Mulan II (Video 2004) Poster

(2004 Video)

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A little exploitation is good business, but not necessary good watching
refresh daemon3 February 2007
Disney is one of the kings of exploitation. For every successful (and unsuccessful) franchise film, there comes tons of merchandising, original soundtracks and sing-alongs and *shudder* direct-to-video sequels. Yes, these sequels go direct-to-video because we all know that they're going to be pretty bad, but parents are always looking for cheap ways to entertain their children (telling folk tales doesn't work anymore since no one knows them--another topic that's ripe for academic study, if it hasn't already been pursued) and so Disney somehow manages, by keeping their costs low and targeting their niche market, to keep churning out endless sequels of their hit films.

Mulan has a baby. It goes by the clever name Mulan II. This film, which amazingly contains the voice talent of Ming-Na (in terms of returning talent, that's all you get--ER apparently doesn't cover the bills), contains a cheesy uninspiring message of following your heart. (Even over duty! Oh wait, in the wonderful world of Disney, somehow duty gets accomplished incidentally to following your heart. I like the scary Brothers Grimm better, thank you very much.) Fa Mulan and her general friend/lover/dude are getting married. Stuff happens. More stuff happens. Who cares? Oh yeah, the film is a musical too. Do I remember the songs? Nope. Am I glad that I don't remember them? Yep. The animation was unimpressive, the story was unimpressive, the acting was unimpressive, the exploitation of other cultures by Disney in attempt to capture the almighty dollar? Impressive. It appears as though Disney doesn't really care all that much about their source material as a whole. Chinese history and culture is only so important as it helps Disney make Mulan and its direct-to-video heir to sell to the masses.

So what does this film have going for it? It's not as painful as Little Black Book. But it's close. I watched it on the bus and despite the fact that I wasn't sleepy, I had to the urge to fall asleep just so I could avoid it. If it were night, I would have. I think you can manage to distract kids with this mumbo-jumbo, but honestly, there are far better ways of entertaining your children. 4/10.
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Mulan II - cheapens Mulan (the original)
coelho-ramona29 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I really enjoyed Mulan (the first movie). I went to buy a copy for my little girl recently and found that it was cheaper to buy it WITH Mulan II rather than on its I purchased both together. Mulan II was extremely disappointing. The storyline itself is extremely dark. In Mulan (the original), she runs off to protect her family and father from having to go to war. So, she broke the cultural norms of her day for a virtuous reason. She sacrificed herself and was willing to face the consequences. In Mulan II, the emperor's daughters have sworn (freely) to marry the neighborings kingdom's princes in order to avoid war. Mulan finds this very difficult to accept because she can not understand how this can be a free choice. In the end, the princesses run off with their guards (for true love..they like the same food, they like each other's eyes...really deep stuff). The plot seems to teach kids that following your own wants over the needs of others is fine and lying and manipulating to get there are okay too. Needless to say, I cut up my copy (could not even give it to Salvation Army) Selling Mulan and Mulan II for less than Mulan alone makes perfect sense. Mulan II cheapens the original Mulan. Shame on Disney.
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The best scene in the whole film was actually cut out.
Chris6 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Alright, I saw this ages ago, and the only parts I can stomach at all are the first song (not the best I've heard from Disney, but for me, the best in a sequel they produced direct to DVD that wasn't from Aladdin) and an opening scene that was completely cut. These two things and the fact that Ming Na actually came back for the role of voicing Mulan are completely overcast by the many issues held in this film.

First, I have to say that, aside from the Aladdin sequels (which need to be watched with the TV series as well as the main film to really be appreciated), none of the direct to home entertainment sequels produced by Disney have satisfied truly. So, frankly said, it's not as bad as it could have been, if we were to compare it to other non-theatrical sequels from Disney, if you enjoy them. It's not much to go by, though, in my opinion.

