Dissecting the Disquels: Mulan 2

Plot: Mulan, Shang and their fellow warriors from the first movie return, and love is in the air, snookums. ~~♥

Breakdown: I loved Mulan. Despite having historical accuracy problems (Well, of course) it’s a very intense, exciting and interesting movie with a kick-ass lead who was finally female. The visuals were great, the style was different, the music was awesome (though I could’ve done without the totally out of place ‘True to Your Heart’ at the end) and it did some things to bend the common Disney rules.

I remember seeing the promos for the sequel and just being like….eh. This plot is really a reason for a sequel? Oh yeah, money.

Mulan 2….is about Shang proposing to Mulan and the three guys from the army, Yao, Ling and Chien-Po finding three princesses (sisters, no less) who are perfect for them. However, the princesses are all set for an arranged marriage, and Mulan, Shang and the boys are escorting them there. Gee, I wonder what will happen.

So we have a kick-ass female lead who saved China in a movie that only really touched upon romance (and, if you’ll remember, also brought up the topic of arranged marriages) but was mostly politics, war, some comedy and action. Follow that up with proposals, marriage, arranged marriage and a common sequel trope, giving practically everyone who ended up with no one in the last movie significant others. Uh. Huh.

One note about the poster, Mulan is never in her old army garb during the course of the entire movie, which, now that I really think about it, is immensely stupid.

I know they’re just on an escort mission, but they’re still transporting three princesses to a marriage that is supposed to greatly benefit China. Shang is the only one who wears armor during the entire movie, and guess what? He only wears it in the very beginning simply to show that he’s now a general. When he’s on the mission with Mulan and the others, he’s wearing regular clothes just like the rest of them.

Trusting a group of five people with a mission and with people this important was shaky enough, but not giving them armor is just stupid.

And look at that tag line – “The Epic Journey Continues.” Also known as “Well, we didn’t know what to say about this movie so we pulled out generic sequel tagline #387E.” Also, that’s a blatant lie. The ‘journey’ from the first movie had a solidified end, and the events of this movie, barring Mulan and Shang getting together, have 100% nothing to do with the first movie. The Huns don’t appear, no one’s here to avenge the Huns, it has nothing to do with war, there’s no army involved, there are no battles, there is no villain or even an antagonist; it’s just an escort mission with a bunch of tacked on romance crap.

Let’s get on with the review. I should at least be to the title screen before I burst a blood vessel.

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Our movie starts out with Mushu who apparently is now treating the other honorable ancestors as servants who evidently are obliged to follow his every whim now…..Why? I have no damn clue. I know it’s implied that he got his job back after the events of the last movie, but the very last line indicates that he’s still a subordinate. How and why did it shift to him basically acting like an entitled douche with the honorable ancestors doing quite literally everything to sate his wishes? Even going so far as to blow into his bath with straws to make a whirlpool effect.

This is just embarrassing…

Cut to Mulan’s house where her parents and grandma are talking about whether or not Shang will propose to Mulan. Grandma starts a betting pool about whether or not he will, and of course he will. I guarantee they’ll be married by movie’s end….

A little girl who is so obnoxiously ‘cute’ I can clearly imagine that the script just puts “Obnoxiously cute little girl” by all of her lines shows up asking where Mulan is. Mulan’s mom says she’s out back doing chores, and we then see Mulan practicing martial arts with a rake.

Also, Mulan has been reunited with Little Brother, the little dog from the very beginning of the first movie. He’s here to be cute for this one scene and then disappear again for the rest of the movie….Why give her a dog at all? I was thinking maybe he was in these movies more than I thought, but no.

He’s there when Mulan’s getting dressed in the first movie then he vanishes never to be seen again. Then he appears for this opening scene and is never seen again. Do we just need an animal sidekick to fill in for Mushu when he’s not around?

The little girl, as well as a slue of other kids who pop out of nowhere, spot her and want her to teach them to do martial arts as well.

