese culture, dragons are used a symbol to represent good luck and harmony as well as imperial power and unity. But thanks to Mushu being a selfish jerk constantly attempting to break up both Mulan and Shang throughout the entire film, this completely goes against the Chinese culture's purpose with dragons.
    • In ancient Chinese cultures, a noble woman's bare feet were considered almost as private as her genitals, and a princess would NEVER have extended her bare foot to a soldier, no matter how gallant. In this film, Princess Mei however breaks this rule when she extends her bare foot to Yao.
      • On that topic, during the musical number "Like Other Girls", during the song lyrics Dance around/in my underwear!, Princess Su literally lifts up her skirt, exposing her underwear in the process, much to Princess Ting-Ting's shock, which, again, goes against ancient Chinese culture since noble women (especially princesses) of the time were often expected to be fully covered from head-to-toe, including their feet.
    • The "Dragon of Unity" is in fact a lion. But this film, the "Dragon of Unity" is literally represented as an actual dragon.
    • The symbols for Yin and Yang are in fact correct, but the white half is considered masculine while the black is considered feminine in ancient Chinese culture. But in this film, both Mulan and Shang for some reason have their respective black and white halves of the necklace swapped, where Mulan is handed the white half of the necklace pair while Shang is given the black.
    • Most of the film's characters general is so completely against the idea of arranged marriages in any way, ignoring the fact that back in ancient China ancient marriages was crucial in order to form alliances with different countries, while the idea of marrying for love is never a commonplace among Chinese culture of the time, all because the film constantly hammers down modern Western culture philosophy and beliefs of love and it's anti-arranged marriages values throughout the film non-stop that it doesn't even bother to shut up or take a break from it, despite that Mulan is a franchise entirely centered on ancient Chinese culture.
    • Factual error: In one scene, Shang is seen running away from a squirrel, a skunk, a porcupine, and a mouse (see WIADTUS #2), despite that skunks are actually not native to China; but instead are rather native to North America and South America.
    • In the musical number "Like Other Girls", Princess Su mentions a lot of wanting to eat cake with frosting, despite that cakes with frosting weren't common food items in Ancient Chinese culture.
      • Similarly, when Yao, Ling and Chien-Po inadvertently get into a fight with the other men at the bar near the end of the musical number "A Girl Worth Fighting For", Chien-Po briefly mentions "I'd make fondue!", despite that fondue, especially the ones with cheese and/or chocolate, isn't even a common food item in Ancient Chinese culture.
    • The lyrics of song "Like Other Girls" in general actually poorly represents Ancient Chinese peasant girls of the time by depicting them as if they're free to do whatever they want to do at all times, despite the fact that Ancient Chinese peasant girls of the time are actually bound to the societal expectation of being nothing more than the perfect brides, as evident in the song number "Honor To Us All" from the first film.
    • When Shang literally barges in to break up the arranged marriage between Mulan and Prince Jeeki near the film's ending, he throws a shuriken to break the ribbon representing the formation of alliance between the Middle Kingdom and Qui Gong, despite that shurikens come from Japan, not China, and while the film takes place shortly after the Han-Xiongnu War, shurikens have not been invented yet until at least the Sengoku Period (1467-1568).
  17. Plot holes:
    • Of all the many, competent, male soldiers Shang had in his army, why did he have to choose Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po as Princess Mei, Su, and Ting-Ting's bodyguards?
    • For some strange reason, Mulan's family ancestors' attitudes towards Mushu in this film is extremely inconsistent; first they were constantly giving in to Mushu's demands for special treatment, and for the rest of the film they often treat Mushu like garbage, especially following the news that Mulan gets engaged to Shang. Granted that Mushu himself was an arrogant jerk towards them at the start of the film, but still.
    • For no particular reason, Shang decided to give away General Li's helmet (the only piece of memoriam of Shang's late father, who died in the first film) to Sha-Ron (one of the little girls surrounding Mulan) immediately on a whim without any further second thoughts.