Second, I have to state that a lot of these opinions are formed based on my being a feminist and an Asian-American. The first Mulan was refreshing, since it had clear feminist themes and a vastly understated romantic connect without having to re-imagine the characters from the original material, as Disney has done prior in the '90s. On top of that, the original feature film was actually a fair treatment of Chinese culture, or at least as you'd get from Disney. Yes, the exaggeration of the importance of honor was very much a western viewing of Asian culture that has tired itself out, but all things considered, it was a nice enough representation of Chinese culture to not out right offend. The serious action in the film and the comedic but helpful sidekick of Mushu was also a nice icing to the cake.

In Mulan II, Disney completely disregards all of the things that made Mulan appealing.

To start, a lot of the film feels more like it's about Mushu (who is utterly selfish and unlikable here), Mulan's three war buddies--Ling, Yao and Chien Po--and the three princesses they fall in love with. I honestly couldn't be bothered to care for Mulan and Shang past the first ten minutes and forgot that she's the central character until towards the end. The only good thing in this is that the two trios are endearing, if show-stealers, but not by much.

The next point is that, where the first film simply exaggerates certain Chinese values, the sequel completely disregards them in favor of modern western ideals. The main theme in the first is duty to one's family and nation and the need to find your place in society while also being yourself. The sequel disregards duty in favor of personal desire. This is where Disney throws Chinese values out the window for their ideals of true (but shallow and unrealistic) love. The duty that was key is ignored for love matches, disregarding that the arranged marriage will secure national safety. Forget Asian values; I can't even imagine a soldier that has risked life and reputation for her country would disregard that on a basis of "my duty is to my heart". Nor would three princesses that agreed with their father's request, having likely be reared with the understanding that their position is because of their responsibility to their country. Anyhow, the short version of this point that got away from me is that the sequel disregards a valuable and universal idea of duty in favor of an unnecessary ideal of romance that's overly stressed on girls as is, thus taking away from a good thing and offering less.

The final thing that makes this irksome is the offensive stereotyping this movie contains. Mulan I was actually researched to an extent and the worst of it was the exaggeration of honor and the treatment of women (which was more a dramatic device). While not deeply accurate, there is the illustration that much of the spiritual veneration in medieval China was ancestral, with totem-like guardians being much more secondary and more a device to bring in Mushu. Then, in the sequel, we get the "Great Golden Dragon of Unity". The first mention of this Dragon of Unity had me honestly asking, "What the hell is this, Disney?" aloud while watching Mulan II. It's such a blatantly stereotypical fabrication on Disney's part that I wouldn't be surprised to see it in Vegas as a tourist trap in some Chinese-themed casino and drive-thru chapel. The fabrication of the nation "Qui Gong" (again, a verbal comment was made at this mention, along the lines of, "The country of Energy Flow? Said incorrectly?") is also eye-roll worthy, as well as several other Chinese-stereotyping features throughout the film.

These are the kind of stereotypes that are actually limiting what Asian entertainers can get jobs portraying in major western entertainment, and I can only picture the cast cringing internally at they things they had to say and see after getting to do the first film. I feel especially bad for Gedde Watanabe, since he's basically back to being in a film with the same stereotypes he had to do in Sixteen Candles twenty-one years before.

At least he's not named for a duck's donger in this one...

Honestly, my only advice is to borrow it from your local library if you seriously want to subject your kids or yourself to this, and if you had as bad a taste in your mouth as I did after credits roll, watch the deleted opening scene. Five minutes of cut footage gave me all of what I enjoyed in Mulan; scenery, action, and nice dialog between Mulan and Shang that only is outright romantic at the end. It only made it to pencils and storyboards with voice overs, but it's the best the movie has to offer.
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My duty is to my heart, and my heart loved this movie
jmbwithcats8 November 2004
Mulan 2 picks up a month after part 1 closes, with Mulan and General Shang receiving special orders to escort 3 princesses to be wed and thus create a joined alliance that protects China.

Mulan, the hero of China, and General Shang's love is threatened when Mushu, Mulan's guardian immaturely tries to break them up to save his Guardianship pedestal. The story entreats us with a theme of following your heart, which the princesses find is to be like ordinary girls, and not lose their lives even if to save the kingdom.

