‘Mulan II’: An Underappreciated Disney Sequel Straight to Video

Before the launch of Disney Plus, Disney released a collection of feature-length movies specifically for home entertainment. These movies, known as direct-to-video animated films, were released between 1994 and 2015, with many being sequels to popular Disney franchises. While some of these films received criticism for not meeting the standards set by their predecessors, there are hidden gems within this category, such as Mulan II.

Released in 2005 as a sequel to 1998’s Mulan, Mulan II continues the story of Fa Mulan, an underrated Disney princess who serves as a hero to China and an inspiration to young girls. The film brings back the original voice cast and follows Mulan as she works to protect China from the new threat of the Mongols. Alongside her partner Li Shang, as well as the lovable trio of Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po, Mulan embarks on an adventure to save China once again.

Mulan II explores themes of love, choice, and duty that were not touched upon in the first film. It delves into the complexities of relationships, forcing Mulan and Shang to confront their differences and learn more about each other as partners. The film presents a more believable and stable couple, adding depth to their relationship.

The sequel stays true to the themes of the original film, focusing on Mulan’s independence and ability to shape her own destiny. She continues to inspire and teach other young women by balancing strength and vulnerability. Mulan’s unwavering conviction about the importance of choice and love influences the character arcs of the three princesses she escorts.

While Mulan II has a lighter tone compared to its predecessor, this tonal shift is justified by the lack of immediate danger after the war with the Huns. The film still captures the essence of the original movie by showcasing Mulan’s willingness to protect her homeland. It is a political escort mission rather than a battle on the front lines, but the determination to safeguard China remains intact.

Despite being a direct-to-video release, Mulan II features an impressive voice cast that includes returning actors from the original film. Notable performances come from Sandra Oh, Lucy Lui, and Lauren Tom as the three princesses. The film also boasts a soundtrack with catchy tunes and enjoyable musical sequences that deserve recognition.

Direct-to-video sequels often face criticism, but Mulan II successfully builds upon the themes and ideas of its predecessor while introducing new elements. It explores love, duty, empowerment, and the formation of strong relationships. With its outstanding voice cast, captivating soundtrack, and heartwarming continuation of the narrative, Mulan II deserves recognition as one of the better Disney sequels ever released.


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