Mulan II - 2 stars out of 10
Let’s just pretend that this one never happened. “Mulan II” takes an epic Disney story and tells the boring, unnecessary second chapter (as most Disney direct-to-video sequels do). Someday, Disney will learn to just leave a great story alone instead of ruining it. References to jokes from the first film and reprises of the original songs are not enough to create a successful film, and when you have a story as amazing as “Mulan,” no sequel will live up to it. The end of the first film is slightly ambiguous, leaving us to imagine what the future holds for Mulan and Li Shang. Most importantly, it downplays their love story in order to emphasize the film’s more important themes: honor and self-identity. This sequel is the antithesis of those themes, putting them aside so that it can focus on a high school drama-filled love story and a cartoon dragon’s ability to get in the way of true love. The songs are SO CHEESY as Mulan’s uplifting girl-power is transformed into eight-year-old-girls-should-strive-to-be-a-warrior propaganda. I’m surprised they didn’t have sing-a-long lyrics with a bouncing ball. I suppose that Mulan does end up doing the honorable thing in the end, but her journey to do so seems overdramatic and childish. I hate seeing such a powerful character as Li Shang portrayed as weak, clumsy, and goofy. “Mulan II” will ruin these characters and their future; therefore, I am going to pretend that the true future of Mulan and Li Shang lies in the ambiguous ending of the first film and that this sequel is merely a nightmare in the mind of Mushu and that he will wake up to find that his voice sounds like Eddie Murphy once again.