I really enjoyed Mulan 1, the soundtrack is beautiful, and though I was worried Mulan 2 would not be as good a story, with close attention to detail due to a few changes to cast and so forth, I was pleasantly surprised. Mulan 2 treats us to a sequel that is both touching, fun, and endearing. I didn't find the soundtrack themes as good as part 1, but was enjoyable, and sequence music was fine as well. The animation is very good, and the story has good pacing, and care of plot. A movie to be enjoyed by parents and kids alike.

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Beautiful animation and flawless voice work suffered from it's predictable story and uninspired message
Mulan was one of Disney's greatest films ever made with beautiful animation, excellent voice acting, intense action, and an entertaining story. So, when some of the Disney sequels came out at the time (Return of Jafar, Cinderella II, and Hunchback of Notre Dame II), I waited so desperately to see a sequel that would capture the magic of the original.

Sadly, my expectations were quite low when after the first 10-15 minutes of this film since it failed to be the same positive levels that made the original such a masterpiece and the characteristic was one of the few main problems of this sequel. I'll show you by contrasting the characteristic of the original and this sequel.

In the original, Mulan was a conflicted woman who was doing what is right for his family by protecting his father from getting himself killed. In this sequel, Mulan's personality is to now be a staunch feminist as she and Shang try to love each other. In the original, Mushu was a well-intentioned but slightly misguided sidekick who gave me some laughs with his comedic moments throughout the film. In this sequel, he's a selfish villain who attempts to break up the relationship between Mulan and Shang. In the original, Mulan's army buddies were hilarious and were quite enjoyable characters. In this sequel, they are now being one-dimensional characters repeating the same characteristic over and over again.

With the characteristic out of the way, there are a few good things about this movie. The voice acting is very terrific and did their best with the material they've been given and the animation, while below the original's standards, is obviously quite good and is the best animation I've seen in a Disney direct-to-video sequel this far.

Sadly, those two positive aspects got suffered by it's predictable story (with some overused clichés from other new direct-to-video sequels) and it's uninspiring message about "Following your heart" which makes it a little less entertaining for children and their adults.

Although, not a horrible sequel (unlike Cinderella 2, which was by far the worst direct-to-video sequel I have ever seen), Mulan II lacks the heart of the original and has a uninspiring message that just doesn't measure up. I'm sure the kids will enjoy it, but in terms of direct-to-video sequels, the adults might have a hard time remembering this.

Rating: 5.6/10
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Deeper relationships
Aeris_forever10 August 2005
I've always been a big fan of the first Mulan movie and when I heard about a sequel of course I started waiting for it impatiently. I bought the movie box which included both Mulan movies and when I saw the sequel for the first time I didn't like it that much but it was OK. I would say it's a movie which must be watched two times. I just watched it again and thought it was great this time! I noticed more things which I didn't notice first time. It included everything that was missing in the first movie for example love between Shang and Mulan :) Of course the original is always better but I'm delighted that Disney has made a good sequel. I don't see why they couldn't make some TV series or third movie :)

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Not your average direct-to-video sequel
thanksfreddyb20 September 2004
I saw a screening of Mulan II held at the Disney Studios, and I was pleasantly surprised at how nice a film this is. It has heart- in fact, the theme of the film is about following your heart. Its funny, as you would assume, but it also surprises you with some VERY effective tender moments; many people in the screening audience were crying(an audience comprised mostly of people who worked on the film).

Mulan II picks up a month after Mulan and Shang return. Mulan is widely known and loved as a hero, and is admired particularly by the local girls, who rightly see her as a role model. Mushu, meanwhile, is taking full advantage of his status as a hero, much to the disgust of Mulan's Ancestors, who must attend to his every whim. This is all about to change. The 'gang of three' are back to assist Mulan and Shang on a mission. They're all sent by the Emperor to escort his three daughters to marry princes of another kingdom, in order to form an alliance with that kingdom necessary to save China from an invasion. Things don't quite work out as they are supposed to; Mushu plays the heavy, attempting to break up Mulan and Shang to save his 'lifestyle'.