The art style is slightly different for this movie; common for Disney sequels. It’s not too bad, it just looks more simplistic and bright, but Mulan just doesn’t look like Mulan. Her face is too rounded now (though I’m aware her character design was slightly changed to be more pointed during scenes where she’s masquerading as a man; she still doesn’t look the same as her feminine design in the first movie), her hair doesn’t look right, her lips look huge from far away, and for some reason she keeps going cross-eyed when we pan away from her.

Doyyyeee Imma an aeroplane

Mulan tries to teach the kids some moves, but her methods aren’t really sinking in with the kids so we have to have a song now; ‘Lesson Number 1.’ You know how some people rag on The Lion King 2 for having songs that are basically mirrors of the first movie’s songs? Well, this is basically the equivalent to ‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You’ from the first movie only not nearly as catchy and instead of furthering the story or giving us any intel on a character, it’s just basically filler. It’s not that bad of a song to be honest, in fact it is somewhat catchy, but there’s no point to it.

Also, in the first shot of the song, Mulan grabs the same rake she was using, spins it in the air then the rake part suddenly disappears so that she can use it as a proper boh staff. I was actually expecting the head to fly off and hit some random passerby in the face, but it just vanishes.

And, really, these kids are doing some pretty damn impressive moves for ‘Lesson number 1.’

Shang shows up acting all awkward because love and whatnot, and he proposes to Mulan…In like three seconds….and we can’t hear what they’re saying. She leads him to the bench, she sits down, he kneels and not like a couple seconds later she’s, well, squeeing and tackling him to the ground. I’m sorry….is this the same Mulan? Like….at all? She was the real Mulan a minute ago but now she’s….squeeing. I get it, she’s happy she’s going to get married, mazel tov, but that just seems kinda OOC….

Mushu: “It seems like just last month we were saving China.”

Mulan: “It WAS last month.”

HUH!? A one month jump…That’s it? ….Well, I was going to bring up how that’s pretty fast for them to get married….especially considering he’s probably known Mulan a lot longer as a man than a woman, but seeing the arranged marriage angle I guess I can’t harp on it. Plus, that’s an eternity for a Disney romance.

Mulan, Shang and Mushu start preparing the wedding, and Mushu goes to tell the ancestors the good news. And the news is very good. For them. Because apparently there’s a rule that says once the daughter of the family has married, the guardians of the husband’s family take over. Meaning Mushu’s job is gone and he’s going back to gong boy. So they’re happier than Team Rocket at a giant insane contraption store. However, Mushu, obviously, is deeply saddened by this.

Here’s where we get another contrast to the first movie. The ancestors just seemed to be jerks to Mushu for the sake of being jerks before. He’s annoying to deal with, and that probably contributed to it, but they still treated him like crap when it seemed unprompted. Here, you sympathize far more with the ancestors as they cheer Mushu’s future firing because Mushu has been acting like an obnoxious egotistical power-abuser this whole time.

Can I join this celebratory conga line?

Meanwhile, Mulan and Shang are talking with a bunch of people about their wedding plans, and Mulan’s parents notice that Shang and Mulan have basically completely opposite opinions on how their wedding should be and their future plans after they’re married. Uh oh! Not like opposites attract and there’s such a thing as compromise or anything. THEY’RE DOOMED!

…..They really never realized that they have such stark and contrasting views on nearly everything until now?

A soldier bursts in saying the emperor has summoned them for an incredibly important meeting. Before they head off, Mulan’s parents give them the lesson of Yin and Yang (opposites work in harmony, but only if they decide to work together) and they give each of them a half of their own Taijitu (Yin Yang) necklaces that have been passed down through the generations.

Mushu, watching this, uses their opposite-ness as an excuse to be a selfish ass and vows to tear them apart since Mulan can never be happy with someone so different – proving that Mushu never listens to a damn thing and is annoying as hell. But hey we needed more conflict….

