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Western Animation / Mulan II

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"My duty is to my heart."

Mulan II is a 2004 Direct to Video sequel to Disney's version of Mulan.

As Mulan is getting married to General Shang, the Emperor asks her to escort his three daughters to a neighbouring kingdom for an arranged marriage there in order to cement an alliance against the Mongols.

Mulan II provides examples of:

  • Arranged Marriage: The axis of the whole plot is for the Chinese Emperor to make an alliance with a neighbouring kingdom that will discourage Mongol invasion.
  • Big Bad: Mushu does everything in his power to make sure Mulan doesn't marry so he can retain his position as her guardian. He gets better by the end though.
  • Birds of a Feather: Yao and Mei both have very fiery personalities and are the most willing of their respective trios to follow their heart. Ting-Ting and Ling, while are opposites in some ways, share a similar sense of humour. Chien-Po and Su are not just both Big Eaters but also the most peaceful and least argumentative members of their respective trios.
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  • Cannot Spit It Out: Shang, at the beginning, has trouble proposing to Mulan. The giggling little girls around him do not help his nerves.
  • Character Development: Shang, who, unusually, is wiser than his fiancée.
  • Clueless Aesop:
    • Okay, Heart over Duty isn't such a bad Aesop. Unfortunately, we're talking about princesses — and they've already been betrothed. They can't just run off with a bunch of soldiers. But apparently, it's okay because your personal happiness is more important than the fate of your father's empire and the lives of his millions of subjects, and the millions of subjects of the neighboring kingdom. Even though you haven't known these soldiers much longer anyway. The only reason this was even allowed to happen was by way of Dragon Ex Machina. In any other situation, these decisions would have doomed both kingdoms.
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  • Deus ex Machina: Employed in the original style as Mushu climbs into an idol of the Unity Dragon and makes supposedly divine pronouncements (punctuated with a bit of fire-breathing) that neatly resolve what has become a very tangled situation.
  • Disney Death: Shang. It is easy to infer that he survived but the characters believe he was dead.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: When Shang finally meets Mushu, near the end of the movie, he reacts like this.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: The princesses and guards, while they don't actually get married in the movie, choose each other over the fate of all of China despite knowing one another for less than three days. Mulan and Shang get married despite only knowing each other for a month.
  • Friend to All Children: Mulan teaches the local children and they clearly like her. But she doesn't agree with Shang in that the more children they will have, the better.
  • Gilligan Cut: "Fearless, loyal, and disciplined... China's most honorable and noble soldiers..." are seen kicked out of a matchmaker's shop.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: After Shang's fall.
  • Happily Married: Mulan and Shang at the end.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Shang. Upon realizing the rope holding him and Mulan wasn't going to last for long, he lets go of Mulan’s hand to save her.
    • The princesses can also be seen as performing this, as they risk their happiness for political alliance.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Lampshaded with Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po after having been told by the matchmaker that none of them would ever find matches for themselves:
    Chien-Po: I guess I'll spend my life with you two.
    Ling: Pass the hanky.
  • Honorable Marriage Proposal: A very rare female case: Mulan proposes to a prince of Qi Gong to satisfy the requirements of alliance which she threatened by persuading the princesses to follow their desires.
  • Insistent Terminology: Fa Zhou believes that entering a bet against his mother isn't a "gamble". It's an "investment".
  • Instant Fanclub: Mulan's girl followers.
  • It's All About Me:
    • Mushu sabotages Mulan's relationship with Shang... because if she marries him she'll lose his job. To be fair, Mulan had only really known Shang personally for a month, (they'd met at least a few weeks before, but it was a soldier-commander relationship, and she was lying about her identity at the time) and them turning out to be very different from each other as they were planning their wedding raised more then a few alarm bells, but he had zero problems with any of this until he realized what it all meant for him personally.
    • Mulan, to a lesser extent. It's explained to her very clearly that China is going to be ravaged by Mongols if the princesses don't marry the princes. The princesses, while not thrilled about the arrangement, are definitely willing to go through with it, especially what with the urgent circumstances. Then Mei falls in love with Yao and Mulan, without the slightest hesitation or conflict, tells Mei to follow her heart, screw over the lives of millions.