    • The movie somehow treats as if that the entire conflict both Mulan and Shang had throughout the film is entirely Mushu's fault, even though Mulan does has some fair share of blame to take via her irresponsibility and heavy disregard towards her duty and tradition, as pointed out by Shang himself.
    • It is unclear as to how Shang survived after falling off a cliff.
    • A huge amount of the plot could have been avoided had the characters decided to be honest about each of their problems. For example, Mushu could have immediately told Mulan about his problem about his job being at risk because of Mulan’s marriage instead of secretly trying to sabotage Mulan and Shang’s relationship and therefore coming off as an unlikable jerk in the process.
    • Mulan’s stance against arranged marriage in this film comes completely out of nowhere, as in the previous film she is shown to be fine with arranged marriage as shown through the whole scene where she meets the Matchmaker even though things there did not go well for her.
    • During the montage when Mushu tries to sabotage Mulan and Shang’s relationship, Mulan’s horse, Khan catches Mushu in the act when Mushu decouples the saddle from Shang’s horse so Shang would go upside down when he went on the saddle. Khan is show to be a smart horse yet seemingly allows Mushu to continue with the sabotage instead of reporting Mushu straight to Mulan and Shang. Had Khan done this, Mushu’s scheme would have been exposed a lot earlier. Khan also caught Mushu putting worms in Shang’s shirt and rigging the campfire to explode on Shang when he lit it yet Khan only tramples on Mushu as punishment. Why didn’t Khan report to Mulan about Mushu’s behavior when he caught Mushu performing sabotage more than once?
  18. Similar to two other bad Disney animated movies, there are so many mean-spirited moments in this film that are basically too much for a Disney film. While Mushu’s attempts to break Mulan and Shang up deserve a mention in such moments, not all of the mean-spirited moments are instigated by Mushu.
    • One example of such a mean-spirited moment that can’t be ignored is the moment that kick-starts Mushu’s mission to break Mulan and Shang up. As mentioned before in WIADTUS #2, the spirits of Mulan’s ancestors are shown to be very cruel to Mushu in this film as they celebrate more about firing Mushu than Mulan’s marriage to Shang and when they decide to tell Mushu that they are going to fire him, they arrogantly rub it in Mushu’s face in a very cruel manner and bully him over it. The reason they fire Mushu is not because of anything bad Mushu did but because of the fact that Mulan is getting married which not only undermines Mushu’s efforts in the previous film but it makes no sense whatsoever as Mushu is capable of living for centuries and is supposed to look over the whole Fa family. But, at least Mulan’s ancestors do receive their comeuppance for bullying Mushu and for indirectly causing a huge chunk of the film’s conflict, when Shang combines the family temples, allow Mushu to keep his guardian position as is back to giving them orders again.
    • Some mean-spirited moments are also cliché, particularly the punch-in-the-face scene.
  19. The Emperor’s decision to have all three of his daughters married off to Qui Gong does not make any sense, as in history and other works of media, only one arranged marriage is shown to be enough to secure a political alliance, meaning that the emperor could have arranged the marriage with only one of his three daughters (either Mei, Su or Ting-Ting) and not marry all three of them off at once. Because of this, having only one of the three women go through the arranged marriage would have provided a much better ending to the film due to introducing an emotionally compelling moment while allowing the other two kids to marry who they wanted.
    • The Emperor’s decision would have made a lot more sense if he decides to marry his daughters off to Lord Qin's three sons but only one of the princes of Qui Gong makes an appearance and not three. Because of this, the kind of marriage being arranged counts as bigamy. Had Mulan known that the arranged marriage was going to be bigamous, it would have given her a more justifiable reason to be against the marriage.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. "Lesson Number One" and "Like Other Girls" are good songs, despite being not as good as any of the songs from the first film.
    • The song "Like Other Girls" can be pleasing to listen to on it's own.
  2. Decent voice-acting from the entire cast.
    • Mushu's new voice actor for this film, Mark Moseley sounds very close to Eddie Murphy, despite it being a racist stereotype.
  3. The animation is a step-up from the previous direct-to-video Disney films.