The emperor has summoned the meeting to give them an important mission. Relations with another kingdom are shaky, and he wants to avoid war with that nation by forging an alliance through marriage. His daughters will marry some Lord guy’s sons…..Wow, he has daughters that young when he’s THAT old? Dang, dude.

Mulan is against it, but doesn’t really voice her concerns that much against the emperor because, well, royalty…..And ya know…she had nothing really against it in the first movie. She was actually disappointed that she couldn’t get matched….

And the alternative is another war in China, Mulan. This is definitely one of those times when the lives of many outweighs the happiness of a few. I’m not saying I like the concept of arranged marriages, but in China, especially in her era, it was pretty commonplace wasn’t it? Why is she so against it now?

Shang says he only needs three soldiers to complete the job and we cut to Ling, Yao and Chien-Po being thrown out of the matchmaker’s office while she screams that she’d never be able to find wives for men with such little personality….They have plenty of personality, they’re just stupid. Also, I have to wonder why this matchmaker exists. She seems to only find matches for gorgeous perfectly mannered people who honestly would have no trouble finding husbands/wives on their own.

I mean, who couldn’t find wives for these charming young men?

They wonder why they can’t find anyone for them, and they list off all the stuff they’re looking for in women; that they’ll treat them like gods and do menial chores for them….I’m so unbelievably glad that the events of the last movie taught them a lesson about sexism.

Keeping up with the theme of taking a song from the last movie and just making a different song that basically conveys the same message theme going, we get the mirror to ‘A Girl Worth Fighting For’ with ‘A Girl Worth Fighting For (Reprise)’ Yup….it’s the exact same song just with only the three of them singing instead of a whole army and slightly different lyrics. Meaning it’s the same song only not nearly as good. Talk about lazy.

Actually, this song just makes you wish you were listening to the original version because this version is depressing. The first one was them singing about them being hopeful of finding wives once the war was over. This one is them singing about how they’re depressed that they can’t find wives now that the war is over.

Why aren’t they getting more respect anyway? Mulan and Shang seem to be doing incredibly well and appear to be very popular, but these guys don’t get any respect. Granted, they are still idiots, but they mean well for the most part.

The song ends as abruptly as the original’s when the boys get thrown out of a restaurant for fighting. You know, the abrupt ending of the song in the original was due to the sudden transition between hope, daydreaming about romance and playfulness to seeing a village completely destroyed and seeing evidence that a small girl died in the attack. In this version, the song ends abruptly because the original’s did. There’s no sudden change in tone, it’s just that they got thrown out.

They see Mulan and Shang before them who tell them that they have a mission for them if they want to take it, and they eagerly agree.

Cut to later that night where the guarding and escorting begin. Cue the first ‘Disney princess-esque falling in love at first sight’ thing where Yao instantly goes goo-goo eyed over the princess with the two side buns.

Yeesh, you could play softball with his eye in this shot.

At this point, you can predict nearly everything that will happen in this movie. Four major things.

1) The princesses will each fall in love with the boys.

2) The princesses will end up with the boys, and relations between the other kingdom will end up fine otherwise for some reason.

3) Mulan will marry Shang

4) Mushu will try to ruin their marriage, but will not be able to go through with it or feel regret and reverse whatever he does and get his old job or a better one at the end of the movie despite the fact that he doesn’t deserve it.

Since there’s no antagonist presented to us, those are the only things I can imagine will happen.

The girl with the hair buns likes Yao as well, and uses the opportunity of a water break to chat him up.

The giggly girl with the weird ponytail is gathering pears so since this is food related….Chien-Po?

DING-DING-DING

Chien-Po helps her reach some pears so I guess they’re in love now.

The third girl with hoop ponytails who seems to be the oldest and most responsible disapproves of this. Since she’s the only left, I guess she gets Ling. Wait, her name is Ting-Ting?……They’re going to be Ling and Ting-Ting?……..Excuse me. I need to laugh for a few minutes.