Overall, Mulan II is a fun ride, with a good story, great animation and a really nice score. The kids will love it, and adults will enjoy watching it with them.
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Nice but not as great as the first.
koolnut6 January 2007
I watched Mulan II and i will have to say that it was abit disappointing. Mulan is back,and is engaged to be married to her fiancé,General Shang. When all of a sudden,they are given a mission to escort three Chinese princesses abroad. The music is great,but the animation was weak and at times went overboard with the details. The voice cast were'not as good as the first movie with Eddie Murphy out of the picture as Mushu and the other originals as well. But,i loved the music,the exceptional characters and how the story went. It wasn't as dramatic as the first but there was some parts that truly reminded me of the first. Overall,it's not a bad sequel...and i rate it a good ol' 6 out of 10.
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musicaloddball25 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Mulan II was terrible because of the ending. What happened to saving China? That was half of the plot and it wasn't even addressed at the end!! What if Peter Jackson just decided to do away with Frodo and Sam in the Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King, after they had been in the first two? Even if you don't like that movie, it's obvious that LOTR fans wouldn't be LOTR fans anymore. There wouldn't be LOTR fans. That's exactly what the director of this movie did. Mulan and Shang got married. That's absolutely wonderful. But the director just completely forgot about saving China? That's totally absurd!! It also seems that Mulan, Shang, the princesses, and those three other guys in their mad love also forgot about saving China. That's not exactly what heroes and heroines do. The rest of the movie was amazingly wonderful, but in my opinion a good movie with a horrible ending that leaves you wondering is a bad movie.
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not good as the the first one, but still great!
triplexcutie1911 January 2005
i think this movie was great, but i really like the first one more. i suppose its because the first had more action, humor and better songs. However, the second one was pretty good. it shows us the personality of the characters and it was such a sweet movie. Its says u should follow and trust your heart. Someone had wrote that this is a lame movie and they only quickly made it because they wanted more money- i don't believe this is true. the animators did an excellent job and i was glad they made a second movie. i especially loved the part where Mulan was holding on to Shang and he falls down the mountain. Ming-Na did such an excellent job- it was so so emotional. loved the movie.
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Strong emotional movie
xng98 November 2004
I just saw this movie.

Plus points:

1. Very strong emotional movie based on love, relationship and sacrifice. Enough to make you cry.

2. Humorous. Mushu and crik-kee are both very humorous this time around, better than the first movie.

Negative points:

1. Less action than the first movie.

2. Animation is not as detailed as the first movie.

3. Eddie Murphy is not in this show but his replacement still puts on a strong comical performance.

4. No academy award songs.
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Good for kids; also Good for a Disney Direct to DVD Sequel
Chris Kay22 July 2013
Let's get something out of the way... Mulan II is nothing compared to the original. But then again, what Disney direct to DVD sequel is? If you look at this movie for what it really is, you'll notice that it's actually pretty good. Keep in mind it's nothing extraordinary and you can skip this film with a clear conscience, but if you happen to get to watching it for whatever reason you'll probably find the film entertaining and definitely watchable.

The big difference between the first film and this one lies in the direction the development team went for: the original was an ambitious epic about a complex moral dilemma, while the sequel touches on simple black and white issues. Keep in mind that simplicity isn't necessarily a bad thing when done right.

But does simplicity hurt the film? Well, the dialogue is far from witty, the plot is super generic, the character development is a checklist, etc... Yet, does a child care about any of this? After all, direct to DVD sequels are aimed solely at children because a parent doesn't need to be present. No. The simplicity only makes the film more accessible to a younger audience. After all, bite sized lessons and issues are a lot more easy to swallow for a five year old.

To the film's credit, it also gets the essentials right. The plot makes sense, characters are developed, the songs are decent, the pacing works, and most importantly most of the voice cast returns so everything feels right.

Now of course, the film isn't without it's flaws. The biggest issue is this film features way less action than it's predecessor and way less Mulan (she practically disappears in the middle of the film). Mulan's bickering with Shang is also very badly written. Yet, minor complaints.

