February 1, 2005 – The Direct-to-Video Sequel Mulan II is Released
“Mulan’s gonna teach us how to kick butt!”
On February 1, 2005, the direct-to-video sequel Mulan II was released. Many of the original voice actors resumed their roles in the sequel. It was directed by Darrell Rooney and Lynne Southerland, and written by Michael Lucker, Chris Parker, and Roger S.H. Schulman. It stars Ming-Na Wen as Fa Mulan, Mark Moseley as Mushu, BD Wong as Shang, Lucy Liu as Mei, Harvey Fierstein as Yao, Sandra Oh as Ting Ting, Gedde Watanabe as Ling, Lauren Tom as Su, Jerry Tondo as Chien-Po, and Lea Salonga as the singing voice of Mulan.
The film begins in the ancestral shrine, where Mushu is still milking his glory of helping Mulan save China, much to the chagrin of the ancestors. Meanwhile, Mulan’s family is worried about when Shang will propose to Mulan, with Mulan’s father placing a bet on when it will happen. A little girl stops by to ask where Mulan is, and runs off to join Mulan in the fields while she’s doing her chores. Mulan is actually practicing fighting in the fileds, and all the little girls of the village appear, wanting Mulan to teach them how to fight. Although the girls want to be tough, Mulan tells them they must be gentle and tough at the same time, as there’s a balance to everything. Shang arrives after the lesson, and greets the girls warmly, and it’s revealed he got a promotion to General. Although Mulan remarks about how brave he is, he seems to struggle with asking Mulan something. Finally, he pulls her aside and asks her to marry him, and she says yes. Mushu is also thrilled that Mulan is getting married, although he’s more happy for himself as her getting married is going to help his status. Mulan is further surprised when everyone in town arrives to help the couple celebrate.
The ancestors celebrate Mulan and Shang’s engagement, but for a different reason
The ancestors celebrate once Mushu announces that Mulan is getting married, but they reveal they’re excited because Mushu will be fired once Mulan gets married, as Shang’s guardians will become hers. While the party continues, Mulan’s parents grow increasingly concerned, as Mulan and Shang’s opinions on their life together differ greatly. The party is interrupted as Mulan and Shang are needed at the Emperor’s palace, but before they leave, Mulan’s parent present their gift: the Yin and Yang pendants. The two then warn the two that they must work together through everything, and Mushu, having seen the entire thing, wants to use the differences to keep his pedestal by breaking the pair up. Mulan and Shang head off to the palace, with Mushu and Crickee hitching a ride. At the palace, the Emperor asks the pair to help form an alliance through marriage by escorting three princesses to the Kingdom of Qui Gong to marry the sons of Lord Chin. The pair have three days to deliver the princesses, but Mulan is concerned about an arranged marriage, and even more concerned when it’s revealed that the princesses are his daughters. Shang requires the use of three men: Ling, Yao, and Chien-Po.
The three men in question have just been kicked out of the matchmaker’s house, as there is no way she can find anyone to fit their outrageous demands for a wife. The three then decide to find their perfect girls themselves, although the three fare no better than the matchmaker. Mulan and Shang find the trio, and readily accept the proposal to help escort the princesses. At the palace that evening, the trio guards the princesses as they head to the caravan, and one loses a shoe on her way inside. Yao helps the princess with her shoe, and there’s a spark when their eyes meet. Mulan questions the princesses about their arranged marriages, but the princesses remain firm that it is an honor. The group moves out, crossing through the Chinese countryside. Mulan is still worried about the situation, and confesses to Shang that she doesn’t feel that it is right. Shang convinces her that sometimes life doesn’t work that way for everyone, but the two of them are able to be happy together. Yao continues to be moony-eyed over the princess, with Ling and Chien-Po giving him a hard time. Inside the caravan, Princess Mei considers Yao to be a big cuddly panda bear, much to the confusion of her sisters. Eldest sister Ting-Ting lectures Mei, as they have promised to marry in three days, and aren’t supposed to fall in love with their guards before then.