*a few minutes later*

Ahh, that’s better. Ling seems to have a harder time with Ting-Ting since his romantic pick-up tactic is to jump out from behind a tree and bombard her with awful jokes like an obnoxious stand-up comedian. She actually runs from him, but it’s quite obvious that she’s trying her best not to burst out laughing the entire time, so they’re fine.

Mei, hair bun girl, talks with Mulan about how she saved China by following her heart, which we know is really her asking about advice on whether she she should go through with this whole arranged marriage deal or not.

Shifting focus to Mushu, we see his brilliant ‘break up Mulan and Shang’ plan is just playing a bunch of stupid pranks on Shang. Yes, I’m so sure accidentally hooking his fishing line to his belt or being chased by bees will really make Mulan want to dump his hot army general ass.

Mushu’s plans all fail since Mulan’s not the type to get pissed at someone over their own misfortune.

Mushu laments in his failures, and, in a small temper tantrum, accidentally causes the carriage that was holding the princesses to roll downhill. Mulan, Shang and the boys save them, but in the process they fall off a cliff and into a river. Everyone’s okay, and Mu-shit won’t even admit that it was his fault and uses the accident’s minor tensions to further his plans in breaking Mulan and Shang up.

Don’t you just want to punch him?

I hate Mushu. He’s a pointless, annoying character who only had a few funny lines in the original. While he was just unneeded in the original, he’s incredibly annoying here.

Shang is indeed slightly angered at the accident, but Mulan is optimistic. Shang states that the only way to get to their destination since their route has changed is through a mountain pass shown on the map, but Mulan says they can follow the river, which will likely lead to a village where they can find a road. However, since no roads or villages are on the map, Shang doesn’t want to go. And then we get the “What is it with men and asking for directions?” little lovers’ tiff.

I’m not lying, that’s exactly what they say word for word. “What is it with men and asking for directions?” “What is it with WOMEN and maps?!” Real original you guys are getting here. That joke is only told by everyone, everywhere at all times since the concept of directions came to be.

Yao interrupts the spat to show them a nearby forest path leading to a village and a road. This revelation makes Mulan and Shang apologize to each other and they hug. Oh, wackiness. Their necklaces get tangled! Whompwhomp.

Mushu is watching this and says he’s also going to use this to break them up because he’s a dick.

Meanwhile, back at camp, Ling is nice to Ting-Ting again, but is awkward because he thinks she hates his jokes. Mei catches on that Ting-Ting and Ling like each other, but Ting-Ting won’t admit it. Seeing that her sister won’t even admit to herself that she shares a special Disney connection with a man she just met yesterday, Mei gets fed up with it all and starts writing a letter stating that she’s going to run away.

Ting-Ting and Su (Weird ponytail girl) catch her doing this and Ting-Ting reminds them all that it’s their duty as princesses to serve their country and marry as they were told. We segue into a slow and somber song about their duty as princesses, which is actually quite nice, and if I wanted to add the mirrored songs formula to this, I guess this part would be ‘Reflection’ but it quickly changes tone and becomes a lighthearted and happy song called ‘Disney Princess wants more out of life #2277436TG3’ I mean uh ‘Like Other Girls.’

While the opening is really nice to listen to, the rest of the song is standard sequel song fare. I will say it’s got a slightly more memorable melody than many other Disney sequel songs, but it does nothing different.

Disney Princess song of wanting; activate!

Meanwhile, Mushu’s being an asshole again as he tries to subconsciously trick Shang in his sleep by whispering bad things about Mulan into his ear. He sets up big puppets made of junk outside of Shang’s tent and somehow makes his voice sound exactly like Mulan’s. Using the silhouettes, he acts like Mulan is secretly insulting him behind his back to the princesses, calling him stupid and saying his breath stinks. Right, I’m so sure Mulan would be that mean….and stupid considering that she would be saying that stuff directly outside of his tent…

Also, he’s not wondering why she has poles connecting to her arms or why her head’s the size of a pumpkin? How did both she and the princesses instantly vanish when he burst from his tent? How did Mushu do that so quickly? Wouldn’t he wonder why he didn’t see her run off to her post to act like nothing happened?