Overall a decent film. 7/10. It's not a must see and can be left to the children, but if you happen to end up watching the film for whatever reason AND you lower your expectations, you might enjoy it. Well, as long as you're not expecting it to compare to the first one.
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This would be a good TV pilot but it makes a bland sequel
Maciek Kur8 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This movie dosen't work much a sequel to "Mulan" (which is one my favorite Disney movies).

While the first had an epic plot, this one is very simple - in fact it's almost a sitcom setup. We only get one bigger action scene in the third act and the rest of the movie is character developing their relations as they travel from point "A" to point "B". We get more Mulan/Shang relation, we get romance between three warriors and Emperors daughters (new character) and more Mushu/Mulan relations... In fact it's almost like a romantic comedy set in ancient China.

And I will be honest - if this was the pilot for "MULAN THE ANIMATION SERIES" (or "MULAN'S VALENTINE DAY SPECIAL") I would enjoy it.

True the animation is far from movie standards but it's still pretty darn good. All the characters relation stuff are sweet (especialy all the stuff between the warriors and the princesses) and interesting, few scenes made me laugh and I actually like the songs.

So yhe, this movie isn't how a sequel should be made but if you love those characters you may actually find this interesting and enjoyable.

The only thing I didn't like is the fact that they made the ancestor ghosts characters less sympathetic and Mulan doesn't get to shine like she did in the fist movie (the lack of the whole "pretend to be a boy" aspect was what made here fun was the best thing about her in the first movie and we don't get this at all in this one... they just talk abut it)
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Another lousy Disney sequel
wwe796115 September 2010
The first movie was a great movie, but it was held back by a few major flaws.

1. Mushu

2. The Mulan man voice

3. The not needed romance

Now take those flaws, times them by a thousand, and you have this movie. Mushu is even more annoying here then in the first movie which is saying a lot. Now get this. This movie such an greedy cash grab that Eddie Murphy didn't even want to be in it. The guy who said yes to Shrek the Third, Norbit, and Pluto Nash didn't want to waste his time with this sh*t. Now that is sad. The guy who got to play him is 100 times more annoying. Every second I hear that voice I feel my hand getting closer to a gun. The man voice isn't in this movie (Thank you). Then again the stupid not needed romance in the first movie is the main focus in this. The fact is they did not have to give Mulan a romance. The real Mulan did not fall in love with one of the people she fought alongside. The movie was trying to inspire little girls to be more than just girls, but no Mulan has to get married like every last woman in Disney. Although at least in the first movie we didn't know what was going to happen to their relationship. So you can make whatever you wanted to out of the future, but this movie shows up to tell us that everything went all OK. Kiss my @$$!!!! Also the songs just like every other Disney sequel aren't impressive at all. The characters lack as much personality, and the jokes suck. Overall this movie is just a mess.

0 stars out of 4
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great sequel wonderful
stacilx24 November 2004
this was a fab movie a great carry on and if anyone thinks other wise they're mad. the true mushu was revealed and we saw a new side to chien po, ling and yao, plus the princesses ting ting, may and su are a great addition i can't wait to see if a third one is planned. it had me hooked when watching it the beautiful scenery the story of ying and yang combined the whole thing. it is a must buy a fab movie for both adults and children it shows china in a new light plus the costumes just keep getting better and better great emotion and reality it is funnier some great jokes from ling and ting ting you just can't miss this fab movie it's great i love it.
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An amazingly impressive direct-to-video sequel
Dragoneyed36328 April 2010
Mulan is without a doubt my favorite Walt Disney movie, and I cherish it as one of my favorite movies ever in general. With that said, it's pretty clear I had high hopes set for Mulan II, and even though I was certainly not expecting it to precede Mulan at all, I was hoping for it to have the same charm and enchantment as it did. Mulan II is an impressive achievement that definitely does justice to the first, and did justice to my expectations.

What is really great about this film is it's overall sense and essence of fun that the first kind of kept mellow and shied away from. Don't get me wrong, I thought Mulan was indeed perfect, but you can compare the two films and obviously see that Mulan II is meant to have more jubilance, and is meant to be more fun and joyful than the first. The film also has excellent songs that I can't help but get stuck in my head, like the "(I Wanna Be) Like Other Girls" bit that the thought of it is making me sing now, and the "Lesson Number One" sequence that I walk around chanting at random times now and then, haha. They are amazingly catchy and well done just like the songs in the first were.