  • Jerkass: Mushu turned into this, mostly because Mulan's ancestors were jerkasses towards him.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Mushu holds the Jerkass Ball really hard for trying to split Mulan and Shang up to keep his pedestal, but he's also not entirely wrong — the pair are very different people with very different priorities in matters personal (Shang wants lots of children, Mulan does not) and professional (their biggest clash, over the mission, isn't even Mushu's doing). They've also only been seeing one another for a month.
  • Karma Houdini: Not only does Mulan get away with basically kidnapping the princesses and marrying them to common soldiers, even after presenting herself as the marriage offering in replacement she doesn't have to do that either. She gets to marry Shang after all and True Love wins through 100%. It's generally implied that the prince is just so impressed that he allies with China in war for absolutely no benefit to his kingdom at all (not getting set on fire by the "Unity Dragon" is a benefit to himself).
  • Lighter and Softer: So much it seems like another series with Mulan's characters.
  • Loved I Not Honor More: Defied. Mei decides her duty is to her heart.
  • Manchild: Lord Qigong's son (who knows what happened to his two other sons) isn't exactly man of the house by any stretch of the mind, actually repulsed by Mulan because he thinks she's old. Queue a well-deserved Oh, Crap! from Mulan.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: The skunk chasing Shang during the montage of Mushu trying to sabotage his and Mulan's relationship.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Mushu regrets sabotaging Mulan’s relationship with Shang, especially when Mulan decides to get married to Qigong’s son instead of forcing one of the princesses to get married to him.
  • No Loves Intersect: There are four couples here and no jealousy.
  • Not So Above It All: As it turns out, Ting-Ting is about as comedic as Ling is, she just hides it a bit better.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Mushu claims he’s trying to save Mulan from getting heart-broken due to her differences with Shang when it’s clear he wants to protect his job. He even convinces himself this.
    Mushu: This is NOT about my pedestal! This is about Mulan making the biggest mistake of my... I mean, her life!
  • Off-Model: The characters' more expressive and wild expressions can probably be excused by the fact that it's a Lighter and Softer movie, but even with that justification there's just no excuse for Shang's ridiculously awkward facial expressions during his argument with Mulan midway through the movie. It's as though someone else's angry faces were photoshopped onto Shang's head.
  • Opposites Attract: Mulan and Shang; her parents give the pair "ying yang marriage advice" at the start.
  • Panda-ing to the Audience: Yao's gift to Mei is a stuffed panda.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Mushu sits in a tree eating popcorn after Shang approaches Mulan to confront her about how she got the princesses to follow their hearts.
  • Politically Correct History: In regard to its "arranged marriage = bad" campaign and the fact that Mulan got away with practically kidnapping the princesses and allowing them to marry commoners. This is in stark contrast to the Deliberate Values Dissonance in the first movie, where at the beginning, Mulan is dutifully preparing for the prospect of a marriage being arranged for her. This makes her adamant opposition to arranged marriages in this film even more startling. In fact, marrying for love is seen as a relatively recent (not to mention Western) phenomenon, with arranged marriages being present throughout almost all of human history, and is still the norm in some parts of the world.
  • The Power of Love: Supported by Politically Correct History and a tricky dragon.
  • Rule of Three: The three princesses must marry the three princes of Qigong in three days.
  • Small Reference Pools: Presumably how the writers had the balls to have "My duty is to myself" as the Aesop.
  • Squee!: Mulan's reaction to both Shang's proposal and hearing that the princesses have fallen in love with Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po.
  • Supernatural Aid: Mushu's trick of pretending to be the Dragon of Unity resolves the final problem..
  • Too Dumb to Live : Despite being the wisest person in the movie, Shang has the idea of ​​hiring only 3 soldiers to escort the princesses. Shang almost dies when the group is attacked by a small group of Huns, who would not have posed a threat if Shang had had a full battalion..
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Mushu becomes selfish and demanding. This is because the ancestors did the same, the marriage threatened to separate him from Mulan so he tried to prevent that with sabotage.
  • Training from Hell: Averted by Mulan, who begins teaching the girls to fight by telling them that one should be gentle and kind to others. It's a possible inversion of the scene with Shang from the first part of the film and part of the 'yin-yang' motif of this movie.
  • The Trickster: Mushu engages in a number of tricks and pranks.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Lord Qigong's two younger sons are nowhere to be seen in the finale.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Mulan gets rightfully angry with Mushu when she finds out he tried to sabotage her relationship with Shang in order to keep his job as family guardian spirit.
    Mulan: You got between Shang and me so you could KEEP YOUR JOB!?

Alternative Title(s): Mulan 2


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