Shang’s being a big ol’ idiot here, but I guess that was needed to make some modicum of conflict. Shang yells at Mulan for what she ‘said’ and Yao switches with her for guard duty while she vents to Mushu. Mushu takes this opening to suggest that Shang doesn’t trust her and she should dump him. I assume just to get the plot moving more, she actually agrees…..

Girl, if you’re seriously considering dumping him for being a little grumpy and having a moment that seems completely out of character for him and seems like a misunderstanding, maybe you should break up because obviously your relationship doesn’t have much standing if that can shake it, let alone break it.

While Mulan’s ranting to Mushu, Yao and the boys ask the princesses if they’d like to sneak out and see the local village by moonlight. They agree, and the group goes off, but Mushu spots them and tells Mulan who decides to go after them on her own. She asks Mushu to ensure that Shang doesn’t wake up to avoid him getting any angrier, so of course he does the opposite and wakes Shang up by banging cymbals in his ear.

Shang wonders where everyone is, and finds the note that Mei was writing earlier. She uses similar terminology as Mulan was using earlier, so he assumes Mulan convinced the girls to run away from their arranged marriages. He dons his horse and runs off after them.

Okay, Mushu’s just being an ass for the sake of being an ass now. Mulan is already considering breaking up with Shang at this point, and Shang is super pissed at Mulan. Why purposely try to ruin the budding love lives of the boys and princesses on top of that? Especially since there was no guarantee that anything would prompt further fighting between Shang and Mulan before he does this.

In the first movie, sure he was annoying, but he had good intentions albeit with ulterior motives of getting his job back. Here he’s willing to do everything in his power to ensure that Mulan and Shang hate each other and possibly keep Mulan from ever getting married in her life just to ensure that he keeps his cushy life of leisure while also possibly causing another war.

Cut to the village where they’re apparently having a festival. We see how perfect each of the girls are for the boys since Su adores food and always has food with her, Mei treats Yao like a hero when he shows off his strength, and Ting-Ting not only laughs her ass off at Ling’s awful jokes, but apparently she also finds similar stupidity like shoving chopsticks up your nose hilarious.

Also, the thing that finally sets off her laughing is Ling accidentally getting blown up when fireflies land on the fuses for firecrackers…….There’s no part of that sentence that makes sense.

This is just….unbelievable on so many levels. The coincidences are just so ridiculous. Three single guys who don’t think they have a chance at finding wives because their expectations are too stupid and sexist instantly meet three beautiful princesses who want true love and magically have personalities that mesh perfectly with the personalities and expectations of the boys, AND all of them instantly fall in love with each other at first meeting. Damn.

Mulan catches them, and the girls explain that they’re all in love (and I swear the movie actually seems to want to point out how much of a stretch this plot is when Mei is actually listing off that all of them are couples now.) Mulan could not be happier for them, but Shang’s not.

He arrives on the scene and lectures them all. He tells the princesses that their father would be ashamed of them if he heard that they were abandoning their duties to go through with the arranged marriage, and he commands to the boys that they are to escort the princesses to their destination and do everything possible to avoid them and not speak a word to them.

Mulan tries to reason with Shang, but he continues on his rampage next giving her a lecture about how it’s ridiculous that she values what her heart tells her over duty, honor and tradition. Mulan defends herself stating that those things are important to her, but she listens to her heart to guide her through them.

Mulan then says that Shang’s a great warrior, but he doesn’t know how to follow his heart and she wonders if he even has one. He states that this mission has taught him that they’re very different people and – FFS we get it already! You don’t need to keep bringing up the stuff about them being different.