The best thing about this movie though is it's beauty. I think there were so many captivating scenes that were excellently displayed, though the animation was a bit choppy, and the message is just as pure as in the first one, though the first undeniably executes it better. The colors were effervescent, and managed to overthrow a lot of the second-rate animation faults, and one scene that sticks out in my mind is when Shang proposes, because the tree where Mulan and her dad had the most touching scene of the first Mulan film is colored and exhibited gorgeously.

Some things that keep this from being better than it could be is the animation, like I've said, because even though there are beautiful scenes, the animation is quite childlike. Another thing is Shang's lack of personality about halfway through and how Mushu became so incredibly selfish that his character seemed out of place. They were basically like puppets to the creators instead of becoming actual characters themselves, unlike in the first where they had distinct traits and were likable for their definitive individuality, although Mushu does pull through at the end. The voiceovers didn't bother me as much as I thought they would, even though I wish some of the original people would've came back.

In any matter, Mulan II is insane fun, incredibly entertaining, undeniably charming and beautifully crafted. The characters and animation are mediocre at times, but it never fails at keeping up with the spark that the first had. It's far, far better than the Aladdin sequels, and as a film itself it's well done and just overall an astonishing delight that I am glad I gave a chance. Don't let the "direct-to-video" fool you, because this should have been released in theatres to give more people a chance to see what an admirable sequel it is; job well done.
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Heart & Humor great sequel *spoiler*
evienneau1 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Mulan 2 has a tremendous amount of heart and humor. I think the directing and the wonderful script go a long way to make up for some of the animation quality and actually it's really only one scene in particular where the animation is only so-so. There are scenes that are breathtakingly beautiful like the images of rice paddies which look like beautiful pastel paintings. The script is far better than most direct to video films. It is certainly as good, if not better, than most animated films that you'd see in the theaters. The jokes are fabulous and laugh out loud funny. There are moments of true suspense and warmth. I saw a special screening of the film that was not for employees and the audience had a wonderful time- laughing and teary eyed. Many little girls were playing Mulan after the lights when up. It was really adorable. The scene in the beginning where Mulan is practicing her fighting techniques with the little girls of the village is make-your-face-hurt-from-smiling wonderful.

I also liked that Mulan seems to have grown from the first movie to this one. She seems to have learned life lessons and made choices in this film that show this growth. Yet she still remains the Mulan that we love who follows her heart. Often it really captures eastern ideas, other times it just brushes upon them. But come on, it's a Disney film not a philosophy lesson.
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nothing like the original
GiGi (ugly_yodeler)13 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
this movie made me gag. the first movie is my second or third favorite Disney movie, but this one...ugh. The children in the first song made me wish that Mulan would use some of her fighting skills on them, and Yao, Ling and Chien-Po(who used to be my favorite bit characters)were just boring. The princesses were interesting at first, except for Mei, who irritated me from the first time she sighed about Yao. Ting-Ting would have to be my favorite, as she was the only one with any pride in the movie. The "Who Could Ask for More" song was by far the best, and it was interrupted with "I Wanna Be Like Other Girls" with absolutely no respect for old Chinese tradition. the whole point of the first movie is that Mulan Wasn't LIKE other girls, and then there are the princesses, pretending that other girls got to do what they do today...sigh. The movie had one good thing about it though, and that was Cri-Kee. yes, the cricket. He was the only one who seemed to be any help in the movie. When Shang fell off of the bridge, the person Mulan turned into until she met up with Shang again was interesting, but then went right back into being irritating.
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Like a big joke
musicalfan26 March 2005
Disney should stop making sequels. The originals work fine on their own. Most Disney sequels are terrible and are BIG disappointments to their predecessors. The only Disney sequel that wasn't really, really bad was Lion King II. This was like a big joke compared to the first one. There is nothing on this film that makes it stand out. This is OK if you just want to entertain kids, but that's about it. It'll just bring you a few laughs. Even the drawing looks like they were rushed. The characters were annoying, and the songs just passed you by. Disney should stop making sequels. This show is not worth getting, unless you're really intrigued about what happened to Shang and Mulan.
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Why does Disney do this?
ageagle29 January 2006
This movie is a fine example of how badly Disney can get something WRONG! I put off watching this one for quite a while since I wasn't sure that it was going to be worth my time and…I'm afraid that I was proved right. The musical performance for the most part is dead; there is no energy (not even in the re-written renditions from the first movie). The animation is lackluster and doesn't have the depth and richness that one would expect from a "good" Disney movie (it is very reminiscent of the "Aladdin" sequel, "The Return of Jafar", another Disney movie that should have never seen the light of day).