  4. Mushu's infamous line: "Dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow, DISHONOR ON YOUR WHOLE FAMILY!!!" while poorly written, is a little bit funny, even though half of it was said in the first movie.
  5. The scene where Shang falls off the cliff and presumably dies near the end of the film is very heartbreaking and emotional.
  6. The scenes with the army buddies and princesses falling in love are nice at times, as Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po do share great romantic chemistry between their respective love interests Mei, Ting-Ting, and Su. In fact, have the film be entirely centered on these three couples (with Mulan, Shang, and Mushu being relegated into smaller supporting roles) and the threat of China is doomed under the hands of the Mongols have the arranged marriage not materialize be omitted entirely from the film, it would've made for a decent premise.
  7. Near the end of the film, following the presumed death of Shang, Mulan decides to sacrifice herself by taking over the places of Mei, Ting-Ting, and Su for the arranged marriage which unifies both the Middle Kingdom and Qui Gong so that she could pick up from where Shang has left off with the supposed mission while the three princesses could be together with their respective love interests Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po, therefore putting her happiness above her own for the sake of her friends and her country. This is the closest thing we could get of Mulan's old personality from the original film and her character development in this film, though that isn't saying much as this idea soon gets thrown out the window once Shang (who is later revealed to have survived the fall off the cliff) gatecrashes and sabotages her wedding to Lord Qin's son Prince Geeki.
  8. Unlike most mediocre sequels, Mulan II leaves no continuity errors and actually brings up some of the events from the first film.
    • While it is subtly hinted by the ending of the first film that both Mulan and Shang started having mutual romantic feelings towards each other, Mulan and Shang's romantic relationship is fleshed-out further in this film. In fact, here Mulan and Shang become a couple, though the film acknowledges there are a few differences between the two.
    • Shang meets Mushu.
    • Mushu does the right thing in the end.
    • Cri-Kee remains in character, even if Mushu doesn't.
    • Yao, Chien Po, and Ling prove the Matchmaker wrong as Mulan did in the first film.
    • The Emperor isn't unjustified in wanting to deal with the Mongols without sending his army, considering his previous army had been wiped out by the Huns in the previous film.
  9. There are some likable characters in the film:
    • Sha-Ron is a cute and nice kid, and is the only new character in the movie that is likable.
    • As mentioned above, Cri-Kee remains in character and is the only character in the entire film with a sense of logic or reasoning from start to end, and therefore is one of the best characters in the film.
    • Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po are still likable and funny comic relief sidekicks, and were only slightly flanderized.
    • Li Shang is still a likable character, despite becoming a Butt-Monkey, being a big coward to small animals in one scene, and getting reverse character development at the end of the film.
    • The Emperor of China, First Ancestor Fa, Grandmother Fa, Fa Li, Little Brother, Fa Zhou, and The Matchmaker are still likable characters, despite being minor.

Reception

The film received generally negative reviews from critics and audiences alike, especially fans of the original Mulan movie, with criticism being targeted for its lack of faithfulness to the original animated film, the atrocious flanderization of beloved characters (especially Mushu and even Fa Mulan herself), it's poor representation of Chinese culture, and it's awful ending, although the romantic chemistry between the army buddies Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po and their respective love interests Mei, Ting-Ting, and Su receive praise from some fans (at least, for the most part).

The film holds 0% on the review aggregator, Rotten Tomatoes. 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." Other critics called it trivial or falling short of realistically representing China.

Videos

Trivia

  • Eddie Murphy expressed interest in reprising his role as Mushu in this film, but was unable to due to a commitment to reprise his role as Donkey in Shrek 2, and therefore is replaced by Mark Mosely, who previously voiced Mushu in the video games and Disney's House of Mouse. Coincidentally, Moseley has also filled in for Murphy by voicing Donkey in the Shrek video games.

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References

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