Flashback Friday: Yin And Yang: Mulan’s Adventure Continues In ‘Mulan 2’
January 27, 2019
Continuing on from my Mulan post two weeks ago, I thought we’d return to China for the film’s Direct-to-DVD sequel.
A month has passed since Mulan returned home from the war with the Huns. She and Shang have grown close, and he’s now a General. Mulan’s family expresses fondness for the army leader and has taken bets on when he’ll propose.
Elsewhere, Mushu revels in his success. The Fa Ancestors watch the little dragon’s inflated ego as they serve him. This annoys them, but they have a plan.
Mulan The Mentor
Upon her return, the woman has become a role model. One girl, Sha-Ron is fond of her and looks at her with high regard.
Despite her reluctance, the female warrior agrees to teach a few moves. She teaches them that the initial rule is to be gentle, but tough.
Mulan admits it sounds strange, but the world is full of opposites. She gives them examples, comparing the Earth with the sky and others.
Shang arrives. The children crowd around him with the newly appointed General giving one of them his helmet.
The Proposal, Zhou Wins The Gamble And Mushu’s Joy
After saying goodbye to the kids, the boyfriend pulls Mulan aside and proposes. She accepts with her family watching with glee from the temple. Grandma exclaims she won the bet. Zhou corrects her, claiming he came first because he predicted Shang’d pop the question before noon while she said before sundown. She fumes as she’s forced to give her winnings back.
Mulan informs Mushu of her pending marriage, prompting him to burst into tears. She tells him to be quiet because someone might hear him. Mushu thanks himself for getting Mulan and Shang together, much to Cri-Kee’s annoyance.
As Mulan and her betrothed talk to people, their opinions are different on how they want to do things when they’re married. They’re asked everything from how big the event will be to how many children they’ll have. Mulan’s parents express their concern over the couple’s differences. The elderly father questions if they should give them their gift now. A soldier ruins the celebration when he arrives with a summons.
As the pair prep their horses, a jealous Mushu complains to Cri-Kee of his pending replacement. Meanwhile, Zhou and Li give their daughter and future son-in-law their Yin and Yang necklaces. Mushu picks up on it and he declares he will destroy the engagement!
Arranged Marriage Plans For The Royal Princesses
Mushu hitches a ride in Mulan’s saddle bag as she and her fiancé head for the Imperial City. Cri-Kee appears, much to Mushu’s mock dismay.
The engaged couple learns from the Emperor they’ll guard three princesses travelling to Qui Gong. Once there, the girls will marry Lord Chin’s three sons to create an alliance between the two kingdoms. Mulan detests arranged marriages but keeps quiet.
The Emperor cautions if the wedding doesn’t occur in three days, their enemy will defeat them. He sees the troubled expression on Mulan’s face and asks what troubles her. He tells her his daughters acknowledge what they’re doing. Surprise befalls Mulan when she discovers the princesses are his daughters.
To end the awkwardness of the conversation, the Emperor inquires how many soldiers they’ll need for the mission. Shang tells him they’ll only need three men. Mulan, knowing whom he’s referring to, agrees. His Majesty tells them he trusts their judgment.
Enter The Army Buddies And Saying Goodbye To The Emperor
Elsewhere, Chein Po, Yao, and Ling get kicked out of The Matchmaker’s establishment for an unknown reason. She tells them they don’t have personalities and to come back to her when they do. Ling yells at her, only to get a vase thrown at his face.
The trio gets into a fight with patrons at a restaurant before being kicked out into the street where they run into Shang and Mulan and agree to join them on their mission.
At the Imperial Palace that night, the group help escort the princesses to their carriage. Mulan joins the princesses in the carriage and their conversations turns to the princes. Mei tells her they’ve never met their future husbands. The girls comfort Mulan by saying they’re honoured to be serving their father and the Middle Kingdom.
When Mulan leaves, the girls let out a sigh of sadness. As the Emperor watches the carriage put out, he watches sadly knowing this could be the last time he sees his daughters.
As Mulan and Shang plan the trip to Qui Gong, Mushu schemes against them.
Mulan worries about the prospect of not being able to follow her heart because of the princesses’s situation.
The fired Fa guardian fumes to Cri-Kee that Shang sounds selfish for saying his world is perfect. He vents the sooner he breaks the happy couple up, the better.
As the Army Buddies lead the carriage, Yao gushes over the princess he helped. Ling jokes she was looking at him in total disgust.
Yao exclaims its love between him and Mei. Ling tells him it doesn’t matter because they’re on a mission and they need to focus. Chein Po points out the princesses are engaged which only deepens Yao’s upbeat personality.
Mei And Yao Sitting In A Tree…
Mei, the princess Yao helped, tells her sisters how Yao looked at her. The oldest, Ting-Ting calls Yao a Gorilla while Mei calls him a big, cuddly panda bear. When Su realises her sister is in love, Ting-Ting reminds her sister the three of them are to be married in three days and they can’t fall in love with the soldiers.