Yao and Mei start talking after their first initial attraction
As they stop for a break, Mei talks to Yao, and the two bond. Princess Su meets Chien-Po, and they seem to get along well. The meeting between Ting-Ting and Ling starts off frosty, as she seems to hate him. Afterwards, Mei goes to talk with Mulan, and asks how to decide between duty and heart. Mulan says that her duty is to her heart, and Mei takes the words seriously before heading back to her sisters. Meanwhile, Mushu puts his plan into action to make Shang look so ridiculous that Mulan will dump him, but it continually backfires. At one point, Mushu accidentally sends the carriage barreling down the road to the cliff, although they are able to save the princesses, the carriage is destroyed. The group sets up camp, and Mulan and Shang argue over which way to go to take the princesses to Qui Gong. However, Yao finds a path through the forest, ending the argument, and the pair apologize to each other. That night, Ling returns Ting-Ting’s fan, but seems to be hurt, as he thinks that Ting-Ting hates him, although he likes her very much. Mei questions how Ting-Ting can dismiss her feelings for Ling so easily, but Ting-Ting lectures her about their mission. Mei heads back in the tent and writes a letter to her father, as she plans to run away with Yao. Ting-Ting tries to convince her that she must do her duty for her country, and all three are hurt that they must ignore their feelings to help their countries. Mei then admits that she wants to be just like other girls, and her sisters agree. Chien-Po overhears the girls, and realizes that the three princesses are in love with the three guards.
Mushu kicks his plan up another notch by talking to Shang as he sleeps, convincing Shang that Mulan has gone behind his back. He then sets up puppets outside Shang’s tent and talks badly about Shang, and Shang wakes up and finds Mulan to confront her. Mulan and Shang get into an argument, but Mushu feigns innocence when Mulan talks to him. Meanwhile, the guard trio decides to talk to the princesses and convince them to go to a nearby village in the moonlight. The girls agree, and Mushu watches as the princesses and the guards walk out of the camp. Mulan decides to handle the situation on her own, and in an attempt to break Shang and Mulan up for good, Mushu wakes up Shang. There’s a festival in the nearby town, and the guards bond with their respective princesses, save for Ling and Ting-Ting. Poor Ling feels like he’s a failure at being funny, but Ting-Ting finally starts laughing, and reveals that she never laughed because she hates her laugh, and the two finally connect. Mulan finally finds them, and exclaims for joy when she finds that the guards and the princesses are in love. When Shang appears, however, he is furious about what happened, having found the letter Mei had written about running away. The happy couples are forbidden to speak to each other, and Mulan is saddened with Shang’s behavior, and the two believe that they are too different.
The journey continues, but the atmosphere is considerably tense
The journey continues, with the tense atmosphere surrounding the camp. Mulan is too hurt to even talk to Mushu, but the princesses apologize to Mulan for breaking up her relationship with Shang. Mulan in turn thanks them for opening her eyes about how broken her relationship with Shang was. The guards then secretly pass a message to the princesses about how much they love them. Mulan finally talks to Mushu, and he feels an overwhelming sense of guilt for breaking the pair up. He finally confesses what he’s done, and while Mulan is angry at Mushu, she tries to apologize to Shang. Unfortuantely, before she can, bandits attack the camp. The bandits make off with Mei, but Shang and Mulan are able to save her. The wooden bridge they’re fighting on breaks, and Mulan tries to keep a hold of Shang. Shang apologizes and lets go of Mulan’s hand, falling to the rocks below. The camp mourns for Shang, with Mulan grieving at the edge of the bridge. The next morning, the group agrees to go through with the wedding, but Mulan tells them that their mission is to take care of each other. Meanwhile, Shang’s horse searches for his master, and Shang is found alive.
The group arrives at Qui Gong, and Mulan apologizes to Lord Chin, saying that the princesses lost their lives in an accident in the river. Mulan sacrifices herself to marry one of Lord Chin’s sons, and Lord Chin agrees. Shang finds the group and tells them of Mulan’s plan, and runs off to Qui Gong to save Mulan, with the group following. Mushu apologizes once again, and tells her he doesn’t care about his job anymore, as he wants to stop this wedding. Mulan, however, realizes she has to go through with it, and sets off to the ceremony. Shang arrives just in time to stop the ceremony, and Mushu gets an idea to pretend to be the Golden Dragon of Unity, declaring that Mulan and Shang should be together. Mulan and Shang are married, and the entire kingdom celebrates. Mushu then also declares that the princesses and the guards are free to marry, and everyone celebrates. Back at Mulan’s home, Mushu sighs and packs his things, leaving behind his post; although sad, he prefers Mulan to be happy. Mulan and Shang show up at the shrine, and Shang decides to combine the family temples, with Mushu keeping his pedestal. Shang then finally meets Mushu, but it looks like the two will get along. In the end, it’s a happy ending for everyone.