A few months after the events of Mulan, the sequel picks up with our heroine aboutto marry General Shang. Their betrothal is interrupted, however, by an urgent request from theEmperor: escort his three daughters cross-country for their marriages, which have been arrangedfor political purposes. As the pair begin their mission, Mulan feels increasingly uneasy about theprincesses having to marry men they have never met. As well, the women are falling in love withthe thr…e sidekicks from the last film. Complicating things still further is Mushu, who doeseverything he can to break up the Mulan and Shang so he can keep his position as Mulan’sguardian spirit.
The characters look the same, and some of the voice actors return, but the spectacle andenergy of the first film are absent, as is Eddie Murphy’s essential contribution as Mushu, who isnow a wicked pest. The backgrounds are bland and still, and there is almost none of the visualrichness of the original film. The songs, furthermore, are bland. Dispiriting stuff.
The sound is solid, but doesn’t exactly bowl one over. The music has been given a solid mix,and there are some good surround moments, but the overall effect isn’t enveloping. There is nodistortion, however.
Though the film itself has become visually drab and unappealing, the transfer is just fine.There is no grain or edge enhancement whatsoever, and the image is extremely sharp (of course,anything less when the film is a cartoon would be extremely odd). The colours, if unexciting, areconsistent.
Mushu becomes an increasingly irritating presence as he guides viewers through the menuselections, at times slowing the selections down to a crawl. “The World of Mulan” guides(younger) viewers through the Yin and Yang, arranged marriages and food, before unlocking aChinese Zodiac guide. “The Voices of Mulan” is a typical making-of featurette, again withMushu pushing things along. There are four deleted scenes presented in storyboard form, andAtomic Kitten’s “(I Wanna Be) Like Other Girls” video. “Mushu’s Guess Who?” game asksplayers to identify shadows, and will keep young viewers entertained for about two minutes. Themenu’s main screen is animated and scored, and the secondary screens are scored.
Simplistic at the level of both story and animation, this tarnishes one’s memory of theoriginal film. Parents, don’t spend your money on these awful sequels, and maybe Disney willstop making them.
Special Features List
- “Voices of Mulan II” Featurette
- “The World of Mulan” Featurette
- Deleted Scenes
- “(I Wanna Be) Like Other Girls” Video
- Mushu’s “Guess Who” Game