The group stops to allow the horses to rest. Mulan suggests the princesses stretch their legs. Mei questions if the guards are keeping watch. Mulan assures them they’re safe.
Mei approaches Yao and thanks him for helping her with her slipper. She requests his name, but he becomes awkward for a moment before he regains his confidence. While the pair flirt, Su picks pears from a tree and tries to reach a pear on a high branch but cannot reach it. Chein Po helps her reach it.
Ting-Ting is unimpressed her sisters are flirting with the guards. Ling sneaks up on her and tells his corny jokes, which makes her uncomfortable. Ling watches disappointed as Ting-Ting runs away from him.
Mei approaches Mulan and compliments her on taking her father’s place in the army. She asks how Mulan made the choice to do what she did. Mulan informs her it wasn’t an easy decision, but she did the right thing by following her heart. The princess realises she should listen to her heart and thanks Mulan before she runs back the carriage.
Mushu Sabotages Shang
Seeing Mulan help Mei, Mushu sets Operation: Shang into action. This plan is to make Shang look bad in front of Mulan so she’ll leave him.
Mushu tries a few things to embarrass the General but nothing works. He takes his anger out on Khan who gets fed up and tramples him. Cri-Kee laughs at him. Unintentionally, he sends the carriage rolling towards a cliff.
Shang becomes fixated with following the map, but Mulan suggests the river before saying they should wing it. Shang tells her there’s no town or river on the map. Mulan teases him about why men don’t like asking for direction. The General, in no mood, asks why women don’t like maps.
The tension fuels over into a massive argument before Yao steps in. He explains there’s town and there’s probably a road that will lead them to Qui Gong. Mulan and Shang apologise to each other before their yin and yang necklaces become tangled.
Cri-Kee attempts to rub the apology in his friend’s face, but he claims Mulan can’t wait to get away from Shang. The cricket thinks the dragon is delusional.
The princesses watch Yao chop wood while Ling gives Ting-Ting back her fan. Ling tells her he’d make a joke about the fan, but he runs in the cooking pot.
Mei lectures her sister when Ting-Ting refuses to acknowledge her feelings for Ling. The older princess snaps, saying she knows where her duty lies. Mei walks away in a huff. She enters the tent and writes her father a letter, but her sisters catch her and learn she will run away.
Sabotaging Shang 2.0
Mushu breathes in Shang’s ear he sleeps saying Mulan was a horrible person. Shang wakes up in a panic though he’s not sure what he heard.
Going into phase two, Mushu constructs mannequins in the shape of the daughters and Mulan. He even makes himself sound like Mulan so that Shang thinks Mulan is talking about him behind his back as Mushu planted in his mind.
Shang hears “Mulan” talking about him and goes to confront her while Mushu watches. When the general confronts his fiancée, he accuses her of calling him names behind his back. Mulan attempts to fight back, but the conversations turns into a full-blown argument.
Yao arrives to swap places with Mulan but has to watch her and Shang storm away from each other.
Mulan Vents To Mushu And The Army Buddies Get Dates
Storming to her tent, Mulan tells Mushu what happened. Cri-Kee tries to expose Mushu, but the dragon kicks him out of the tent. Mulan admits she doesn’t know what to do while Mushu tells her she needs to break up with Shang. She tells him if what she’s seeing is true; she doesn’t like it.
The Army Buddies form a plan to understand their respected princess better. However, they can’t work out which one of them will start the plan first. It nearly ends in a fight before Mei comes in and prevents it.
Yao gets the girls to agree to a date with them. They agree and they go to visit a small village away from the camp.
Back in Mulan’s tent, she paces saying she doesn’t know Shang because of his controlling, organised nature. Out the tent flap, Mushu watches as the guards walk away with the princesses. He takes his time alerting Mulan to the missing princesses. Mulan goes after the group, despite what Shang’ll think.
Setting The Final Match
In Shang’s tent, Mushu tries to wake the general up, despite Mulan’s instructions to not get anything wake him. Cri-Kee tries to stop him, but it’s to no avail.
Shang enters the princess’s tent to find them missing and blames it on Mulan before following the trail to find them.
Mulan tracks the soldiers and the princesses down and is unimpressed they ran off.
The general says the Emperor would be appalled by his daughters breaking their vow to marry the princes in Qui Gong. He then turns on the men saying they are not to do their duty without talking to the princesses. After telling the soldiers to escort the princesses back to camp, Shang takes his anger and paranoia out on Mulan.
Mulan is angered when Shang accuses her of not thinking anything about tradition and duty. She tries to make him see her heart shows her duty, and she follows her feelings before she accuses him of being heartless.
Shang says the assignment has only it more clear to him they’re different, which hurts Mulan. She says perhaps they’re too different from each other.
The ride to Qui Gong is silent and awkward with no one talking to each other. Mushu is pleased with himself, but Mulan isn’t in the mood to talk about Shang. Cri-Kee once again has a go at Mushu for his selfishness before receiving the cold shoulder by his companion.