We’ve already had the message for this given to us in the beginning. Two people can be completely opposite, but when they work together they can achieve great things. Yin. Yang. Necklaces. You don’t need to bludgeon us to death with the damn message of this plot point. This overkill even for a kids movie.

They’re broken up I guess and everyone’s miserable except Mushu because he’s a delusional asshole. The boys get around the no-talking-to-the-princesses rule by loudly talking to each other about what they’d say to the princesses if they were allowed to talk to them, and they say luvey duvey stuff while Shang and Mulan mope some more while looking at their damn necklaces and bringing up the opposite stuff again.

Mushu tries to cheer her up, and she says a few words of praise to Mushu which causes him to break down in guilt….yeah he’s been gloating this entire time and hasn’t felt a tinge of guilt, but her saying that she can always count on him makes him break down in guilt. Yeah, sure, whatever. Guess we just needed to get that plotline out of the way.

Mushu admits everything to Mulan, who realizes that all of the problems that caused them to break up didn’t actually exist; it was all Mushu. So she runs off to tell Shang that she loves him…..

The face of someone who understands my hatred.

Well, okay, yes the stuff with the map and the talking outside his tent and the stupid stuff was Mushu, but you guys still have to work out the ‘duty over heart’ problem in your relationship. That actually is fairly significant as a relationship issue, and Mushu wasn’t really the cause of that one……..That’s never going to be addressed seriously, is it? It’s going to be brushed off and they’ll live happily ever after, aren’t they? Goddamn it…

Well, they’ve said the group’s in bandit country twice already so I guess bandits are going to attack soon—yup there they are. Nice to finally have identity-less antagonists. The bandits don’t really want the girls, they just want the money the group has, but since they can’t remove a giant bracelet from Mei’s incredibly small wrist and hand, they try to kidnap her.

They try to get her across a bridge, but Shang and Mulan stop her and hand her off to the others who have defeated the other bandits. Well, there was your battle for….the entire movie…..That was lame. Mulan and Shang still have a couple of bandits to handle, but they eventually get away and cut the ropes on the bridge. Mulan tries to hold onto Shang as they hang from the breaking ropes, be seeing that the rope won’t hold, he lets himself fall into the rocky crevice below.

Oh no.

Not Shang.

What a tragic turn of events.

Let us hold a candlelit vigil for Shang who is totally dead. I will miss him being alive. But he is no longer alive because he is currently deceased.

By the way, that rope doesn’t look like it could hold a puppy right now, let alone Mulan.

Later, during a downpour, because it always has to rain when things are sad, the group is watching Mulan actually have a pretty dramatic breakdown while standing at the site of where the bridge was. She collapses with her sword in the ground and spends the rest of the night in that position.

Despite the tragedy of losing Shang who is no longer living and is dead, Mulan decides to continue with the mission to not make Shang’s death in which he died and stopped living meaningless. However, she says ‘no’ when Ting-Ting says they’re ready to go through with the marriage and that their only orders are to protect each other……which…is the exactly opposite of what Shang wanted, but whatever.

Down in the river, Shang’s horse who I guess ran off between scenes, is sniffing around the river bed when we see, shock of all shocks, Shang, burst through the water and grab onto the horse’s reigns while he drags him to shore. I guess falls off of 300 foot cliffs only kill Disney villains. He’s also perfectly fine except he lost his hair elastic and a shirt. How convenient; both for the film and everyone who wanted some sweet Shang fanservice.

At the other kingdom place in Qui Gong (Which apparently doesn’t exist, and the closest thing I found with that name is a Chinese healing and wellness exercise, but feel free to correct me) Mulan apparently is the only one who has arrived. She states that the carriage that they were using fell into the river on the way to the palace and everyone died except for her.