At least the recent good news is that Disney is not going to be making "Toy Story 3" (gad…that makes me sick just to think how they would have butchered that one).
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The Message Here Troubled Me
sddavis631 February 2008
For the most part, what I would say about this movie is that what Disney usually does well, Disney does well again with this. The animation is fantastic, the characters are fun (especially Mushu) and the story is interesting enough to keep an adult watching all the way through. There were, however, a few weaknesses here that I wouldn't usually associate with Disney.

The first wasn't really Disney's fault - it was mine. Having not seen the first Mulan this was difficult to get started with because it's clear that the characters have a history that you're not aware of if you haven't seen the first movie. But there are a couple of more problematic things. First was the music. I didn't think the music was Disney-calibre. It was fun while the movie was on, but within an hour I don't think I would have remembered any of the songs or even been able to hum any of the tunes. None of them were particularly memorable. People who come from non-Western cultures where arranged marriages are still quite acceptable may find the movie's very blatant anti-arranged marriage message offensive (it didn't really bother me but I thought of it) and - most problematic to me - was the value system the movie promoted.

At first, the movie seemed to present an ethical dilemma. Duty or heart? Do I do what I have to do for my country or do I just follow my heart? That's an interesting dilemma. The problem was that it was answered by Mulan pretty quickly. She decided that "my duty is my heart" and that becomes the main message of the movie. It seems to me that "my duty is my heart" can be too easily understood as "my duty is to me." So - I have no responsibility to anyone or anything except to pursue what I want? That didn't strike me as a message I want to send to children.

So, there's a lot of good stuff with this movie, but my gut reaction to the message makes me give this only a 6/10.
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The first worthy sequel to a Disney film EVER
oshram-31 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
By now everyone knows that the Disney 'direct-to-video' sequels to their beloved classics are most often craptacular half-assed efforts that only sully the good name of the original in an embarrassing attempt to strip mine the magic one more time and wring every last cent out of a good idea. I would say that this is an absolute truism, but I have yet to see the sequels to Aladdin, which I am assured are actually pretty good. But Hunchback II, etc., yuck, not even worth the paint used to make them (or the digital bits, in some cases). So I was expecting to be ashamed to sit through 80 minutes where Mulan's good name (it's one of my favorite Disney films) gets dragged through the mud all to make a quick buck for the mouse.

Wow, what a surprise. Though it would be hard for any sequel to top the original Mulan, M2 is a pretty good shot, and certainly the best Disney sequel I've seen so far. It builds on the first film – Mulan and Shang are given a mission to escort three of the Emperor's daughters to be married off to cement an alliance (sounds like something with a big budget and a desert that Zhang Ziyi would be starring in) – and it returns the entire cast to the screen, with, blessedly, the original voices.

But it also captures a lot of the original charm of the first movie. Boneheaded Mu Shu (Eddie Murphy) is once again along for the ride, and the semi-romantic tension between Mulan (Ming-Na) and Shang (B.D. Wong) is escalated as well. Though one can sort of see where the plot line with the three princesses and the three comic relief army pals is going, nonetheless enough of the goings on are lighthearted enough to be rich fun.