Shang alerts the soldiers they’ve just entered bandit country and they need to be careful. Ling tries to make light of the situation and pulls Yao and Chein Po into his plan by giving the princesses compliments.
The general looks down at his half of the yin and yang necklaces while Mulan does the same. Mushu tries to cheer his human friend up but to no avail. When Mulan thanks Mushu for always being there for her, the dragon feels guilty. He confesses to trying to destroy her relationship with Shang.
Mulan doesn’t want to believe Mushu would try to break her and Shang up, but he confesses to everything. He tells her when she got married, he’d lose her and his pedestal. She’s disgusted and refuses to forgive him. She goes to tell Shang she loves him, but they get caught in an ambush.
Despite the fight, Mei is kidnapped with Mulan and Shang in hot pursuit. They rescue Mei, but one bandit cuts the ropes on the bridge. As Mulan and Shang try to get to safety, the bridge gives out from under them, causing them to hang on. Shang, knowing the bridge won’t hold them both. He lets go of Mulan’s hand, falling to his apparent death.
Distraught, Mulan climbs back up onto the bridge where the group mourns Shang. Even Mushu, who still feels guilty for what he did, watches a tearful Mulan marks the bridge with Shang’s sword as the place of his death.
Mulan Almost Marries A Prince
Ting-Ting tells Mulan, who is now the leader of the group, she and her sisters are ready to go through the wedding. Mulan tells her the sisters are to take care of each other and she’ll take their place as a bride, knowing the arrangement is still on the line.
In Qui Gong, Mulan speaks with the city’s leader, Lord Chin. She tells him a half-truth about the carriage falling into the river and being destroyed. Lord Chin says it’s a great loss, but his advisors say he can’t alter the arrangement he made with the Emperor. She purposely leaves out the Emperor’s daughters are still alive.
Shang’s Return ‘From The Dead’
In the countryside, the soldiers and the princesses talk about how Mulan will finish the mission. The princesses asks how when she needs them. A voice sounds and the group are shocked to find Shang survived his fall. He tells them Mulan will have taken their places.
Shang tells the others Mulan was right about not marrying for love. Ting-Ting says they want to go with him to Qui Gong. The general orders them to stay put. When Shang leaves, Ling asks if he’d given them an order to stay where they were. Chein Po thinks he’d given them a friendly suggestion to follow him to Qui Gong.
The Crashed Wedding
In Qui Gong, Mulan prepares to marry the prince Ting-Ting would have married. Mushu tears up, telling her he would give up his pedestal a thousand times over if he could stop it.
Lord Chin begins the ceremony while a heartbroken Mushu watches from close by. Cri-Kee asks if Mushu wants to stop the ceremony. While the dragon says he does, he doesn’t know how. During the tying of the sash, a throwing star flies through.
The crowd is shocked to find Shang on his horse and alive. Mushu and Cri-Kee are relieved Shang has come to the rescue. Chin is outraged and tries to get Shang to leave. The general refuses saying he’ll marry Mulan there.
Mushu freaks out saying they need to Golden Dragon of Unity. Cri-Kee points to the statue above them. Mushu then tells the cricket will impersonate the statue. When Lord Chin tries to tear Mulan and Shang apart, Mushu steps in, bringing the statue to life.
The attending audience, including the princesses and the army buddies bow down before the statue.
Lord Chin tries to tell ‘his greatness’ that Shang isn’t a son of Qui Gong. Mushu tells him to be silent by blowing fire at him. The lord cowers and does as the dragon commands and ‘marries’ Mulan and Shang. Mushu then releases the princesses from their vow so they can marry the army buddies.
Once they’re back home, Mushu watches with sadness as the fireworks show gets underway for Mulan and Shang’s actual wedding from the temple. Mushu tells Cri-Kee that he can’t believe he’s back on wake-up duty. The little cricket tells Mushu he did good in making up for his mistakes.
A few of the ancestors tell him he’d better hurry because he has tasks they want him to do. The ancestors cease their laughter when Mulan and Shang enter. They watch in horror as Shang combines the family temples. Mushu asks what it means for him. The Grand Ancestor tells Mushu (begrudgingly) that it means he gets to keep his pedestal.
Mushu celebrates his victory before he comes to land in front of Shang and Mulan. Shang admits he thought Mushu would be taller. Mulan tells her little friend that she keeps no secrets from her husband that she told him everything.
Shang bows down to ‘the Golden Dragon of Unity’ and issues a wink to show he’s kidding. Mulan asks what combining their temples does. Mushu gleefully explains it gives him back his pedestal.
In all honesty, this film doesn’t do the original film justice. I cannot think of a memorable moment in this film. Though, if I had to pick, I would say any time Cri-Kee appears.
5 Pieces Of Trivia
Much of the original cast reprise their roles, except Eddie Murphy (Mushu) and Miriam Margolyes (The Matchmaker).
There was going to be a third film (a second direct-to-video sequel) but was cancelled.
There is no reference to what happened to the Emperor’s advisor, Chi-Fu.
The Emperor’s three daughters might be reference to the late Pat Morita (The Emperor) having three daughters.