However, the lord says a marriage was promised and without one he will not unite with the middle kingdom. Mulan offers herself to marry one of his sons instead and since she’s the hero of China, he…..agrees—oh God no….No, you are not going there. We’ve had enough damn cliches for one day. We don’t need a stopped wedding cliché too. Please. Halt what you are doing. Turn around now, for the love of God.

The lord guy says Mulan will marry his eldest son, Chiki or maybe Chi Qi, who, to further the point that this marriage won’t happen, is an awkward little troll who has a thing about getting his fingers caught in Chinese finger traps. And to REALLY drive the point home, he actually doesn’t like her because she’s ‘so ooollllldddd’……

Ah, another face suitable for punching.

The boys and princesses look at the hillside where the palace is I guess because they’re wondering why it’s taking so long for Mulan to finish the mission, but Mei asks how she can even complete the mission if they’re not there. Shang shows up stating that Mulan will take their place. He’s explains that Mulan was right all along and that no one should have to marry someone that they don’t love….How that character development randomly came to pass I do not know. I guess when it comes to losing your ticket to sex, you’d change your mind pretty quickly.

Oh and have I mentioned they keep bringing up something called ‘The Golden Dragon of Unity’ that apparently everyone obeys without question? Never brought up in the original, but it’s all the rage now. Yeah, Mushu’s a dragon too. Just sayin’.

Anyway, Mulan prepares for the wedding and as the ceremony is about to complete, Shang throws a…Shuriken? A shuriken…….were those ever commonly used in China? I thought those were a Japanese weapon, hence the Japanese name.

From my research, the earliest known recording of shuriken-like weapons used was the 17th century; Mulan’s supposed to take place in the Han dynasty which was, at most, in the 2nd century while teetering into 3rd. But I guess they wanted a dramatic way of cutting the ribbon thing that bonded them.

Shang and Mulan reunite, and Shang says he won’t let Mulan marry someone she doesn’t love and that he intends on marrying her right there. I guess Mulan has nothing to say about this. She’s been pretty damn boring all movie…

Anyway, lord whatshisface won’t take this and orders his guards to pull them apart and continue with the marriage. However, Mushu poses as the Golden Dragon of Unity through a giant statue of it and says the marriage will not go on. He marries Mulan and Shang right there, releases the princesses from their vows and allows them to marry whomever they please, and “whomever pleases them, because that’s very important.” Huh, nice subtle sex joke, Disney. It’s good to get one of those out every now and then.

Everyone believes him because there’s no better way to wrap up nearly every plot point in the movie than by having a god tell you everything is wrapped up.

Shang and Mulan kiss as do Mei and Yao, Su and Chien-po and Ting-Ting and Ling, and everything’s all good.

May they all have children with better character development than anyone in this movie.

We cut to some time later at Mulan’s family temple where Mushu’s taking down his stuff since he’s being demoted. The guardians couldn’t be happier until Shang and Mulan show up. Gee I wonder if they’ll do something that restores Mushu’s job even though he in no way deserves it because he’s an ass.

Instead of shifting guardianship to Shang’s ancestors, Shang puts some plate at the shrine which merges the family ancestors or something which means Mushu gets to keep his job. Hm, it’s almost like Mushu should’ve told Mulan about his troubles and tried to figure out something like this at the beginning of the movie. But you’d need genius levels of intelligence to have that kind of forethought and being a jackass is just as good.

In the excitement, Mushu reveals his existence to Shang, but Shang already knows since Mulan told him after they got married. Since that’s out of the way, Mushu decides to start acting like a spoiled little turd again and I still do not understand why he can do this.

I understand that the other guardians can treat him like crap when he’s the gong ringer because he’s obviously their subordinate, but why the hell do they have to be his slaves when they’re on equal grounds? And ending on Mushu acting like a spoiled little twat when he’s done nothing but be an asshole all movie is just annoying and stupid.

May I also join you in your sighs of frustration?

As the credit—Wait….that’s it? What happened with the princesses? Does their father believe them to be dead?!? Are they okay with that!? Are the boys going to be royalty now? What the hell?!