Mulan 2 was also a relief in that the new music is pretty good (including a fun reprise of "A Girl Worth Fighting For," the big charmer from the first movie), but the biggest surprise for me was that there was no villain. There are obstacles to overcome, there is conflict and tension, but none of this is driven by an external force, like the first film (though the villain there, Shan Yu (Miguel Ferrer) was SO well realized, anyone else probably would have paled in comparison). One of the original characters sort of acts with a darker purpose (another Disney surprise), but that's not really the same thing. Mulan 2 in essence ends up being entertaining for the very same reason the first one was; the richness and depth of the characters.

Hopefully M2 will start a trend with these bastard step-children of Disney's, and make the ravenous mouse realize that you can sell a lot more discs on quality than you can on just name alone (although this is the same evil empire that is foisting Raven off on the world, so maybe they won't learn this valuable lesson). Previous to this I cringed at the thought of the home video division getting their hands on beloved characters, but if M2 is any indication of what they are truly capable of, maybe Disney can start going back to the well a little more often.
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No... just, no.
whatever_12326 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The first Mulan is one of my all time favorite Disney movies. Just for the heck of it, I watched the second one with my friend... and it sucked.

For one thing, the songs were stupid and completely forgettable. For another thing, the animation looked weird to me. Mulan was a lot less pretty in this movie than in the first one, I don't know how. Anyway, the plot was a predictable piece of garbage. They are taking the three princesses to their pre-arranged marriages, they fall in love with the other guys, and they get to choose who they marry at the end. I was also really disappointed in Mushu in this movie. In the first Mulan, Mushu provided a great comic relief and he seemed like a really respectable guy. In this movie he turned into a complete jerk. He wanted to break up Mulan and Shang (who is the hottest cartoon character ever!) because he wanted to maintain his Guardian status??? How selfish can you get?! There's a part in the movie that amazes me, and not in a good way. (SPOILER) At one point, Mulan and Shang are hanging off a broken bridge that has to be at least ten thousand feet high. Shang's hand slips out of Mulan's and he falls TEN THOUSAND FEET TO THE GROUND. Later in the movie, he comes back, completely fine. What???? From where I come from, if you fell ten thousand feet, you would be dead!! Although, I am happy he lived (because he's so hot!!) The most annoying thing about this movie is the one sentence they say, no joke, fifty times. Every scene they have to remind us that "your duty is to your heart". I swear I almost threw up the forty fifth time they said it.

Everything that the first Mulan did right, Mulan 2 did totally wrong! No great songs, terrible plot, ridiculous situations, and an sickening message. Please don't watch this movie. There's a reason why it went straight to DVD!!!
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Bad everything.
daikpen-624-2765732 January 2010
The story is pointless and takes a cheap way out of every remotely deep question. The main problem of the Hun invasion is also never solved. The main message of being selfish with disregard to the well being of others is also troubling.

The songs are not forgettable- they are flat out bad. The animation pales in comparison to the original.

This is another example of Disney ruining a good film with an unnecessary ugly sequel.

A pointless voice cameo by Michelle Kwan on a nonsensically skating ginger saleswoman puts the hilariously bad cherry on top of this pile of garbage. Don't let your children or anyone see this for risk of tainting the memory of the original (and very good) film.
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It's another Disney sequel...
Tar-Ancalime17 December 2004
Rule: When Disney finds a wonderful story, animates it superbly, creates a beautiful soundtrack, adds some humor and magic, and gets truly fantastic films, they are driven by greed for even MORE money and make a lame, stupid, third-rate sequel with nothing magical about it.

That said, Mulan 2 is the least horrible Disney sequel I've seen. Better than such monstrosities as Lion King 2, the two Aladdin sequels, Pocahontas 2 (shudder), but that is not saying much at all. It's lame, it's flat, it's tripe, and it will ruin the original Mulan if you let it. The characters are not engaging, the plot is boring and old, the humor is non-existent, and it hurts to watch on many levels.

It's my recommendation you completely stay away from this, but if you absolutely must watch it, keep in mind that this is a Disney sequel and really has very little to do with the original Mulan. Have very low expectations, forget the original movie, and you might be able to not hate it.
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