Anyway, as the credits start, we hear a pop version of Like Other Girls by Atomic Kitten and it sure is awful. As the credits get further, we hear another song that I guess was cut from the film called Here Beside Me, and I would’ve much rather heard that really nice slow and gentle song over that poppy piece of trash.

Art and Animation: This film actually stands up pretty well in a technical sense. The art’s good, not as good as the original, but definitely not the same drastic change in quality that most Disney sequels get.

It does get kicked up in some of the more vital scenes like Shang’s ‘death’, Mulan’s mourning and the wedding. The backgrounds, however, are pretty pathetic sometimes, especially the just plain, for lack of a better word, cartoony background of the first scene with Mulan.

Music: Again it’s not as bad as it could be considering other Disney sequels, but they’re not as good as the original’s. The first one is obviously a mirror to ‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You,’ but it’s original enough in melody and lyrics to stand on its own. I’d gladly listen to it again.

The second is just a different version of ‘A Girl Worth Fighting For,’ literally.

The third one is catchy but has silly lyrics and an awful pop version sung by Atomic Kitten. The opening’s really well done though. I wish ‘Here Beside Me’ made it into the actual film instead of being a last minute addition to the credits. It would’ve added some grandness to their relationship and the romantic feeling of the movie.

Voice Acting: Everyone did fine, and most of the original cast returned for this movie. However, it doesn’t really sound like many of the actors are giving as much effort as the first movie. I mean that as in it doesn’t sound like they’re really trying hard to be characters instead of just reciting their lines with emotion behind it. Also, Eddie Murphy doesn’t reprise his role here. Yes, Eddie Murphy, star of so many bad movies and resident annoying animal sidekick in Shrek, didn’t come back for Mulan 2. That should’ve been a red flag right there. Instead he’s voiced by Mark Moseley who admittedly does a very good impression of Murphy.

Bottom Line: The story is unneeded to say the absolute least. It’s obviously one of those sequels that exists purely to give any character who didn’t get a love interest in the last movie a love interest (I’m surprised Mushu didn’t get one) and to take advantage of the ‘We didn’t show it in the last movie, so we have an excuse to show it here’ ‘rule’ with sequels by marrying Shang and Mulan.

While Mulan continues to practice martial arts, she only fights once in this movie in a really, really short fight scene with a bunch of nameless bandits. She only does one really cool move and that’s it. I’m not lying, Mulan is really boring in this movie. She seemed like she’d be cooler given the first scene that she’s in but nope. Just ‘be true to your heart, I don’t like the idea of arranged marriages and OHEMGEE UR IN LOVE!? *squee!*’ For a movie called Mulan 2 she really doesn’t do much.

It’s cliché, boring and convoluted as sin. That Mushu storyline was also put in there just to pad out time. In addition, it’s a terrible plotline in itself. Mushu’s an asshole the whole time and ends up on top in the end, ready to be waited on for eternity. Hell, Mulan will be an ancestor one day. Is Mushu going to make her scrub the gunk between his toes?

Without a villain of any kind or any real conflict besides ones we know will turn out fine because of how cliché they are, the movie just falls flat. It’s boring.

In addition, Yao, Ling and Chien-po don’t learn to be less sexist – they just find three women who perfectly fit their ideals of women.

If a really young kid liked Mulan and also really loved romance stories, they’d probably enjoy this a little. For anyone who liked Mulan for focusing more on having a powerful story and great action instead of relying on romance this and romance that, ‘we can make stupid storylines because love,’ this will just make you shake your head.

Recommended Audience: Quite literally nothing. No real violence you wouldn’t see on Kim Possible and nothing else really questionable. I mentioned one sex joke, but really it’s so subtle no kid on earth would get it. It’s so subtle I’m really wondering if it’s not just my filthy mind playing tricks on me. E for everyone…..but I wouldn’t watch it again.


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